2016 Funding Priority | Amount needed $31,600 | FUNDED
Meadow Rovers and Emergency Roadside Assistance Volunteers
If funded, Mount Rainier National Park will hire a seasonal park ranger for five months to coordinate the Meadow Rover program at Paradise and Sunrise and the Emergency Roadside Assistance (“Raven”) program at Paradise. The person hired will be responsible for training, coordinating, supplying, and supervising two volunteers to patrol roads and parking lots at Paradise from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and training and supervising about a hundred intermittent Meadow Rover volunteers. Funding will pay for the supervisor and also provide per diem, housing, a vehicle, and basic supplies for the two Raven volunteers.
Protecting the fragile meadows at Paradise and Sunrise is one of Mount Rainier National Park’s highest priorities. Experience has shown that this is best accomplished by having people in the meadows, contacting and educating hikers about the importance of staying on trails. Due to limited staff, this is best accomplished by volunteers, and volunteers are best served by a full-time supervisor who can coordinate their efforts and provide consistent guidance and training.
Because the Emergency Roadside Assistance (“Raven”) volunteers operate in the same area, supervision by the same person also adds efficiency. Raven volunteers provide roadside assistance to visitors that would otherwise pull law enforcement rangers away from more urgent and specialized duties. Our past experience with this program has demonstrated it to be highly effective.
In 2015, more than 140 Meadow Rover volunteers contributed more than 7,000 hours of service and contacted tens of thousands of visitors. The Meadow Rover program is very effective in preventing damage to subalpine meadows. The two Raven volunteers made 2,500 visitor contacts, assisted with 31 dead batteries, 32 locked doors, and 17 cases of low or flat tires. They also assisted with seven Search and Rescue efforts, drove the Park’s ambulance multiple times, and even provided life-giving CPR to a visitor suffering from a heart attack.
This is an ongoing project.