Kevin Bacher Ranger Stewart at Pack Forest MORA Kevin Bacher
Kevin Bacher

2015 Funding Priority | Amount Needed $28,500 | FUNDED

funded_01 funded 01Funded in part by RAMROD/Redmond Cycling Club.

This project will provide a skilled staff member (Education Ranger) that will enable the park to meet education and safety goals when we have student groups come to the park. Most school trips to the park take place during the spring when Paradise is buried in snow. Many of these school groups are underserved urban youth, who have never been to Mount Rainier or spent time in a snowy environment. Taking kids out on a snowshoe walk can be life changing, but does require the park provide adequate staff levels to ensure students (and chaperones) receive the training, guidance and oversight to safely negotiate snow trails and their inherent hazards. During the summer, we need to be adequately staffed to meet the needs of youth groups that either visit the park or are working in the park, such as SCA trail crews and scouts. In the fall, school groups return and, while we don’t typically have snow on the ground, the weather can be highly changeable

Lack of staffing, however, can be a limiting factor in our ability to meet the needs of groups. Funding for this project will hire staffing that will provide national park experiences to youth and their families who might otherwise never have such an opportunity.

This project will have a direct and positive impact on the park’s ability to offer youth programming that is meaningful and safe. One of the main messages that students receive in our education program is about the role they can play in taking care of places like Mount Rainier. During our outreach programs, we seek to include a service learning project to emphasize the importance of volunteerism and stewardship. All students in our youth outreach programs will have an enriched experience because of their participation in a safe, adequately staffed program. All of our educational programming at Mount Rainier uses the most current science and research from the park’s scientists.