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Your Gifts in Action in Mount Rainier

Your generosity made these projects possible!

 

Gifts to Mount Rainier National Park in 2012-2013 totaled $215,149.50

The following is a list of funded projects at Mount Rainier National Park in 2013.  Several of them will launch in the summer of 2014.

 

1. Protecting Subalpine Meadows through the Meadow Rover Program – $18,000

The meadow rover program at Mount Rainier National Park is one of their most successful volunteer efforts, allowing volunteers to “patrol” the subalpine meadows above Paradise and Sunrise, interacting with visitors, answering their questions, helping them find their way, and most importantly, educating them on the importance of staying on the trails in those fragile environments. Funding for this program will allow the park to hire a long-term (six-month) seasonal employee to coordinate the volunteer Meadow Rover program at Paradise and Sunrise. This individual will be responsible for recruiting, training, coordinating, supplying and supervising the volunteers who patrol these subalpine meadows. This coordinator will relieve the Paradise Interpreter and Sunrise Lead Interpreter the job of managing 140 individuals, which would normally be in addition to their regular duties.

 

2. Restoring Subalpine Vegetation – $14,000

This project is part of an ongoing program designed to restore vegetation in former developed campgrounds and impacted areas at selected sites in the backcountry and wilderness of Mount Rainier National Park using established restoration protocols that have been used successfully in the park in other areas. This restoration work will help prevent soil erosion, prevent vegetation and habitat loss, ensure continued years of Mount Rainier’s famous wildflowers, help these areas be more resilient against climate change, and will allow visitors continued use of the areas. Subalpine areas this program would affect are Paradise Meadows, the former drive-in campground at Sunrise, Spray Park, and selected backcountry camps including Nickel Creek, Lake George, South Mowich, Summerland, Lake James, Knapsack Pass, Curtis Ridge and sites in the Tatoosh Range.

 

3. Providing Roadside Assistance to Visitors – $10,000

The RAVN (Roadside Assistance for Visitors in Need) program in Mount Rainier National Park provides free roadside assistance to park visitors who experience minor motor vehicle problems while visiting the park. RAVN volunteers help with visitors who are locked out of their cars, have dead batteries, have run out of gas, etc. Funding for the continuation of this program covers the rental costs of two government vehicles, housing costs for volunteers, volunteer stipends, and costs for equipment like traffic paddles, jumper cables, traffic cones, reflective triangles, safety vests, fuel, and oil. The RAVN program operates seven days a week during the busy months (June, July, and August). It is estimated the RAVN program saved visitors about $70,000 in service calls over the course of 109 assistance calls.

 

4.  Protecting People and Resources, Summer Seasonal Ranger – $27,000

Funding supports a summer seasonal ranger who performs law enforcement and other public safety and resource protection duties.  This position augments a summer staff person that was projected – then cut – due to severe reductions in park operations over the past few years.  This is a critically important position for Mount Rainier National Park.

 

5. Monitoring Elk Populations in Washington's Parks (a partnership project with Olympic National Park ) – $12,000

Elk populations are key components of lowland and montane ecosystems in Mount Rainier and Olympic National Parks, and are tightly woven into each park’s historical and cultural fabrics. Although the elk were largely protected in Olympic National Park by its vast wilderness, Mount Rainier was also created in order to protect the natural resources that call that area home. Over the years, many things have impacted the elk in Mount Rainier National Park, and an attempt to track their movement in and around the park is vital. A program very similar to this is already well underway in Olympic National Park, but continuation of the program throughout the North Coast and Cascades Inventory and Monitoring network.

 

6.  Carolyn Dobbs Environmental Science Grant – $500

Funds were awarded to Jocelyn Akins for her research of the Cascade Red Fox.  A PhD student, Ms. Akins work follows in the path of all that Carolyn Dobbs loved…caring for the wildest of species in our national parks.

 

7.  Search and Rescue – $18,830.00

These funds – a combination of money raised during our 2013 Spring Dinner and Auction coupled with a few memorial gifts – were used to fund training programs for park staff and mountain rescue volunteers, and to purchase high mountain rescue gear (litter, ropes, and helmets) at Mount Rainier National Park.

 

8.  Mount Rainier National Park Endowment – $50,000

Mount Rainier National Park’s endowment was established in 2010.  It was the result of a $100,000 estate gift from the Eleanor and Raymond Wilson Charitable Trust.  In 2013, the board elected to add $50,000 to the endowment. 

 

9.  Meadow Restoration Equipment – Trailer, tank, and avionic helmets/jump suits – $13,440

In memory of Dr. Ernest McKibben, these funds allowed the revegetation teams at Mount Rainier National Park to purchase a portable water tank and trailer, a landscape trailer for hauling native plants from the green house to the sub-alpine meadows, and flight helmets/flight suits for crew members who transport plants via helicopter.

