Mount Rainier National Park offers a number of volunteer opportunities each summer season. In addition to programs such as the Meadow Rovers, the park also works with partners on studies and programs that offer additional ways park supporter can help.
Here is a look at some of the opportunities available this summer:
AMPHIBIAN SURVEYS: This citizen science opportunity heads deep into Mount Rainier’s backcountry to survey frogs, salamanders and aquatic insects. The effort provides park scientists with baseline data and population trends over time. Training will be offered in late June or early July, and you can sign up then for trips throughout the summer. To get on the mailing list for more information, sign up at volunteer.gov or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
CASCADES BUTTERFLY SURVEY: This citizen science program takes participants on trails throughout the Cascades between Mount Rainier and North Cascades National Parks. They will collect and identify butterflies. Learn more about the program, its training dates and research locations at their Yahoo group at groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/cascadesbutterfly/info; or get on their mailing list by filling out an application at volunteer.gov or sending a note to Bacher.
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GREENHOUSE: Volunteers help at the park greenhouse by potting, repotting and weeding plants throughout the summer. Because this is a delicate process that requires patience and precision, staff request participants commit to a regular schedule of visits. Plants grown in the greenhouse are later planted in restoration plots around the mountain. Apply through volunteer.gov, or contact email@example.com with questions.
VISITOR SURVEYS: Every July, the park hands out visitor surveys to track how well it is doing at meeting visitor service needs. Volunteers help by taking four-hour shifts at locations throughout the park. The survey schedule will be announced soon. Get on the mailing list by sending a note to Bacher.
SHADOWS OF THE PAST: The popular living history program at Longmire will be Aug. 22. Volunteers are needed to carry lanterns, help with actors’ makeup and even to portray characters from the park’s past. If you’re interested in participating, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.
HISTORIC AND BACKCOUNTRY MAINTENANCE: The park occasionally needs people with special skills, such as carpentry or historic restoration, or those willing to spend a day painting a historic cabin or fire lookout. Contact Bacher to express interest and get on the mailing list.
PARK ROAD WORK
Visitors at Mount Rainier should be aware road work has begun for the season. The work includes repaving the roadway, utility line installation and improving the road base. Drivers should expect delays of up to 20 minutes Mondays-Fridays.
This is the second year of the first phase of a $32 million project that will improve 17 miles of the park’s busiest road.