Ready to volunteer?

In the days of C-19 we ask for a little more experience leading into your first volunteer event. Since we’ve added mitigations of risk around physical distancing, our volunteer leaders are not as able to hover about and answer hands-on questions throughout the trail party. And if an emergency does develop, we need our participants to be even more aware of our safety procedures. Don’t worry, trailkeeping is for everybody and we made it easy to get going.



TKO Safety Policy & Procedures

Start here with the TKO COVID-19 Safety Lab & manual to make sure you know what we expect from each of our volunteers before, during & after hitting the trails. We’ve developed this safety policy and procedures under consultation from a risk management professional and TKO’s health advisory team.



TKO Scout School

TKO’s ability to guide and support any person interested in giving back to trails has not changed. The TKO Scout School – Trails Eyes video is the first of 5 videos. Review each of those and you’ll be grabbing a tool and jumping up a trail in no time, you’re so close!



For the folks that reached 5 trail parties or more prior to the pandemic, you are nearly there. Just take a moment to view this TKO Safety Check & Emergency Action Lab. Get a baseline knowledge of our safety expectations and, if/when an emergency happens, you know what to expect. We are excited to welcome you back!



Just as we mentioned in the C-19 Safety Lab and it’s tucked away in the manual, review the calendar for where you want to go, register yourself and then sign the TKO e-Waiver for the place you’re planning to put tools-to-trail. Gather your trail work and C-19 PPE and personal hygiene kit and take the health self-assessment within 24 hours of the event.

EVENTS CALENDARTKO e-Sign WaiverHealth Self-Assessment


You know the drill by now, but just to be sure:

1. If you wake up feeling off, don’t risk it. We’ll never know if you’re right, but we will definitely know if you’re wrong. 

2. Trailhead safety talk to make sure you performed Steps 1 – 3, health self-assessment & signed the TKO e-Waiver. You’ll be verbally signed in, confirming you performed these requirements, accept the risks & are fit for service.

3. Keep your distance, where a mask and practice safe hygiene. Have fun, our crew leaders will take care of you from there.


Contracting C-19 can happen over a 14-day period. If you find out you have had direct exposure or have symptoms & get tested where it was within the timeframe where you attended a TKO event, we’d like to know so we can inform others. We report C-19 exposures to land managers through an incident report and will keep it confidential if you choose. Submit a notice to the crew leader directly, or you can send a note through our post-event survey.

TKO Trail Party Participant Survey
Masked up at a landlside reroute of the Oregon Coast Trail in Ecola's Crescent Beach overlook. Photo credit: Claudio Berstein.
New signage is in place at either end of a trail party to help inform hikers to say hi, mask up and keep distance before passing through. Photo credit: TKO North Coast Coordinator Brandon Tigner.
Trailkeepers getting out for the first time since the pandemic, at Latourell Falls. Photo credit: TKO Engagement Manager Nat Ferraro


In our efforts to offer volunteer activities to support public lands, the following conditions will be considered to ascertain if TKO can safely offer programs. We will only offer volunteer activities if our analysis indicates that our staff and volunteers will not increase their risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19 due to their participation. Key assessments include:

Organization COVID-19 Policies and Procedures are in place: TKO programs may resume programming when these documents are in place, are understood by all relevant staff and stakeholders, and we have the resources available to implement them.

Civil Authority Restrictions are lifted: TKO programs may resume programming when national and/or state Executive Orders allow our program to resume travel and do not exceed mandated gathering numbers of individuals necessary to operate our program model.

Medical resources are available for support: It is understood that COVID-19 related demands on our medical infrastructure are an important consideration for four reasons:

  • Additional demands on medical facilities/medical personnel may distract from our collective ability to meet the demands associated with COVID-19 and therefore may be irresponsible;
  • Additional demands may strip the physical/personnel resources away from the communities in which TKO operate (e.g. medical personnel may lack access to proper PPE) which might make medical care less available, or
  • May increase the likelihood of exposure to patients if care is sought. TKO programs may resume programming if COVID-19 models (www. covid19.healthdata.or/projections) and/or other available data indicate that the demand on the medical facilities in the areas in which we operate programs will not be overwhelmed during the times in which our programs are operating.
  • Our volunteer activity could spread the virus to a local community with limited medical resources.

Our partners are prepared: TKO programs may resume programming when our partners are secure and confident enough in their own operations/availability to provide us reasonable assurance that plans, schedules, facilities, etc., won’t remain in flux – thereby increasing our opportunity costs, financial risks, and risks to our people.

It is socially responsible: TKO programs may resume programming when the organization believes it is socially responsible for us to be operating. We believe that volunteer stewardship programs will be a key part of our national recovery effort and we want to begin offering those opportunities as soon as these activities can be done safely, including gaining assurances from experts, our board of directors and our larger stakeholder groups that they are comfortable with us going back to work.

We are prepared: Lastly, TKO programs may resume programming when: (a) we have  had the time to recruit and train sufficient staff, volunteers; (b) identify sufficient project/recreational partners, and; (c) we have the physical equipment and supplies to implement our planned activities.


TKO’s Safety Policy and Procedures for a COVID-19 Environment has been developed solely for use by Trailkeepers of Oregon (TKO) programs, in consideration of specific programmatic and organizational elements. While TKO gladly shares these methods to activate volunteers as a resource, these protocols are not meant to be applied to any other organizations without careful consideration and revision to match the uniqueness of that organization’s population, staff, mission, training, resources, environment, and risk tolerance. Anyone who seeks to adapt or otherwise utilize these protocols in their programming does so at their own risk and expressly agrees to release from liability, and hold harmless, Trailkeepers of Oregon; our physician advisor Dr. Peter Reagan MD and clinical nurse Elaine Keavney RN; and Experiential Consulting, LLC for any liabilities, losses, damages, suits, or expenses of any kind.



Interested in other ways to be a Trailkeeper?

Check out these other training opportunities.

Join a Trail Party
Scout School
Trailkeepers University

Want to Get Involved?

Send us a message to learn more about how you can help us advocate for Oregon’s trails. Or contact us at:

Trailkeepers of Oregon
P.O. Box 14814
Portland, Oregon 97293
(971) 206-4351

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