Did you know that volunteers lead nearly every single recreation activity on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks? Specially-trained naturalists lead and support hikes, mountain bike rides, educational nature walks, horseback rides, birding excursions and even photography journeys. From the mountains to the sea, volunteers help connect people to the land in numerous ways.
There are many ways to volunteer without any specialized advance training. You can find a list of Volunteer Activities at LetsGoOutside.org/volunteer. Filtering the LetsGoOutside.org/activities page for “Stewardship” or “Trail Work” categories will also result in volunteer opportunities happening nearly every day of the week. The site lists short-term volunteer opportunities for the general public offered by groups such as OC Parks, City of Irvine, City of Newport Beach, Irvine Ranch Conservancy and Crystal Cove State Park. You can also find these types of public volunteer events with Laguna Canyon Foundation, Newport Bay Conservancy, and the California Coastal Commission by visiting their websites.
For instance, Irvine Ranch Conservancy manages nearly 400 volunteers on behalf of OC Parks, City of Irvine and City of Newport Beach. These volunteers are all trained naturalists, some with additional training in specific areas such as equestrian activities, mountain bike riding, nature interpretation, land stewardship and trail maintenance. The Conservancy also helps administer the OC Parks volunteer program for all county park facilities, including Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park and Irvine Regional Park.
Orange County Fire Watch is another great way to volunteer your time to benefit local wildlands. Fire Watch Volunteers receive basic naturalist and public interaction training, and also complete a workshop that covers fire behavior, history and reporting.
Irvine Ranch Conservancy is holding a volunteer orientation on Saturday, October 24. For more information or to complete an interest form, visit LetsGoOutside.org/volunteer.