Trail Ambassador Program

Volunteerism during COVID-19

 

During these unprecedented times the Conservancy recognizes that individuals are seeking opportunities to volunteer outdoors. Studies have shown that being outdoors in nature is not only good for our physical well-being, but has tremendous benefits to our mental health as well. Breaking up the monotony of being indoors, while maintaining required social/spatial distancing – during this time, our open spaces are being enjoyed by many these days. We feel that our trail ambassador program fits the bill for helping ourselves and others in many ways!

 

In being a Trail Ambassador, you:

  1. Can get outside and moving on foot, by bike, or other personal trail friendly transportation on the trails and paths.
  2. Are able to help us in knowing of any park concerns we, and the City, should be aware of.
  3. Get to feel good about helping us and others during these times!

If this sounds like something you would be interested in, please click the link to sign up below! Our volunteer coordinator will reach out to arrange a “meet and greet” online to go over what is expected of you and reporting procedures. We look forward to welcoming you to the volunteer team and having more eyes, ears, and friendly faces on the trail!

 

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Do you find yourself walking, running or biking the Guadalupe Trails within the Guadalupe River Park at least once a week? The Guadalupe River Park Conservancy is launching a Trail Ambassador Program where individuals like you act as the eyes, ears and friendly face of the park. Volunteers help report issues along the trails, hand out trail maps to other trail users, and be a friendly presence in the park. The commitment is mostly flexible but would require at least 45 minutes a week.

 

Click here to sign up.

 

Click here for the patrol report form.

 

Read some Frequently Asked Questions

 

Seed funding for this program was provided by:

 

 

 


Frequently Asked Questions

 

Is the Trail Ambassador Program right for you? It is if you enjoy:

• Riding your bike, walking or running/jogging.

• Helping other people.

• Making the park a more enjoyable place.

• Being involved in the management of your local trails.

 

 

Is an application required?
Yes, we have a short informational form that we require all our trail patrol volunteers to fill out. This form is to help us understand how you will be participating in this program.  If you don’t want to formally sign up, please consider reporting issues via the San Jose Clean mobile app when you use the trails.

 

Apple iOS: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/san-jose-clean/id489715061?mt=8

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.apporder.mySanJose&hl=en

Do I have to wear a uniform?
Yes, we ask that all our trail patrol volunteers wear our green trail patrol vests; this way other trail users can identify you.

 

Do I need to check in at the Visitor’s Center or can I start from my house?
You do not need to start at the Visitor’s Center; you can start anywhere you would like. Just be sure to note your starting location and time on your report form.

 

What is a Trail Ambassador Kit? What is in it?
A trail ambassador kit is a collection of items that is available to trail patrol volunteers to help them accomplish different tasks.  It may contain things like park maps, a first aid kit, bike tire repair kits, graffiti removal, etc.  It can be tailored to what tasks you are willing to do.

For instance, if you are willing to pick up litter during your patrol, your kit would include a litter grabber and garbage bag.  If you are more into reporting issues and handing out trail maps and not as interested in picking up litter or removing graffiti (a likely scenario if you are on a bike), you would not take those things.

 

Can I patrol the trail with my friends and family?
Yes, you are welcomed to patrol with friends and family but they must also sign up to be a part of the program.

 

Do I need any tools or materials of my own, such as a smart phone, to participate?
No, we will provide everything you need.  If you have a smart phone and are willing to use it, great!  If not, we will provide a point-and-shoot camera.  Likewise with any other items you may need.  However, this might require that you begin your patrol at our Visitor Center.

 

Are there public restrooms in the park?
Yes, there are some restrooms in the park but because they are sporadically placed we recommend using the restrooms before your patrol.

 

Will I see wildlife in Guadalupe River Park & Gardens while on patrol?
Depending on the time of day, you might see critters. Trail users have reported seeing wild turkeys up by Hedding Street, and skunks are fairly common at dusk.

 

Will I have to interact with other trail users?
We ask that our Trail Ambassadors participate on an “at comfort basis”, meaning volunteers only engage in activities that they are comfortable carrying out. To some degree Trail Ambassadors may need to interact with trail users as Trail Ambassadors will be wearing their Ambassador Vests.

 

What are my basic responsibilities as a trail ambassador?

  • • Patrol on foot or bike on assigned trails and report suspicious or unusual situations via our report form or the Clean SJ app. Emergencies should be reported to  Law Enforcement.
  • • Provide non-enforcement and non-confrontational services to the public.
  • • Notify Law Enforcement of any trail hazards.
  • • General Q & A

 

Will you schedule my patrols or do I continue my normal hikes/rides?
You can continue your normal hikes. Every so often we may ask you to help us patrol a specific area in the park.

 

How often must I patrol to stay active–how many hours?
We ask that you patrol at least once a week and contribute at minimum 3 hours a month.

 

How do I report my hours and things I see while on patrol?
We will teach you to fill out our online trail reporting form which can be filled out anywhere you have internet access.  https://www.grpg.org/volunteer/trail-ambassador-patrol-report

 

I’m not sure I’m ready to go out on my own, will someone go with me?
If you do not want to patrol on your own, we will try to pair you with another Trail Ambassador who patrols your area of interest.

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