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Volunteer Conservation Corps

The Greater Worcester Land Trust established a Volunteer Conservation Corps in 2001. Volunteers have blazed trails, GPSed resources, constructed signage, maintained habitat projects, improved public amenities, made record of the uses and flora and fauna of the Trust’s conservation lands — even hewn logs for us. This group of volunteers has expanded and so have the opportunities. We invite you to join our corps, we can always use more hands.

Volunteer Conservation Ranger Program

The Volunteer Conservation Ranger Program is made up of volunteers with a desire to monitor, protect, and manage the open spaces protected through the efforts of the Greater Worcester Land Trust.

Volunteer Conservation Rangers begin by receiving training in what to look for and how to look for it, are provided with background materials and some basic provisions, and then assigned a property.

A Volunteer Conservation Ranger checks in on their assigned property once a month for a formal evaluation of current conditions, wildlife and habitat, use, and abuse. These observations are recorded in field journals and are supplemented with annotated maps and photos.

Each Volunteer Conservation Ranger is regularly solicited for thoughts and ideas for the improvement of wildlife habitat and passive recreational access to their property. These reports, maps, photos, and ideas are used by the Trust’s Stewardship Committee, Board of Directors and staff to continually improve conservation lands and to safeguard against the degradation of the natural resources the Trust has worked hard to preserve.

If you visit a property and are interested in filling out an online Conservation Ranger form (different from the form used for the monthly formal report), click here.

If you have an interest in the volunteer conservation program please contact Mary Caulway.

Volunteer Expectations

Very nearly all of the trails, signage, habitat, monitoring, erosion control and cleanup work on GWLT properties is done by volunteers. Want to know what to expect? Here’s an overview to help you prepare to join us:

  • We work as a team and treat each other well. Keep an eye out for each other to make sure that no one accidentally misuses a tool while out on the land.
  • Each person needs to wear proper clothing to be safe. Boots or sneakers are very important, and a hat, bandanna or head covering is wise for protection from insects and the sun. Only wear clothing you don’t mind getting dirty or wet!
  • A bottle of water is important to have on any work trip, no matter what the season or weather.
  • Pay close attention to the “how to use the tools” talk at the beginning of the work trip, even if you have heard it before.
  • Mistakes happen when you get tired. Stop and hand off your tool to a partner when you get winded.
  • If anyone gets hurt in any way, no matter how minor, make sure to let the crew leader know right away.
  • Knowledge of and ability to identify poison ivy is wise and each summer work trip should start with a reminder of how to recognize it.
  • We are in a USDA Federal Quarantine Area and each work trip should start with a brief reminder of how to identify the Asian Longhorned Beetle.
  • Every trip should end with a check for ticks.
  • We always look to leave the land in better shape than we find it each time we go out.
  • Enjoy yourself! These trails, forests, meadows, wetlands, brooks and streams are yours to study and enjoy!
  • Your volunteer work on the land entitles you to a year’s membership in the Greater Worcester Land Trust. Make sure the crew leader has your name and email address so you can stay up to date with our email GWLT Newsletter, “Metes and Bounds”!

.pdf Volunteer Information Sheet

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