 

10.  Outer wear by Outdoor Research (in-kind)

Seattle’s own Outdoor Research gave outerwear to the backcountry rangers.

 

11.  Funding for the Volunteer Program – $50,000 (year three of five from Wilson Charitable Trust)

 For the past three years, one estate gift to Washington’s National Park Fund has resulted in $50,000 to Mount Rainier National Park to fund its volunteer program.  60% of the volunteer program is funded through this one gift.  The program brings in more than 1,800 volunteers each year who donate thousands of hours to projects like meadow rovers, meadow restoration, trail maintenance, and public awareness.

 

 

PAST PROJECTS

2012
2011
2010
2009
2008

2012 Projects 

Longmire Stewardship Camp - $9,500
The Campground at Longmire has served as a base for volunteer operations since 2007. Making continued improvements to this area will allow it to be used by more volunteers throughout the park. This campground has the capacity to serve hundreds of volunteers and school groups during volunteer activities within the park.

Connecting Students to Parks - $5,000
This project will provide schools interested in visiting the park with travel subsidies to cover the cost of bus rentals and substitute teaches. This project will serve 250 students in five schools, and encourage children to spend more time in the natural environment.

Mount Rainier Adventures - $5,000
This project will bring families and youth from the Seattle/Tacoma areas to Mount Rainier National Park for day activities or an overnight trip. This project will provide these youth and families with equipment, transportation, food and educational classes at no charge. Participants will connect with nature, and the park, in a welcome and exciting setting. 

Getting to Green - $13,700
Mount Rainier National Park has set a goal to become carbon neutral by 2016, the National Park Service's 100th anniversary. To meet this goal, Mount Rainier must continually reevaluate their greenhouse gas emissions, and incorporate climate change education into staff development programs. Mount Rainier strives to reduce, not only park emissions, but also to provide visitors with the tools and resources they need to reduce emissions at home and in their own communities. 

Cascade Red Fox Study - $4,800
Recent research has shown the Cascade Red Fox is being threatened by climate change in Washington State. Mount Rainier National Park has one of the most significant populations of this species, and is therefore the best place to evaluate human influences on this animal. The project entails the attachment of GPS radio collars to record fine scale movements by a veterinarian and biologist with fox-trapping experience. Information gained from this project will help the park manage this special and threatened species. 

Forgotten Creek Site Analysis - $4,000
This section of the park is the second in Mount Rainier National Park with a cultural component pre-dating the Mazama event over 7,000 years ago. This site has exceptional importance in clarifying the onset of early human use of Pacific Northwest mountains. An analysis of sampples from this area will teach us about how human land use patterns changed as regional populations adjusted to climate change and increasing population density. Previous analysis of this and other areas will provide a more clear idea of the historic use in the area. 

Paradise Inn Lampshade Project - $1,500
In 1983, a booklet was published to provide information about the beautiful wildflowers that can be found in Paradise Meadow, as well as the beautiful hand-painted lampshades in Paradise Inn. In 1916, the wives of park employees painted these lampshades, ranging in size from four inches to ten feet tall. Reprinting of this booklet will provide information to those who aren't able to see the wildflowers in person, due to limitations or seasons. The booklets will be sold in the park, and proceeds will support volunteer programs and further printings of the booklet. This project will be in partnership with the Lake Washington Garden Club. 

Protect Resources and Visitors at Paradise - $6,000
Of all the visitors to Mount Rainier National Park during the busy summer months, 80-90% of them choose to go to Paradise. With a focus on youth engagement and reaching diverse audiences, Mount Rainier would like to create a focus on protecting Paradise, while ensuring visitors use is enjoyable and safe. Including meadow protection, trail maintenance and repair, traffic and parking control, wildlife protecting, preventative search and rescue information, and general park information, this project will increase staff presence in this concentrated-visitor-use area of the park.

Enhance Volunteer Program: Year 2 of 5 - $50,000
Funded by the Mount Rainier endowment, this grant will be used to further the reach of the volunteer program in the park, whose goal is to reach 2,000 volunteers per year.

 

2011 Projects

Free Summer Shuttle Service - $50,000

Continuation of the summer shuttle bus service was a high priority for Mount Rainier National Park. Operating between Ashford and Paradise, the shuttle served 30,000 visitors in 2009 and 25,300 visitors in 2010, reducing private vehicle use, congestion, and emissions. In 2011, park-specific and environmental education displays were placed on the buses, and a park interpretive ranger rode along on selected routes.

Enhance Volunteer Program: Year 1 of 5 - $50,000

Funded by the Mount Rainier endowment, this grant will be used to further the reach of the volunteer program in the park, whose goal is to reach 2,000 volunteers per year. Funded by a grant from the Eleanor Wilson Charitable Trust.

