Mount Rainier National Park is one of 34 national parks receiving a 2013 America’s Best Idea grant from the National Park Foundation, the park announced Wednesday.
According to a statement released by Mount Rainier National Park supports the park’s partnership with the Student Conservation Association. The statement reads, “Funding from the National Park Foundation supports the crew leaders for three eight-person trail maintenance teams, each made up of Community Program members from Seattle and Base-to-Base Camp youth from JBLM. The first crew is in the field now, and the second and third will be in the park later this month and next. Additional funding for the program comes from the National Park Service’s Youth Partnerships Program and Washington’s National Park Fund.”
“We are fortunate here at Mount Rainier to work with SCA’s Community Conservation Program, which engages high school students in Seattle during the school year, and then brings them to Mount Rainier to serve with 15-day trail crews during the summer,” said Kevin Bacher, Rainier’s Volunteer Program Manager. “SCA’s outreach to members of military families at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, through a program called ‘Base to Base Camp,’ has resulted in almost half of this year’s crew members coming from JBLM. And we’ve worked with SCA For decades to provide interns who support park staff in critical roles, learning skills, doing important work, and serving the public. Through our partnership with SCA this summer, 37 young people will contribute more than 9,000 hours of conservation service at Mount Rainier while having an extraordinary national park experience.”
Said Randy King, Rainier’s superintendent: “We are pleased to work with SCA’s Community Crews again this year, and especially pleased to welcome members of our military families at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. These grants allow us to reach out to the conservation leaders of tomorrow and offer them a great experience in their national parks, as well as stepping stones toward possible future careers. We look forward to working with these young men and women for many years to come.”