Friday, September 28, 2012

Day of Caring 2012

Landscaping at the Train Shed.
Every year in September, United Way of King County organizes Day of Caring where thousands of volunteers all take the day off from work and volunteer in their community. United Way asks non-profit organizations to sponsor projects and then group leaders - mostly from companies - sign up for projects and organize volunteers to work on those projects. This year, on September 21, 2012, the Northwest Railway Museum participated in Day of Caring by sponsoring two groups from Microsoft who worked on several projects. A third group will come in October from the Marriot Hotel, who were unable to come on the 21st but still wanted to participate.

The first project was for a group to go to Snoqualmie Falls to help with ivy mitigation and brush control.  Every year the English ivy that was planted at the site of the Snoqualmie Falls Hotel in the late 1800s grows robustly around the trees and vegetation, choking the life out of the native landscape. The Museum annually works to mitigate the ivy’s impact by cutting it back.  Day of Caring volunteers helped greatly with this project and also trimmed back some of the brush including non-native holly that has been starting to impede the visitor experience at the falls.
Rehabilitating benches for coach 218.

The second project was to beautify the Northwest Railway Museum Train Shed Exhibit Building by planting over 200 huckleberries, dogwoods, ferns, snowberries, cedar trees, sallal and Oregon grape. Volunteers were able to complete the landscaping around the Train Shed so that it is now returned to its native beauty.

Landscaping at the Train Shed.
Volunteers also worked at the Snoqualmie Depot: they washed windows, power washed the walkways, cleaned in the bookstore and swept. Before starting the Depot cleaning, the same volunteers spent the morning cleaning Coach 1590 for the arrival of the newly re-upholstered seats.  By the end of the day, Coach 1590 was shiny and had new cushions!

Staining a fence at the Train Shed.
Day of Caring volunteers worked on Collections Care rehabilitation projects too.  A group of five people worked throughout the day striping shellac in the Chapel Car in anticipation of additional installation of interior cladding in the next week.  They also helped disassemble benches that are being restored and installed in Coach 218 in the next year.

Stripping shellac in the chapel car.
All told there were over 50 volunteers from Microsoft, plus, to help coordinate the event, five volunteers from the Museum helped run the speeder (to move volunteers between work sites) and train set and another who helped supervise the projects.

The Northwest Railway Museum thanks all of the volunteers who helped out from Microsoft and from the Northwest Railway Museum. It was a very successful day! If you have a group that would like to come and volunteer for a day, please feel free to contact our Volunteer Coordinator Cristy Lake at any time - there is more information on the web site. Volunteering as a group for the day can be a fun way to serve the community and have an enjoyable time with friends.
Rehabilitating benches for coach 218.


David said...

Hiawatha, It's nice to see that volunteerism is alive and well in the North West! Being from East Tennessee...the Volunteer, volunteering, helping others's a way of life and related stories frequently serve as the lead stories on the local TV news. The train shed is looking good! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

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