Monday, December 24, 2012

Last Minute Gift Idea - Give Something Back!

Still hunting for the right gift at this late hour?  Consider the gift of adventure and giving back!

You can purchase Wilderness Volunteers' gift certificates good for any of the 2013 projects, from Minnesota to Arizona, West Virginia to Montana, Vermont to Alaska, Hawaii to New Hampshire. Your recipient(s) will be able to select a project from the list of more than 50 service projects to decide which is best for them. You'll be providing an adventure that engages all the senses in a beautiful, natural setting, while doing meaningful work for public lands. They'll return home with pictures and stories to be shared and remembered for a lifetime.  The perfect gift for the outdoor enthusiast in your life!

Friday, December 07, 2012

2013 Summer/Fall Schedule Released!

Goat Rocks Wilderness, Gifford Pinchot NF (2012)
We are super excited to announce the release of the full 2013 Service Project schedule!  It is a record setting year as WV will give something back in more wilderness areas in a single year than ever before, with trips from Hawaii to Vermont, Alaska to Texas and many, many areas in between.

We'll need your help to ensure that we complete all the tasks that our agency partners are asking of us, so head on over to our projects page to read more about each of the 2013 service trips and sign up for your top choice before it fills up.  **Also note that supporters of Wilderness Volunteers get early placement for their desired projects.

We can't wait to get on the trail and give something back with you and your friends and family! Check out this interactive map of where our 2013 projects or view the projects by date.

Any questions? Shoot us an email at

My Trip at Denali

from left to right: Jenny, Alvin, Tim, Jim, Debbie,
Hannah, Karen, & Donna
By Donna McParlan
This adventure was spectacular for so many reasons. Since this was my first trip to Alaska and first project with Wilderness Volunteers, I really did not know what to expect. After flying to Anchorage from Chicago, my husband Tim and I hopped aboard the Alaska Railroad to Denali National Park. The train’s huge windows allowed us to view mile after mile of gorgeous scenery and wildlife on the way to the park. Once there our job was to break new trail on the Savage River Alpine Trail.

Building the Savage Loop Trail
Using hand saws, pulaskis, shovels, cutters, loppers, and canvas bags, we sawed shrubs, cut bushes, pulled up tundra sod, moved rocks, and hauled dirt. We worked long, hard days, but the reward was the result of our work. Our home for the week was a large platform tent with a wood burning stove at the back of the Savage River Campground. Debbie Northcutt and Bill Sheppard, our leaders, are experienced and professional. Bill, our chef, planned and prepared a variety of wholesome meals, taking trail cuisine to perfection. Across from the platform tent was a shower house with flush toilets for use only by the Park Service trail crew and the volunteers. So although our environment was remote and wild, our accommodations were civilized!

Mt McKinley above the clouds from our worksite
The weather for the week was a mixed bag. Temperatures ranged from highs in the 50’s to below freezing at night. We had rain on and off and snow on more than one day but some sun almost every day. Our views were of wide open tundra with the expansive Alaska Range all around, huge braided rivers, and brilliant fall colors of red, orange, and yellow. We saw abundant wildlife while on the trails and from the buses--Dall sheep, moose, caribou, and bear. Our volunteer group was a friendly, hard- working, and interesting bunch, diverse in age and from all over the country, and we enjoyed working side by side with the Park Service Trail Crew, who appreciated our efforts.
With this adventure behind me here’s what I will expect on the next one: a week of hard work in the great out-doors, breath- taking scenery, a feeling of accomplishment, and considerate and interesting people with a sense of responsibility to give something back.