In 2016, the City of Claremont approved the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park Master Plan & Implementation Plan, which recommended establishing a Friends group to actively work to preserve, program, support, and facilitate communication among park users, neighbors, and City staff, and to harness the energy of volunteers to help achieve the goals laid out in the Master Plan (Master Plan, pages 4.9–4.10; Implementation Plan, pages 4-5). The Friends of the Wilderness Park was established in response to the plan.
The Friends were first convened in 2017, and in response to the initial experience, the governance and committee structure was revised to its present form in 2018.
Friends’ activities are initiated and coordinated by a Leadership Team, who establish ad-hoc or permanent working groups to deal with specific issues as needed.
Current Leadership Team members:
Charlie Gale, Second Saturday Water Coordinator
Nancy Hamlett, Treasurer and Invasive Plant Working Group leader
Meg Mathies, Communications and Secretary
Jim Pinter-Lucke, Chair and Signage Working Group leader
Vicki Salazar, Volunteer Coordinator
Current Working Groups:
Trails (currently on hiatus until a new leader is identified)
The Friends signage recommendations to the City have now been approved. We are currently working with the City on the design of signage for the entrance kiosk and the design of wayfinding signs.
- Second Saturday program
On the second Saturday of each month, friends serve as volunteer liaisons to park visitors to reinforce trail etiquette and park rules, and make sure visitors and pets have sufficient water and know the layout of the park.
- Invasive Plant Species
Friends are identifying and mapping invasive plant species in the Park and drafting an Invasive Plant Species Management Plan.
- The Friends have been working on evaluating unauthorized trails. We are, however, currently lacking a leader to coordinate this work.
- A number of Friends have volunteered to assist the Rangers with trail maintenance. Again, we need some one to help organized the volunteers and coordinate with the Rangers.
- Documentation of Park Biota
- The Friends have an iNaturalist project (https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/biota-of-the-claremont-hills-wilderness-park) to collect observations of Park flora and fauna. Everyone is welcome to join this project.
- The Friends are interested in starting regular surveys of certain Park fauna, particularly butterflies and bees. If you are interested in either of these, please let us know.
For more information, please see our Volunteer page.