Tag Archives: Trail Patrol

Giving Back To Nature… and Myself: Elfin Forest Trail Patrol

Next Training on January 19th 9:00am – 12:00pm

Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve

8833 Harmony Grove Rd

Escondido, CA 92029

Start the new year off with a commitment to give back to mother nature and spend more time outdoors. The Olivenhain Municipal Water District and The Escondido Creek Conservancy (Conservancy) are recruiting volunteers for their next Trail Patrol Training on January 19th. Trail Patrol volunteers sign up for monthly hikes at the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve (EFRR) and the Conservancy’s neighboring preserves to help maintain trails and protect the natural open spaces we love.

“One of my favorite parts of serving on the Trail Patrol is a bit selfish. I sometimes need the motivation to make time for a good hike, so I look forward to my 3-hours-a-month on the Elfin Forest Trail,” says Cindy Pahl, one of our newest volunteers. “At the same time, I love my role as an ‘ambassador’ for Elfin Forest, which feels less selfish and more giving,” Pahl continued. Volunteers get to explore the beautiful, serene trails while assisting visitors and submitting reports to our rangers and land managers.

“When a trail issue is reported by a trail patrol volunteer, rangers quickly respond with action.  This results in greater trail sustainability and a safer recreation experience for our visitors,” says EFRR Park Supervisor, Jeff Anderson. EFRR provides an outdoor recreation area for 150,000 visitors a year. EFRR park rangers and Conservancy land managers heavily rely on trail patrol volunteers to be the eyes and ears for the Reserve and report their observations while on patrol. “Our volunteers help us track where invasive plant infestations need to be addressed, whether preserves are receiving inappropriate human use like fishing, pointing out trails that need repair, and making note of rare or amazing wildlife phenomena!,” says Conservation Land Manager, Hannah Walchak, who helps manage about 2,500 acres of land in the Escondido Creek watershed.

Whether you’re patrolling on foot, mountain bike, or horseback, there is a place on the team for you. Plus, there are many trail options for various mobility levels. And you don’t need to be a wildlife expert to join! We’ll tell you everything you need to know and provide you with your own uniform you can wear as you’re out exploring the trails. Our next training is Saturday, January 19th from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm so don’t wait to sign up! You can register online at https://trailpatrol.eventbrite.com

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Volunteer Opportunities with The Escondido Creek Conservancy

Escondido Creek Clean-up Campaign
Escondido Creek Clean-up Campaign
The Escondido Creek Conservancy is co-sponsoring a one-day creek clean-up event.  This is a wonderful way to make a positive impact to the local community, the watershed, and our ocean.  The date of the event is Saturday, September 19th, from 9:00AM until noon.  The site is located at 1845 Harmony Grove Road, which is an urban portion of the Escondido Creek.  Interested volunteers can get more information and register by going to the following link:
Elfin Forest Trail Patrol Volunteers Needed

For potential volunteers looking for a more on-going opportunity, we are seeking new recruits for out Elfin Forest Trail Patrol program.  In a nutshell, our Trail Patrol volunteers help maintain the trail system at the Reserve, provide information to trail users, and serve as ambassadors of our natural lands.

Volunteers are permitted to patrol on their bikes!  Scheduling is extremely flexible.  Volunteers make their own shifts any time and day of the week that works for them (within regular park hours, of course).  All we just ask that Trail Patrol volunteers perform, at minimum, three hours of patrolling per month.

To become a Trail Patrol volunteer you have to:

  • be at least 18 years old
  • allow us to run a background check
  • complete the training course that we provide
  • contribute a one-time $40 Trail Patrol application fee (of which $20 is a refundable deposit)
  • obtain First Aid, AED, and CPR certification
  • patrol a total of 3-hours per month (exceptions permitted)
The next Trail Patrol training course kicks off in this month.  It consists of two 3-hour sessions held on back-to-back Saturdays (9:00-noon September 26th and October 3rd).  There are only twelve more spots available and we only hold these trainings once every four months, so the sooner you sign up, the better.

Training course topics will include a thorough explanation of the program and volunteer duties, park rules & regulations, safety & security, trail maintenance techniques, nature interpretation techniques, identifying native and invasive plants, an introduction to local wildlife, and how to use the specialized communication radio.

For the uniforms, there’s a standardized hat and a short-sleeve and long-sleeve shirt that we provide.  When volunteers can no longer continue participating in the program we refund $20 of the $40 application fee upon the return of the uniform.  Volunteers are responsible for providing their own hiking shoes and green-colored pants/shorts of choice.

All Trail Patrol volunteers must also have up-to-date adult First Aid, AED, and CPR certification (which is separate from the regular Trail Patrol training course).  Since we don’t provide the certification ourselves, volunteers have to shop around the various independent certifiers in the area and sign up for the one that is most convenient for them.

Groupon has a limited time deal right now for this certification, done entirely online, for just $20 (which is an incredibly good deal):

www.groupon.com/deals/national-health-care-provider-solutions-san-diego
Otherwise, here are some other links for certification classes:
Once interested candidates complete the Trail Patrol training course and get the First Aid/AED/CPR certification they’re all set to hit the trails!
Contact volunteer coordinator Simon Breen for more information or to get signed up: simon@escondidocreek.org