If you love to hike, and to meet fellow hikers, why not become an Outdoor Ambassador? Registration is now open for the 2017 training program, and training will begin in September. Training is free, and open to all members of the public.
With more than 550 acres of natural open space to manage, Redlands Conservancy created the Outdoor Ambassador program in 2014. Outdoor Ambassadors receive training in ecology, history, and communication. Then they volunteer to walk or bike on Redlands Conservancy trails, making contact with the public to help them have a safe, enjoyable, and educational experience. After the initial training, ambassadors receive ongoing training, have regular contact with each other, and enjoy opportunities to create and engage in special projects that help the Conservancy.
Outdoor Ambassador Coordinator Carol Blaney and Outdoor Educator Kathy Havert developed the initial training program to prepare volunteer ambassadors to be on site and personal with any and all users – hikers, birders, bicyclists, equestrians, lone walkers, family groups – to provide them with useful and interesting information
A cohort of 28 adults and 3 teenagers have graduated from the Outdoor Ambassador Training Program since its inception, and since then have logged hundreds of hours of “roving” time – the hours spent at San Timoteo Nature Sanctuary, Live Oak Canyon Open Space, and on the rural public trails. The “rove” is the best strategy to encounter users – Outdoor Ambassadors are on site, hiking and bicycling just like the users, available to answer questions when asked.
Trained Outdoor Ambassadors are required to volunteer at least two hours each month on site or in training. They receive a tee shirt, a badge and lanyard, and a hat so they are easily identifiable as Redlands Conservancy’s official Outdoor Ambassadors, helping everyone have a rich experience at Redlands’ wild places.