2016 Funding Priority | Amount needed $50,000 | FUNDED
Volunteers assist with almost every aspect of Mount Rainier’s operations, from helping in visitor centers to building and maintaining trails, conducting research as citizen scientists to assisting with mountain rescues, staffing campgrounds as volunteer hosts to maintaining historic structures. In 2015, 1,767 volunteers contributed 62,367 hours of service, plus another nine interns added another 3,171 hours, worth an equivalent of $1.5 million in staff time.
Funding provides for basic needs including supplies, uniforms, housing, vehicles, per diem for long-term volunteers, and the cost of interns and crews hired through the Student Conservation Association and Geologic Society of America.
Mount Rainier could not protect its resources, nor serve its visitors, nearly as well without the help of volunteers. Their 65,538 hours of service in 2015 is the equivalent of hiring 131 additional seasonal employees, not feasible in even our wildest dreams of improved budgets. Even with such a windfall, we would still work with volunteers because they also bring community partnership and support to the park’s programs and goals. National parks exist as a place for the public to connect with places of special natural and historic significance. What better way to help that connection happen than to encourage volunteers to contribute to these places’ protection?
This is an ongoing project. The National Park Service is an additional funder. Total budget needed is $246,600.