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Old 08-28-2008, 07:06 PM   #1
David and Jo-Anna
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Volunteering at Organ Pipe CactusNational Monument

We wanted to let you all know that we are very excited to have been accepted as volunteers this winter at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, which is southwest of Tucson, AZ on the Mexican border. We will be working to locate, document, and remove exotic species (especially buffelgrass) which have invaded the park and are threatening the native cactus plants in the park.

We will be living and working in the park from December 1 through March 31.

If you are in the area, or on your way to or from Puerto Penasco, Mexico, please come visit us. The campground in the park is lovely -it is dry camping for $12, it is peaceful and beautiful. And we'll show you some of the neat trails to go hiking on in the park.

Life sure is Good!





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Old 08-28-2008, 07:35 PM   #2
HamRad
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David and Jo-Anna,

That is great. I love the high desert and this one is wonderful. We've visited twice. Once was just after a very wet winter and the flowers were out in riot formation! It was gorgeous. The next trip it had been much less wet so not nearly as many flowers. But whatever verzion you get it will be a good one.

I like their RV park too. Not really fond of the extremely limited generator hours but I understand why. If you have solar you are all set. No problems. They have a great watering station and dump. Just be very careful of where you step! The little sticky things are waiting for you!

If you're a worker there you may get a special place to park that has full hookups. Let us know.

Keep us informed as to how it goes.

PS. I forgot to mention that you will no doubt get posts that will tell you you have taken your life in your hands and there is an evil doer behind every cactus. There are problems to be sure but I doubt you'll ever have any trouble. Just enjoy as I know you will.
DH

Dennis
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Old 08-29-2008, 03:20 AM   #3
DHenry
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I bet this will be a great experience, let us know how it is. How did you find the opportunity to volunteer for this adventure?
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Old 08-29-2008, 04:19 AM   #4
kwolff7
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Congratulations. I had heard about the grass that was invading the park. We go to Rocky Point once in awhile and we will be sure to stop by for a visit. What did you think of Jasper, Lake Louise and Banff. One of my very favorite places. Karen
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Old 08-29-2008, 08:14 AM   #5
GOFNUTS
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Congratulations David & Jo-Anna,
We're sure you will enjoy it. Several of us went there a couple years ago. We had a great time. We will also be interested in how you found out about it.
kwolff7, even though you directed your question regarding Jasper, Lake Louise and Banff to David & Jo-Anna, we will have to put in our two-cents worth. We were there this summer with the Henry's. We almost preferred the Canadian Rockies over Alaska and, we would go back there, not Alaska, because of all the miles. It is absolutely gorgeous there. Jasper is less crowded than Banff by far, but they both have their own beautiful locations. Have you been there?
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Old 08-29-2008, 12:21 PM   #6
David and Jo-Anna
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In answer to some of your questions......

Organ Pipe has a campground for the volunteers where we will receive our site with full hook-ups, free use of washers/dryers and propane is also provided.

We knew about the Volunteers in Parks program and considered the possibility of volunteering in the national parks prior to our heading out on our great adventure last year. One of our goals was to visit as many national parks as possible, and to keep our eyes open to good possibilities for volunteer positions when we felt the time was right.

Last February, when we first visited Organ Pipe, we immediately fell in love with the park. We inquired about volunteering and filed an application during that visit. We initially applied to fill roles in interpretation or as campground hosts - we were willing to do anything needed to have the opportunity to be volunteers in that park. In March, we returned to Organ Pipe for another 12 days when the desert flowers were in full bloom and spent some time with the various volunteers finding out all we could about what it was like to be volunteers at Organ Pipe, all of which convinced us that this is where we wanted to volunteer.

Organ Pipe has a group of volunteers who return year after year (some for 5-6 years now) so we weren't sure there would be any openings for this year. As it turns out, we were initially offered positions as campground hosts. But we had seen the exotic species position advertised on volunteers.gov and asked if we could have that position.

Most park volunteer positions are posted on volunteer.gov - check it out if you are interested - you can search different parks and different positions.

Karen - we loved Jasper and Banff - the Canadian Rockies are gorgeous!!!!!

Dennis, we are well aware of the security issues in the park which borders Mexico. Most of the volunteers have not been affected by these problems and we will hope for the best.
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Old 08-29-2008, 12:52 PM   #7
HamRad
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David and Jo-Anna,

If you haven't visited Puerto Penasco you need to put that on your list of things to do. It is a nice little town with some good eateries and shopping. If you like to ocean fish this is a good place. They have many folks vying for your business. It is only about an hour south of Organ Pipe and the road is a very good 2 lane road.

Enjoy!

Dennis
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Old 08-29-2008, 01:09 PM   #8
David and Jo-Anna
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Thanks Dennis, we've been there and hope to spend time there this winter camping on the beach.

We're hoping at least one of our grandchildren will come down this winter and we'll take them there.

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Old 09-02-2008, 09:00 AM   #9
bob n pam
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Hooray! Your first volunteer adventure. You're going to really get hooked now. It is beautiful there and I know you're going to love it. Just remember to drink lots of water!

Pam
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Old 09-11-2008, 04:43 AM   #10
David and Jo-Anna
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Thanks Pam! We're really looking forward to it.

Where are you now?
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