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Contact: Carrie Anders, Volunteer Coordinator, 360-569-6588
On National Public Lands Day, Saturday, September 29, 2012, more than a hundred volunteers will assemble at Mount Rainier National Park to plant native plants and maintain trails. The work day will cap a highly successful season during which about 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 the event and lead volunteer projects. Participants may register at the event. Washington Trails Association will be leading a work party from Sunrise. They will meet in the Sunrise parking lot at 8:30 a.m. the morning of the 29th. You can register for their work party on their website at www.wta.org.
National Public Lands Day volunteers will sign in at the amphitheater in White River Campground, in the northeast corner of Mount Rainier National Park, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Travelers should note that the Stevens Canyon Road in the park is closed due to construction. The White River Campground can be reached via State Highways 410 or 123.
After the dedication ceremony, volunteers of all ages will help with revegetation efforts at Sunrise and with several trail projects in the Sunrise area. 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.
Meanwhile, a team of volunteers will be busy picking up litter along Highway 706 near the park's headquarters. This "Adopt a Highway" project is full for September, but future volunteers are sought for project dates in April and late June.
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, provide roadside assistance, and catalog historic records. Last year, 1,728 volunteers contributed 74,504 hours of service, an effort valued at $1.59 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.