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Contact: Kevin Bacher, Volunteer Program Manager, 360-569-6567
Mount Rainier National Park will celebrate National Public Lands Day on Saturday, September 27, 2014, with several volunteer projects open to public participation. The work day caps a busy summer in which nearly 2,000 people have contributed to the protection of Mount Rainier's natural and cultural treasures and helped serve its visitors.
National Public Lands Day is an annual celebration of public involvement in the stewardship of America's national, state, and local parks and forests. More than 170,000 individuals are expected to participate in events all over the country. In recognition of this, entrance fees will be waived at all national parks for the day. Volunteers will receive an additional coupon for free admission on a day of their choice.
Members of the public are invited to join in the day's work. The National Parks Conservation Association will help coordinate registration for the event beginning at 8:00 a.m. at Longmire, six miles inside the southwest entrance to the park. After a brief welcome at 9:00, participants will divide into work groups. The Washington Trails Association and Park Service crew leaders will lead trail maintenance projects at Paradise, while other crews will winterize a campground at Longmire that is used by volunteers, school groups, and other park partners. Trail work is suitable for ages 16 and up, while campground maintenance is good for all ages. Additional projects may be added as well.
Another project, revegetating a former campground near Sunrise, will put a small number of volunteers to work on the east side of the national park. Volunteers interested in planting should meet crew leaders in front of the Sunrise Visitor Center at 9:00 a.m. and plan for a mile-long hike to the project location. This project can only accept about a dozen volunteers. Please RSVP to Kevin Bacher at e-mail us. Volunteers should come prepared for cool, wet weather, with warm clothing, rain gear, sturdy footwear, and gloves. Knee pads are also recommended for planting. If the weather is nice, sunglasses, sunscreen, and hats are recommended. Volunteers should also bring water, snacks, and a lunch.
Free camping at the Longmire Campground is available both the day before and after National Public Lands Day for event participants. Email Kevin Bacher at e-mail us to reserve a campsite.
Volunteers at Mount Rainier National Park maintain trails, patrol park roads and wilderness areas, assist and educate visitors, conduct research as citizen scientists, and plant native plants. Last year, 1,784 volunteers contributed 62,736 hours of service, an effort valued at $1.4 million.
Information about Mount Rainier's volunteer program, including a list of open positions, a calendar of activities, and pictures and videos of volunteers in action may be found on Mount Rainier National Park's website at www.nps.gov/mora, or on its volunteer program blog at rainiervolunteers.blogspot.com
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