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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 28, 2013, 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 around Paradise, while other crews will continue historic restoration work in 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 restoration is good for all ages.
Volunteers should come prepared for cool, wet weather, with warm clothing, rain gear, sturdy footwear, and gloves. 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. Contact Joshua Jones to reserve a campsite.
Volunteers at Mount Rainier National Park maintain trails, patrol wilderness areas and climbing routes, assist and educate visitors, conduct research as citizen scientists, plant native plants, and catalogue historic records. Last year, 1,804 volunteers contributed 74,615 hours of service, an effort valued at $1.65 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.
- NPS -