|Subscribe | What is RSS|
Contact: Zach Behrens, 805-370-2385Thousand Oaks, CA - The National Park Service is launching a local effort to recruit volunteers to help out in and around the Santa Monica Mountains starting in 2017, officials announced on the eve of #givingtuesday, the global day of giving. Residents can volunteer in a number of ways, from becoming a Bark Ranger, where you patrol trails with your dog to educate the public about proper dog hiking, to staffing the the Visitor Center, directing visitors to trails and activities throughout the mountains.
“People love their Santa Monica Mountains and it really showed this past year when we broke records in number of volunteers and the hours they put in,” said David Szymanski, superintendent at Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. “In all, we had close to 7,000 volunteers donate nearly 100,000 hours. Those are massive numbers, but we’re looking forward to beating that in 2017!”
Those high numbers translated to a 35 percent increase in the number of volunteers and a 20 percent increase in donated hours over the previous year. If those volunteer hours were instead performed by paid staff members, the estimated cost would be $2.3 million.
People interested in signing up should review the volunteer job descriptions at the recreation area’s website and apply (a few examples are listed below). A mandatory basic volunteer training will be held on January 21. Role-specific training will follow on later dates.
Highlighted Volunteer Positions
- Bark Rangers: As a member of our Bark Rangers volunteer team you can explore the Santa Monica Mountains with your canine companion and help visitors enjoy the park safely with their dogs.
- Education Specialist: Work alongside our park rangers to engage youth in fun and diverse programs. You will be able to share your love of plants, animals and history through the curriculum based programs with our future park stewards.
- Habitat Restoration Team: Restore unique flora habitats throughout the Santa Monica Mountains. The intense aroma of the native sages, furry friends meandering through the vast grasslands are just a few of the reasons you may want to volunteer for native plant restoration. Several different positions are available with time commitments ranging from several hours a week to several days a week.
- Horse Team: Help us care for the park horses. Be part of a team that provides daily care through feeding, grooming and exercising of the horses. Previous horse experience needed.
- More: The full list of positions, descriptions, and volunteer sign-up applications can be found here.