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Tauck Moves Award-Winning Volunteer ProgramMay 11, 2009 By: George Dooley
Tauck World Discovery reports it is relocating its innovative guest-volunteer program from Yellowstone National Park to nearby Grand Teton National Park. The award-winning volunteer program, where guests traveling on two Tauck trips donate a small portion of their vacation time to preservation and beautification, has hosted over 10,000 volunteers in six years. The move also marks Tauck’s 85th year as a leading provider of upscale escorted journeys in North America.
“We’ve had over 10,000 guests volunteer since 2003, and we were actually starting to run out of suitable projects to work on in the areas of Yellowstone we visit,” said Tauck CEO Dan Mahar. “We’re very excited to be bringing our volunteer program, and the efforts and enthusiasm of our guests, to another of America’s premier National Parks.”
Grand Teton National Park Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott said: “Volunteers are a key part of getting essential projects accomplished throughout the National Park System, and we are pleased to welcome participants of Tauck’s guest-volunteer program to our Grand Teton team this summer.
“Grand Teton hosts nearly four million visitors a year, so there is no shortage of tasks that need attention to keep the park in tip-top shape. We know that Tauck volunteers will give generously of their time and talents, and we welcome the opportunity to work with such a supportive group,” Scott said.
Tauck recruits volunteers from among its guests on two regional tours that visit both Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, the 10-day “Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks” itinerary and the eight-day “Cowboy Country” trip (part of the Tauck Bridges collection of family travel packages).
Over the past six years, 10,807 Tauck guests have donated nearly 20,000 hours of labor to a variety of projects in Yellowstone, from controlling rain runoff and repairing flood damage to staining historic buildings and constructing walkways. Tauck volunteers working in Grand Teton National Park will assist with a similar range of projects.
Tauck’s volunteer program has garnered widespread acclaim, including winning the nation’s highest honor for historic preservation, the Preserve America Presidential Award, at a White House ceremony in 2006. It has also been honored by the U.S. Interior Department, the U.S. Travel Association, and the Pacific Asia Travel Association. Tauck also notes that the program has been equally well received by the volunteers who participate in it. Nearly 95 percent of participants have said they would volunteer again if given the opportunity, and 86 percent said that volunteering enhanced their tour experience.