Volunteers Are Celebrated at Mount St. Helens Science and Learning Center at Coldwater

Release Date: May 17, 2012  

This year on May 18th, the newly renovated Mount St. Helens Science and Learning Center at Coldwater hosts the 32nd anniversary event commemorating the 1980 eruption.

The event includes recognition of volunteer contributions on the 40th anniversary of the Volunteers and National Forest Act of 1972. Many volunteer groups will be honored at this year’s eruption commemoration, including two national award winners and a regional award winner, the Mount St. Helens Institute.

“Volunteers have made a critical contribution to our mission of caring for the land and serving people. We literally couldn’t do it without them,” said Forest Service Chief, Tom Tidwell. “They have given more than 100 million hours of their time. Their service has been valued at over $1.2 billion in funds that we wouldn’t otherwise have.”

On May 18, 2012, the Mount St. Helens Science and Learning Center at Coldwater opens at 1 p.m. for volunteer recognitions. This will also be a chance for anyone to provide ideas about the concept of a Science and Learning Center, restaurant and possible adjacent camping opportunities.

“We are excited to begin this new chapter at Mount St. Helens,” said Gifford Pinchot National Forest Supervisor, Janine Clayton. “I encourage businesses, organizations and interested public who have inspiration and enthusiasm for partnering with the Forest Service to contact us and help chart the future of the Mount St. Helens Science and Learning Center at Coldwater.” Those interested are encouraged to call Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument Headquarters at 360-449-7800 to learn more.

“In cooperation with dedicated volunteers and partners, the Forest Service is committed to providing a high-quality, one-of-a-kind experience for visitors at Mount St. Helens,” said Tom Mulder, Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument Manager. “Recent investments have shown this dedication while providing local jobs, resurrecting dormant facilities and enhancing visitor experiences.”

According to a study by West Virginia University for the Forest Service, visitors to the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument rate their experiences very highly (98% strongly agreed or agreed they thoroughly enjoyed their trip.). The study also found three-quarters of all visitors are day-visitors who will stay an average of four hours and will spend over $125 on food, beverages, souvenirs and entry fees.