I’m Jim Schneider from the Glens Falls-Saratoga Chapter and I’m the volunteer coordinator of ADK’s (Adirondack Mountain Club’s) Trailhead Steward Program (TSP). I work with Bobby Clark, manager of the High Peaks Information Center (HPIC). I got involved with this program as a steward three years ago and I love it. It’s hard work, but it’s good work, and there are great perks and benefits. Here are three that stand out to me:
- Trailhead Stewards give back to the places they love
News from the Adirondack High Peaks region has been dominated by stories of trailhead parking congestion, crowded trails, high use, unprepared hikers, and resource impact. ADK is taking a leadership position on this issue through educational outreach with hikers. Now in its third year, the Trailhead Steward Program, which is based out of the state’s busiest trailhead at the Heart Lake Program Center, helps visitors make good hiking decisions for an enjoyable and safe experience. We use strategies learned through our Leave No Trace and resource protection training to complement our welcoming smile as we share ADK’s mission with visitors to our property. This summer we expect to exceed 30,000 visitors in July and August alone. We need stewards for weekends during May, June, September, October and full weeks during July and August.
- Food and housing are included while you volunteer
That’s right! ADK provides a place for you and a companion to stay and they feed you! TSP volunteers stay in a large platform tent in the Wilderness Campground. Hot breakfast, a bag lunch, and family-style dinner are all provided at the Adirondak Loj, a historic building on the shores of Heart Lake. All you need to bring are personal items, bed linens, and your enthusiasm for the outdoors.
- Trailhead Stewards promote ADK’s mission
ADK is dedicated to the conservation, preservation, and responsible recreational use of the New York State Forest Preserve and other parks, wild lands, and waters vital to its members and chapters. Trailhead Stewards contribute to this mission and spread it to a wider audience, many of whom are first-time hikers. This is a great opportunity to not only protect the High Peaks Wilderness through outreach, but also to inspire visitors to be responsible recreators in other outdoor spaces that they might visit down the road.
You must be an ADK member, 21 years old or older, comfortable engaging with the public in sharing knowledge and assisting visitors in a fast-paced environment in all weather conditions. We provide extensive training and mentoring, but you should have a thorough knowledge of ADK, its facilities, High Peaks hiking trails, NYS DEC regulations and Leave No Trace principles.
Interested? Need more information? Have questions? How to apply?
Bobby Clark: firstname.lastname@example.org – 518-523-3480 ext. 122
Jim Schneider: email@example.com – 518-421-4975
Application deadline: February 21, 2020