Volunteer opportunities with the Friends of the Wilderness Park

Please note that because of COVID-19 Restrictions, no group activities are currently allowed in the Wilderness Park, and many Friends programs and activities are on hiatus.

Current Volunteer Opportunities:

These are all done on an individual – not group – basis. If you are interested in any of these activities, please contact us at info@friendsofthewildernesspark.org, for more information about orientation, completion of necessary waivers, picking up tools and supplies, and logging volunteer hours.

Trash Pick-up

With the Second Saturday program on hiatus, more trash (including discarded masks and gloves) is appearing on the trails. Let’s all help keep the Park clean!

  • Walk the trails and pick up trash
  • Trash bags, gloves, and pick-up tools will be provided
  • Volunteer orientation must be completed and waivers signed before commencing
  • Wear the provided safety vest or Friends T-shirt while you are working
  • Contact us (info@friendsofthewildernesspark.org) for details

Evaluation of Unauthorized Trails

In the Park you may have notice a number of small informal trails branching off from the mail trails (fire roads). The 2016 Master Plan noted that although many of these unauthorized trails are narrow, they represent a potentially serious threat to the CHWP’s natural environment by fragmenting habitat, causing erosion, and providing routes for spread of invasive species. They can, however, add to the user experience by providing beautiful views, thrilling rides, closer contact with nature, and short cuts between major trails. The Master Plan charged the Friends with evaluating these trails, recommending to the City which trails added sufficiently to the user experience to be integrated into the formal trail network and which should be closed.

  • If you are interested in helping evaluate these trails, please contact us at info@friendsofthewildernesspark.org, for more detailed information about what unauthorized trails need to be evaluated and the criteria for evaluation.
  • We will provide you with maps, an evaluation form, and a safety vest.  On your second outing, turn in your safety vest and receive a Friend T-shirt.
  • We will provide Park Rangers with names of people authorized to do trail evaluation.
  • Volunteer orientation must be completed and waivers signed before commencing.
  • Wear the provided safety vest or Friends T-shirt while you are working.
  • Please be sure to conduct evaluations between Park opening and 10 a.m., when a Ranger is on duty. If a Ranger is at the Park entrance when you start, be sure to introduce yourself.
  • When you’ve completed one or more evaluations, please send your evaluation to the Trails Working Group leader.
  • When a number of evaluations have been completed, the Working Group will meet via Zoom to discuss the recommendations and decide what remains to be done.

Documentation of Park Flora and Fauna

Understanding what flora and fauna live in the Wilderness Park is essential for conservation management.  To start documenting the Park biota, we have initiated an iNaturalist project to collect observations of plants and animals in the Park.

  • You can make observations as part of your regular hikes, so no special forms or permissions are needed.
  • If, however, you would like to log volunteer hours documenting Park biota and get a Friends T-shirt, please contact us (info@friendsofthewildernesspark.org) for further instructions.
  • To contribute to our project:
    1. Go to iNaturalist.org and create a free account. You should see “SIGN UP” featured prominently on the homepage.   Otherwise, there’s a “Sign Up” link in the top right corner.
    2. On your smart phone, go to the Apple Store or the Google Play store and download the iNaturalist app.
    3. Once you’ve signed up, you can enter observations from either your phone or computer.  The iNaturalist site has a really good explanation  at https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/getting+started
    4. Observations made in the Park will automatically be included in our project!

Mapping Invasive Plants in the Park

“Invasive plant species degrade native habitat and displace native plants and wildlife, increase wildfire potential, increase slope erosion potential, and degrade recreational opportunities. Therefore, invasive plant species control and management are important components to preserving the integrity of CHWP’s native habitat.”     — CHWP Master Plan

  • In order to create an invasive plant species management strategy, the Friends are currently mapping invasive plant species in the Park.
  • Mapping invasive plant species does require some expertise in plant identification.
  • We use the Calflora Observer Pro App for mapping.
  • If you are interested please contact us (info@friendsofthewildernesspark.org) for details on how to participate.

Volunteer Programs currently on hiatus:

Second Saturday program

On the second Saturday of every month, Friends volunteer at the park to:

  • Greet park visitors
    • Provide a map of Park trails
    • Make sure hikers have water
    • Check that dogs are on leashes
    • Answer any questions about the Park
  • Pick up trash
    • Walk the trails and pick up trash
    • Trash bags, gloves, and pick-up tools are provided

Possible Future Volunteer Opportunities:

  • Helping to improve and maintain trails
  • Removing invasive plants
  • Becoming a Park docent

Volunteer T-shirts:

Anyone who volunteers more than once will receive a free “Friends of the Wilderness Park” T-shirt!

More information

For more information, contact us at info@friendsofthewildernesspark.org