Outdoors

Haggen stores donate more than $33,000 to national parks

On Earth Day in April, regional grocery chain Haggen said it would donate 2 percent of its sales in its Washington and Oregon stores to national parks in those states.

Last week, the chain announced it was donating $33,690 to Washington’s National Park Fund, the official nonprofit partner supporting Mount Rainier, North Cascades, and Olympic national parks.

Haggen also asked its Facebook followers to vote for their favorite national park between April 22-28. The 1,192 votes determined what percentage of the funds would be donated to each park.

As a result, Olympic National Park received 31 percent of the votes, a donation of $12,433. Rainier National Park received 27 percent of the votes, earning $10,829. North Cascades National Park received 26 percent of the votes, for $10,428. Crater Lake National Park in Oregon received 16 percent of the votes, earning it $6,417.

Washington’s National Park Fund has raised more than $2.5 million for the parks in the past seven years. Each year, the superintendent at each park submits a list of programs and projects that could not be funded other than through the park fund.

At Mount Rainier, projects receiving fund included $60,000 to improve communications at Camp Schurman, $50,000 for the volunteer program and $50,000 to the park’s endowment fund.

At Olympic, the fund has donated $11,500 to track salmon returning to the Elwha River, $19,275 for a ranger to man the Forks Ranger Station and $21,000 to monitor elk in the park.

You can learn more about the fund at wnpf.org.

HOW HIGH IS McKINLEY?

An effort has begun to do a new GPS survey of Mount McKinley, the highest point in North America. The last survey of the 20,320-foot mountain peak was done in 1953.

Four climbers were expected to begin the climb to the summit, with equipment in tow, this month. The plan calls for them to return about July 7.

A team from the United States Geological Survey, NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey and the University of Alaska Fairbanks will determine the more accurate height, using modern GPS survey equipment and techniques.

The results of the work are expected to be released in late August.

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