The many trails throughout Orange County’s open spaces are what draw and allow visitors to…
Volunteers are an integral part of introducing the community to the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks, carrying out the mission of protecting, restoring, and enhancing Southern California’s urban wildlands. Irvine Ranch Conservancy and OC Parks have an extensive volunteer management program that provides nature lovers with an array of activities, allowing them to have world-class nature experiences on the Landmarks.
Volunteer Coordinator Ashley Brault began working with IRC in November 2020 to support and help manage the OC Parks volunteer program in a variety of ways, including record-keeping of volunteer information and service hours, organizing and scheduling volunteer trainings, collaborating with various partnership organizations to expand volunteer opportunities, and providing direct support to volunteers and visitors of our local parks and wildlands.
“Most of my professional background has been working with a variety of nonprofit organizations, so I felt that IRC was a natural fit for my experience while still providing an amazing new opportunity to learn about conservation and land management,” said Ashley. “I feel very inspired by IRC’s mission and programming, as well as my fellow staff members, which keeps me motivated to do my best and provide outstanding service to our volunteers and visitors.”
Ashley finds working with the volunteer program is a rewarding and inspiring experience, whether it’s from the volunteers dedication to Orange County’s native wildlands or the fact that they donate their time to support IRC’s mission and local communities.
Even though Ashley is a native Orange County resident, she always takes any opportunity to learn more about the local history of the Landmarks and the native flora and fauna that can be found there.
“One of my favorite parts of my job is gaining new insight and appreciation into the environment I’ve lived in for so many years and sharing that with my family and friends. Of course, being able to enjoy the fresh air and explore outdoors while doing so is a huge bonus,” said Ashley.
Whether at work or not, Ashley loves to be in nature! She enjoys hiking with her husband and dogs along Orange County’s beautiful coastal trails.
“I am a true Orange County girl, so I’m very partial to our famous coastal areas due to the stunning views and variety of hiking trails that can be found there,” said Ashley. “I also really love visiting the wilderness parks and the Irvine Ranch Open Space to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life and be truly present with nature. The parks I visit most often are Talbert Nature Preserve/Fairview Park and Upper Newport Bay.”
When she’s not spending her time on the trails, Ashley likes to spend her time cooking, gardening, reading, practicing yoga, and spending time with family and friends.
For more information about Irvine Ranch Conservancy and the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks, visit IRConservancy.org or follow the Conservancy on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.