Sunday, October 28, 2018

Community Service at Nisqually

Above: Members of the Olympia Mountaineers and Rotary Club of Olympia worked together Sunday morning to make the boardwalk a safer experience for visitors at the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge.

By Janine Gates
Little Hollywood

Unfazed by the rain, the Olympia Mountaineers combined forces with the Rotary Club of Olympia Sunday morning to scrape slippery moss and leaves off the boardwalk at the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge.

Both organizations are well known for their stewardship and community service efforts.

It was a welcome collaboration for Peter Yager, Visitor Services Assistant, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. After a brief talk about safety, Yager directed the volunteers to areas that needed the most attention.

Pileated woodpeckers, deer, frogs, hawks and eagles made their presence known throughout the morning’s work.

Above: Pacific tree frogs at the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge on Sunday.

Later, Yager expressed his appreciation for the group’s efforts, saying the Refuge has only one maintenance worker and one part time Washington Conservation Corps crew worker.

“Twelve volunteers worked three hours for a total of 36 volunteer hours. That’s equivalent to a week’s worth of work. This was serious work that needed to get done,” he said.

Asked how many volunteers come to the Refuge do this sort of work, Yager said he doesnget as many requests to work as he thought he would. Yager came to the Refuge two years ago from Yellowstone National Park.

“I do have a group of middle school kids who come to pull Scotch broom every year and some Boy Scouts come and scrub the signs,” he said.

He welcomed the two organizations back. After all, the leaves are still falling.

For more information on possible service projects at the Refuge, contact Peter Yager, Visitor Services Assistant, Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, 100 Brown Farm Road, Olympia, at (360) 753-9467 or

Above: A safer boardwalk for visitors at the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge gave volunteers, including this writer, a great deal of satisfaction.