Volunteers with an eye for wildflowers sought

Staff reportMay 18, 2014 

The MeadoWatch program at Mount Rainier National is recruiting volunteers for the 2014 wildflower season. This will be the second year for the program during which volunteers gather data — such as when flowers bloom — on specific species in selected areas. The purpose of the research is to study the biological impact of climate change.

This year, volunteers will monitor 10 wildflower species at nine locations along a system of trails that run across about 2,000 feet of elevation. The 5.5-mile round-trip hike consists of the east branch of the Lakes Trail to the Skyline Trail and finally to the Paradise Glacier Trail. The hike can take from 4-8 hours depending on trail conditions, the volunteers’ plant identification experience and how fast each person hikes.

Volunteers will be recording four phases: budding, flowering, ripening fruit and releasing seed.

For their help, project volunteers can enter the park for free the day they will be surveying. The also have the option to camp within the park for free.

MeadoWatch staff will be holding a training session at the University of Washington’s Hitchcock Hall. The dates are June 5 from 7-9 p.m. and June 7 from 9:30-11:30 a.m.

To sign for MeadoWatch, or learn more about the project, go to meadowatch.org.

NORTH CASCADES NEEDS VOLUNTEER HELP

North Cascades National Park Complex needs volunteers to help filling multiple roles within the system.

People working in the Volunteers in the Park program can work as campground hosts, staff visitor center information desks, provide guided walks and talks, work with scientists in research operations, help with invasive species control and assist with building and grounds maintenance.

There also is an opportunity to serve as host for the summer at a boat-in/hike-in campground at Weaver Point near Stehekin.

There are opportunities at the Sedro-Woolley headquarters, Marblemount and Stehekin

Shared housing or RV space may be available for volunteers. For more information, contact Mike Brondi at North Cascades National Service Complex Headquarters in Sedro- Woolley at 360-854-7275 or Michael_Brondi@NPS.GOV. Information is also available online at volunteer.gov and clicking on the link to Washington State.

HOH RENOVATIONS PLANNED

The National Park Service is seeking proposals for renovation of the Olympic National Park Hoh Visitor Center near Forks.

The work will include renovation and expansion of the existing visitor center and restrooms and exterior modifications for ADA accessibility. The estimated cost for the renovation is $1 million-$5 million.

Built in 1963, the visitor center is about 31 miles south of Forks off U.S. Highway 101. The center provides visitors with information and exhibits about visiting the Olympic Peninsula’s “west side,” including Olympic National Park coastal and rain forest areas.

Contractors interested in learning more about this project are invited to attend a site visit scheduled for Thursday at the Hoh Visitor Center. More information about the project is available through the Federal Business Opportunities website at fbo.gov by entering the Solicitation Number P14PS00900.

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