Park group plans work parties at Mount Rainier

Staff reportJanuary 26, 2014 

Sunny weather always attracts a crowd to Mount Rainier National Park, even in the winter. There were nearly 1.45 million recreational visitors to the park last year, the highest annual count since 2010.

JEFFREY P. MAYOR/STAFF WRITER FILE, 2013

The Mount Rainier National Park Associates have planned six volunteer work parties at the park for this year. Four days will be spent doing trail maintenance and two days will include weeding and planting in alpine areas.

The group invites the public to join them for a day or two of volunteer work.

“It is donating your time and effort but also enjoying the amazing place that is Mount Rainier National Park and the company of a group of people who love the place,” said John Titland, the group’s volunteer coordinator.

The actual work locations will be determined by park staff about two weeks before the volunteer work party.

Here is the schedule:

April 26: Trail maintenance.

May 17: Trail maintenance.

June 14: Trail maintenance.

July 12: Exotic plant removal (weeding). “It may seem crazy but this is a very fun and popular work party,” Titland said.

Aug. 9: Trail maintenance. This work party will be followed by a potluck dinner, and an overnight campout for the volunteers who have worked that day.

Sept. 6: Planting wildflower seedlings to re-establish alpine meadows in areas that years ago were a campground near Sunrise

For more information, you can send an email to Titland at volunteer@mrnpa.org.

NEW WEBSITE

Washington State Parks and Recreation is developing a website and is asking for the public’s comments.

You can view the website at wa-washingtonstateparks.civicplus.com.

The site includes an FAQ section, a searchable calendar listings and the “Adventure Awaits” blog.

After looking over the site, if you notice anything missing, wrong information or have suggestions on something you would like to see, send develops an email to website@parks.wa.gov. Mount Rainier

December 2013: 17,607

December 2012: 16,912

Difference: 4.11 percent

Total 2013: 1,148,553

Total 2012: 1,059,005

Difference: 8.45 percent

While December’s recreational visit count was an improvement over the same month last year, it was held down because the lack of snow meant the snowplay and winter camping areas never opened. The snowplay finally opened Jan. 18. Overall, the park had the best annual count since 2010, when the park recorded 1,191,752 recreational visits. That is not bad, especially when you consider the park lost an estimated 22,000 visits during the 16-day federal government shutdown in October.

Olympic

December 2013: 104,386

December 2012: 85,900

Difference: 21.52 percent

Total 2013: 3,084,560

Total 2012: 2,824,909

Difference: 9.2 percent

The best December visitor count in more than five years helped the park top the 3 million mark for 2013. Much of the increase last month was a large jump in the number of visitors in the Hurricane Ridge district. The December count jumped 351 percent, from 8,193 in December 2012 to 36,971 last month. The last time the park topped 3 million visits in a year was 2008.

National Park Service

December 2013: 12,278,363

December 2012: 12,113,708

Difference: 1.36 percent

Total 2013: 268,449,217

Total 2012: 282,765,682

Difference: -5.06 percent

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