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Contact: Dave Reynolds, 360-565-2985
Contact: Dave Merritt, 360-565-3142
Olympic National Park’s newly-launched Adopt-a-Trail program gives local residents, park visitors and community groups a chance to become involved in monitoring and maintaining some of their favorite trails.
The park is currently recruiting volunteers interested in serving as trail stewards. With 64 trailheads and more than 600 miles of trail within the park, trail stewards will help to ensure that their adopted trails continue to be kept safe, accessible and beautiful.
“This is a great opportunity for people of all ages to contribute to and care for their national park,” said Olympic National Park Superintendent Karen Gustin. “Volunteers play a vital role in nearly every aspect of park operations, and this is another way to enhance a sense of community pride and ownership at Olympic National Park.”
Funded through a grant from the National Park Foundation, an Adopt-a-Trail orientation session will be held May 21 at 9:00 AM. Interested volunteers should meet at the Trails Shop, in the maintenance compound at Olympic National Park headquarters.
Additional training sessions will be offered at a later date.
For questions on the Adopt-a-Trail program or to sign up, contact volunteer program coordinator David Merritt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adopt-a-Trail volunteers will receive training on basic trail maintenance, safe and proper usage of hand tools, and trail-building guidelines and techniques in accordance with National Park Service trail standards. In addition, they will be trained in the identification and removal of invasive exotic plants, use of personal protective equipment and basic safety procedures.
Regular trail maintenance duties may include removing unsafe limbs from overgrown vegetation, picking up trash, and cleaning out water bars, steps and other drainage structures. At trailheads, trail stewards would be responsible for removing litter, monitoring signs and bulletin boards, and reporting vandalism or other concerns to the district ranger’s office.
Trails currently in need of support include: the Staircase Rapids loop (Shady Lane and Four Stream), Peabody Creek Trail, Cascade Rock and West Elwha (Elwha District), the Lake Crescent trail complex, Hall of Mosses and Spruce Trails in the Hoh Rainforest, Shi Shi Beach, Second Beach and the Kestner Homestead loop.
Trail stewards should be in good health, capable of hiking up to eight miles per day and be able to provide their own transportation to and from their designated trails. By becoming a trail steward, volunteers would make a commitment to visiting their designated trail at least four times during the spring and summer seasons.
Olympic National Park has a long history of working with Volunteers-in-Parks, or VIPs, who support the park in numerous ways including visitor education, trail maintenance and wilderness management. Each year Olympic depends on the strong support of volunteers to accomplish the mission of serving visitors while at the same time protecting park resources.