Jimi Hightower, Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park – Seattle
Fall brings many things: changing leaves, cooler temperatures, fog and rain, and of course…pumpkin flavored everything. In the NPS, it also brings the end of the Fiscal Year and celebrations revolving around our amazing volunteers.
Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park is fortunate to have an outstanding volunteer base, especially being a small urban park. We have Trails & Rails volunteers that spend days on trains providing interpretation for passengers going to and from Portland, OR and Havre, MT; We have Visitor Center volunteers that greet visitors coming into the park and provide information regarding the Klondike Gold Rush and historic Seattle; and we have In My Backyard volunteers that are undergrad and graduate students that spend what little free time they have developing conservation leadership skills and outreach tools to better engage with our community – primarily urban youth.
Our Trails & Rails volunteers presented more than 750 talks aboard Amtrak’s Coast Starlight and Empire Builder routes and engaged with 159,063 passengers while on the train. Rangers and Visitor Center volunteers welcomed over 66,000 people to the park. In My Backyard volunteers were able to reach 1,300 individuals and engage 6,600 people through their social media platforms.
In FY15, our 78 volunteers contributed 17,225 hours to the park. Although we had fewer volunteers than FY14, our volunteer hours increased by 25%.
It’s been a great year here at KLSE and I’m truly honored to be a member of this outstanding team.