While the busy summer season has past, there are still ways to get involved as a volunteer at Mount Rainier National Park. Here are some of the upcoming opportunities:
Trail Maintenance: The Washington Trails Association will lead projects every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through Sept. 29. Work will be on the Pinnacle Peak Trail and likely the Skyline Trail. These are great places to enjoy fall colors while making a contribution to the park. Visit wta.org/volunteer/trail-work-parties to sign up.
Meadow Roving: Meadow roving continues through early October. Trained rovers should contact Maureen Mclean at firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
Litter Patrol: About a dozen people willing to commit approximately three hours Saturday are needed for a little clean-up as part of the park’s Adopt-A-Highway partnership with the Washington State Department of Transportation. To participate in the upcoming patrol, volunteers who have not already done so will need to watch a short training video. The video can be found at wsdot.wa.gov/operations/adoptahwy. To sign up for this event, contact Crow Vecchio at email@example.com by Tuesday to confirm that you’ve watched the video.
Winter Operations: Volunteers will be needed to assist with public snowshoe walks and with the nordic ski patrol. Visit the Washington Ski Touring Club at wstc.org to find out about ski patrol.
OBSTRUCTION POINT ROAD CLOSING AT OLYMPIC
Obstruction Point Road in Olympic National Park will close for the season Sept. 23 to allow the park road crew to complete a major resurfacing and repair project before fall rains arrive.
“We ask for the public’s patience and understanding as our crews perform this critical preventative maintenance project,” superintendent Sarah Creachbaum said in a news release. “While we recognize that this early fall closure may create an inconvenience for some visitors, it’s been many years since we last resurfaced this road and we must focus on long-term access to Obstruction Point.”
The project will include hauling and placing about 600 tons, or 60 dump-truck loads, of gravel to restore the road. That process will be followed by grading and compaction of the new road surface using a motor grader and compaction rollers. All the work will be done by the park road crew.
The project also includes maintenance and improvement of drainage features along the road to prevent erosion damage.
The narrowness of the road, coupled with the volume dump truck and heavy equipment traffic necessitates a full road closure while work is underway.
The road will open to nonmotorized traffic only Fridays-Sundays, as well as the Columbus Day holiday on Oct. 14, when crews and equipment are not working.
Deer Park Road will remain open through mid-October, weather permitting.
Current road information is available by calling the park’s recorded information line at 360-565-3131 or online at nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/current-road-conditions.htm.
The Columbia River ecosystem and its primitive inhabitant, the sturgeon, will be celebrated during the 17th annual Sturgeon Festival on Saturday.
The free one-day festival runs from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Water Resources Education Center, 4600 SE Columbia Way, Vancouver, Wash. The festival is hosted by the city of Vancouver, with help from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The event includes entertainment and educational activities for all ages. Special events include Eartha the Ecological Clown and Creature Feature Reptile Zoo.
Attendees will have an opportunity to learn about recycling, watershed stewardship and sturgeon anatomy, according to a State Parks news release. Visitors will also have the chance to discuss environmental issues and career opportunities with staff from natural resource agencies and environmental organizations.
The sturgeon, common in the Columbia River, is a primitive fish that has not changed substantially since it emerged in the Jurassic period. Sturgeon are a long-lived species, reaching 5-6 feet in length at maturity. A few Columbia sturgeon have been verified to be more than 80 years old.
The National Park Service has awarded Aramark Parks and Destinations a 10-year contract to run the Log Cabin Resort on Lake Crescent.
The company has been operating the resort on a temporary contract since last year.
In additon to running the lodging operations, Aramark will handle food and beverage, retail and nonmotorized boat rentals at the resort.
Aramark currently manages Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort, Lake Crescent Lodge, Fairholme Store and Hurricane Ridge Gifts & Snack Bar within the park, and Lake Quinault Lodge in Olympic National Forest.Staff report