2014 | Grant Amount: $24,000

This project provides a skilled NPS-uniformed GS-07 staff member, enabling the park to meet education and safety goals when student groups visit. Most school trips to the park take place during the spring, when Paradise is buried in snow. Many of the school groups are underserved urban youth groups, 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 whereas we don’t typically have snow on the ground, the weather can be highly changeable.

Safely conducting park-based activities is part of a continuum of Mount Rainier experiences provided to youth, including recreational and educational opportunities and volunteer activities.

Through this project and the programs it makes possible, youth from the Seattle/Tacoma areas who might otherwise never visit a national park – or even know one exists – have a chance to experience the beauty and excitement of exploring and learning about Mount Rainier.