Mt. St. Helens Institute
2009 In Review
Whew! Without a doubt, this has been a most exciting year at the Mount St. Helens Institute. I hope you had a chance to join us at one of our fun events, field seminars or recreational outings. Here's a brief update on our 2009 adventures:
- Expanded our field classes schedule to include astronomy, geology, biology, mushroom hunting and wildflower viewing and even added a winter camping skills class. Our expert guides and instructors helped our enthusiastic adventurers enjoy the excitement of exploring Mount St. Helens.
- Guided 14 Sunday hikes, 6 snowshoeing adventures and 10 Mount St. Helens climbs with over 450 participants.
- With community partners, we re-opened the Pine Creek Information Station and the Cascade Peaks Center and provided services to over 22,000 visitors.
- Hosted the wildly successful It's a Blast: Volcano Science in Your Backyard with Bill Nye the Science Guy® and shared a day of hands-on science discovery with over 1100 people.
- Created the first ever rock concert at Mount St. Helens. Combined with biology lectures, a star party, and hiking adventures, we found a new and exciting way to celebrate music and science education!
- Developed new youth programs – Volcano After Dark and Youth Stream Team that offered intensive environmental science education for 70 youth. The Youth Stream Team worked hard to improve local streams in advance of returning salmon.
- Rebuilt trails, repaired facilities, provided interpretation and visitor services and improved scientific research areas with the help of a cadre of 250 dedicated volunteers who donated more than 13,000 hours of time.
One of our most exciting accomplishments this year was the creation of an overnight environmental education program. In 2008, we were approached by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) with a request for a formal, intensive program of scientific exploration that could give students an in-depth look at earth science. From this suggestion, Volcano After Dark was born. As a pilot program in 2009, the program was initially funded by a USFS "Kids in the Woods" grant and served 50 youth from OMSI, Vancouver Boys and Girls Club and the Audubon Society. Whether the kids were engaged in aquatics study, taking a night hike on the Hummocks trail or simulating gas eruptions, they were absorbed in learning! As we move towards 2010, we will expand this program to include more schools, community groups and youth organizations with a plan to serve up to 500 youth in 2010.
Speaking of 2010, it is almost upon us and with this exciting year comes the 30th anniversary of the 1980 eruption. We're doing our part to commemorate the anniversary by introducing the new Taking the Pulse of an Active Volcano exhibit on May 15, 2010 at the Johnston Ridge Observatory. As the first new exhibit in 13 years, it will offer visitors a look at state-of-the–art volcano monitoring through new videos, hands-on displays and new information panels. You may think you've seen all Mount St. Helens has to offer but you haven't seen anything until you experience this new exhibit! Big thanks go to the MJ Murdock Trust and the Ben B. Cheney Foundation for financially supporting this exhibit. We're also going to begin a Twitter Project which will include a daily Tweet with updates on the volcano's activity 30 years ago. The series will begin on March 20, 2010 and will continue through May 18, 2010. Start following us at Twitter today so you don't miss a day. You'll find us at MSHInstitute!
As fun as it is to watch kids learn or hike across amazing landscapes or build new exhibits, we all realize that providing quality programs is serious business. We rely on people like you to support science education and conservation projects through your donations and participation. Now is the time to help sustain the Mount St. Helens Institute through a generous donation. By making a gift today, you will enable us to continue providing kids and adults with life-changing experiences at Mount St. Helens. Donating online is easy. Click here to go to our online donation page. However, if you would prefer to send a check, our address is 42218 NE Yale Bridge Rd. Amboy, WA 98601.
We couldn't do it without you and we will be proud to call you a member, friend and supporter!
Mount St. Helens Institute