Camping Adventures with My Parents (CAMP) - $10,000

CAMP encourages families from Seattle/Tacoma who have never camped before to experience Mount Rainier for a weekend of fun and educational activities. Equipment, transportation, food, and instruction are all provided free of charge. Following two successful years, the 2011 program served 150 campers to enhance their connections to nature and each other.

Restore Volunteer Campground at Longmire - $16,500

The Longmire Campground has served as a base for volunteer operations since 2007, with 31 individual and two group sites, and eight platform tents. This project added picnic tables, fire rings, and an outdoor shelter/pavilion where groups can gather in inclement weather. The campground has the capacity to serve hundreds of volunteers each summer, supporting critical work in the park.

Connecting Students to Parks - $10,000

This project brough 500 students from ten schools to the park by covering the cost of travel expenses and a substitute teacher. Children will experience the natural environment and develop and appreciation for Mount Rainier National Park.

 

2010 Projects

Connecting Students to Parks - $10,000

Addressing "Nature Deficit Disorder" (children spending less time out in the natural environment) is a priority for all national parks. This project provided schools interested in visiting the park with travel subsidies to cover the cost of bus rentals and substitute teachers. Ten schools serving 500 students were able to visit the park on field trips.

Paradise Meadow Restoration - $16,670

As one of the most visited areas of the park, the Paradise Meadow requires native plant restoration to help maintain a vibrant ecosystem. Through greenhouse and in-park planting, both volunteers and local students learn about plant biology, human impacts to the meadow, revegetation, and greenhouse techniques, while maintaing and protecting one of the park's most valued areas.

Camping Adventures with My Parents (CAMP) - $10,000

An astounding 150 new campers from the Seattle-Tacoma area experienced the glories of Mount Rainier over a six-week period, building on the tremendous success of the 2009 program. Campers learned camping skills and enhance their connections to nature and each other.

Free Summer Shuttle Service - $60,000

Park visitors could ride a shuttle bus through the park from Longmire to Paradise, with stops at campgrounds and trailheads, Fridays through Sundays from mid-June until early September. Weekend visitors also had the option of parking in the City of Ashford and riding a shuttle bus into the park. This project was aimed at helping Mount Rainier National Park meet a goal of reducing its carbon emissions 45% by the year 2016, and also achieving Climate Friendly Park status.

Fleet Management Study - $15,000

Another aspect of the park's goal to become carbon neutral in its operations is a more effective and efficient use of its fleet of vehicles and motorized equipment. Recommendations from this study directly resulted in a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions within park boundaries.

 

2009 Projects

Connecting Kids to Parks - $15,000

This project provided schools interested in visiting the park with travel subsidies to cover the cost of bus rentals and substitute teachers. Ten schools serving 500 students were able to visit the park on field trips.

Camping Adventures with My Parents (CAMP) - $12,000

More than 100 young people and their families experienced Mount Rainier National Park for the first time as campers and hikers. Transportation, equipment and food were provided, along with park staff to ensure the group had a fun weekend.

Volunteer Outreach - $18,800

Funding for this program supported a Student Conservation Association intern and a 4-month volunteer who worked with the full-time Volunteer Program Manager to coordinate the park's volunteers, building on the successes of the 2007 and 2008 Mount Rainier Recovery Corps.

Paradise Meadow Restoration - $10,000

As one of the most visited areas of the park, the Paradise Meadow requires native plant restoration to help maintain a vibrant ecosystem. Through greenhouse and in-park planting, both volunteers and local students learn about plant biology, human impacts to the meadow, revegetation, and greenhouse techniques, while maintaing and protecting one of the park's most valued areas.

 

2008 Projects

Mount Rainier Recovery - $50,000

The storm and flood damage recovery work that began in earnest during the summer of 2007 continued throughout 2008, beginning in early June and continuing into October. Projects included additional front country trail re-route and re-build, along with extensive trail cleanup and re-build in the back country. Native plant restoration (revegetation) was, and is, also vital to park recovery both along new and repaired trails, as well as throughout the Paradise meadows.

Solar Panels on Ohanapecosh Ranger Station - $50,000

Visitors to Mount Rainier National Park now have an opportunity to learn about sustainable energy sources while experiencing the park's commitment to environmental stewardship and participation in projects that impact global climate change.  Construction included a 10kW grid-connected solar array on the roof of the Ohanapecosh Maintenance/Ranger Building.  The array ties into the commercial grid and actually feeds the grid when building loads are less than solar power created.  The goal is to offset rising electrical costs by using one of the better solar sites in the Park to generate electricity. 

 

Thank you donors and friends for all your support!