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Trail Ambassador Program Updates

June 29, 2022

The rainy spring has led to a slower start to the outdoor season, but our Trail Ambassadors have been getting out and representing at trails through it all! Thank you to all our volunteers who helped make a difference on the coast, throughout the Columbia River Gorge, and on Mount Hood this month. We couldn’t do it without you!

In an effort to continually improve the TKO volunteer experience, we have added to and updated a few aspects of the Trail Ambassador program, and we are excited to share them with you!

Materials

We now have laminated text-to-donate signs in the Ambassador bins to be displayed on the tables while volunteering. Through a partnership with Pledge for the Wild, TKO was able to create a unique campaign that allows those interested to donate directly to TKO simply by texting ‘WILD4GORGE’ to 44321. You can learn more about this collaboration and the work Pledge for the Wild does at pledgewild.com. 

Thanks to all of the folks who volunteered to help out with our updated Trail Reference Guide and Alternative Trails List, we have been able to replace the outdated version in our Ambassador binders! This list is meant not only to show our currently available Trail Ambassador locations, but to give a description of other popular hikes throughout each of our regions. Take a look through the next time you’re volunteering! 

Programs

In order to lower possible barriers for people interested in volunteering as a Trail Ambassador, we have begun a mentorship program that will pair experienced Trail Ambassador volunteers with untrained interested members of the public. This learning opportunity will allow those interested to get a look at what a Trail Ambassador shift is like before going through the training and the background check. Our next general public tickets are available on Saturday, July 2nd at Wahclella Falls. You can find tickets here. Volunteers who have expressed interest in being a Trail Ambassador Mentor will have general public tickets added to their Trail Ambassador shift and will receive an email from their regional coordinator if they will have a mentee with them at their shift. If you are interested in helping to introduce members of the public to our program, send an email to Loren at loren.payne@trailkeepersoforegon.org and we will add you to our list! 

We have added two new trails to our Trail Ambassador program since the last newsletter! Now when you search our events calendar, you will find tickets for Starvation Creek and Eagle Creek in the Columbia River Gorge and Mirror Lake on Mt. Hood. Tamanawas Falls will join the list at the beginning of July. 

Lastly, we have nailed down dates for our trail accessibility information training through a collaboration with Access Trails, and we need a few more volunteers! There will be an online training available after July 13th that can be taken on your own time followed by a field training session on July 17th. Are you interested in learning more about accessibility on Oregon’s trails? Do you want to volunteer as you hike a trail and take pictures? Reach out to Loren (loren.payne@trailkeepersoforegon.org) or Nat (natalie.ferraro@trailkeepersoforegon.org) for more details.

Thank you again to everyone who makes this work possible. We are looking forward to being on the trails with you in July!

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