Rocky Mountain National Park appreciates its local volunteers | SkyHiNews.com

Rocky Mountain National Park appreciates its local volunteers

To the Editor:

When a volunteer agrees to share his talents, skills and interests with the National Park Service, he is paying us one of the highest compliments possible by offering a most valued possession-his time. ” George B. Hartzog, Jr., Director, National Park Service (1964-72)

National Volunteer Week is April 28-May 2. On behalf of the staff at Rocky Mountain National Park, I take this opportunity to recognize and thank the volunteers in the Grand Lake community who have contributed so much to Rocky Mountain National Park.

Our Volunteers-In-Parks (VIPs) carry on an American tradition to help preserve and protect this national treasure for this and future generations. Rocky’s volunteers are active, dynamic, creative individuals who possess the skills, desires, patience and time to accomplish a wide variety of tasks.

Volunteers help park staff build trails and fences, lead early morning bird walks, staff visitor centers, assist with hummingbird, elk, butterfly, bighorn sheep and moose research and maintain the park’s library and museum, just to name a few. Our volunteers are ready and willing to help at a moment’s notice with searches and rescues.

After an overnight snowfall the instinct of many in our area is to head for the ski slopes, instead, many of our volunteers trudge into the forest before sunrise looking for fresh mountain lion tracks as part of vital research on the elusive cat.

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Without our volunteers serving the park and its visitors, the National Park Service would be unable to maintain such high standards.

In 2007, approximately 150 volunteers in the Grand Lake community donated almost 20,000 hours to Rocky Mountain National Park at a value of more than $360,000.

This summer we will, again, rely on our volunteers as the busy visitation season approaches. In addition, the park will be conducting a “Water Blitz” this summer to try to retrieve samples from every lake in the park on one day in August. To be successful, we’ll need 40-50 volunteers who are willing to hike to and take water samples from our mountain lakes. For more information about this project or volunteering at Rocky Mountain National Park, contact the Volunteer Program Coordinator at 970-586-1330.

Your contributions and time are very much appreciated. We couldn’t do it without you.

Vaughn Baker

Superintendent

Rocky Mountain National Park

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