Friends of the Desert Mountains
WhenIt's flexible! We'll work with your schedule.
Where51500 CA-74Palm Desert, CA 92260
Citizen Science: The Citizen Science program gives anyone the opportunity to present a natural science project or study for consideration by the program chairs. If the project is approved, the presenter will then work with the program chairs to develop a plan for volunteer involvement. Volunteers have the opportunity to join with others to gain knowledge and experience while contributing to our local science database, assisting the leader of the project in the collection of data. The project could be of varying duration throughout the year(s). Volunteers may be required to hike various trails in the Southern California area. Recent projects include a water resources survey submitted by the UCR Center for Conservation Biology and an ongoing pinyon pine survey.
Clean Up: Friends provides corporate groups the opportunity to perform community service days alongside volunteers, cleaning up property that Friends has acquired. We may also occasionally have other large-scale clean up opportunities in and around the Monument. Members of the Volunteer Clean Up crew help with coordination and logistics, and yes, they get to get dirty too.
Education and Training: Friends hosts various public programs and lectures throughout the year. Qualified volunteers may apply to present programs or lectures, and all volunteers are welcome to attend public education events. In addition, all volunteers are eligible to attend Friends-sponsored Volunteer Trainings and Lectures led by local experts in a variety of subjects.
Events and Outreach: Our annual Coachella Valley Wildflower Festival, held each March here on the grounds of the National Monument Visitor Center, is the highlight of our community outreach year. Volunteers of all ages help to make this festival a memorable day of fun and education. Other events throughout the year may include events such as Monument anniversary celebrations, recognitions of local law enforcement personnel, or fundraisers. Friends also staffs booths at community parades, races, and fairs. Event Volunteers help with setup and teardown at events, staffing booths, and more. Friends may also offer community outreach speaking engagement opportunities for qualified volunteers.
Guided Hikes: Hike leaders research, prepare, and lead interpretive hikes on various trails (rated easy, moderate, or difficult). We will train you to be knowledgeable of flora, fauna, geology, cultural history, and current events regarding the Monument and Friends. Hike sweeps bring up the rear, ensuring that all hikers stay on the trail and with the group. 1st Aid & CPR certification recommended and will be provided when available.
Land Management and Monitoring: Friends currently holds title to 17,000 acres of conservation land in the 1.2 million acre Coachella Valley. A major part of our stewardship responsibility is to inspect those properties that are most vulnerable to human impact (dumping, OHV activities, invasive species infestation). We are also required to perform property inspections for all land that we acquire through grants. Volunteers have the opportunity to work with our land management staff while getting out on the land to the benefit of science and conservation. LMM volunteers will be provided with the appropriate training and tools, including the basics of GPS and how to inspect land for signs of trespassing, vandalism, and biologically significant resources. This will help to maintain a clear and consistent stewardship record on each parcel the Friends presently owns and/or acquires.
Trail Stewardship/Trail Ambassador: Trail Stewards work on trail construction and deconstruction. Stewardship volunteers will pick up litter, survey wildlife, maintain campgrounds by clearing and installing fire rings, paint facilities, and maintain trails by means of clearing vegetation, maintaining signs and more, all under the supervision of Trail Stewardship Leaders. Trail Stewards may use a variety of tools such as hand pruners, loppers, and shovels, and must wear proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including but not limited to gloves and eye protection before using any tools. Trail Ambassadors pick up litter and participate in simple trail surveys, condition reports, and interactions with hikers. 1st Aid & CPR certification recommended and will be provided when available.
Visitor Services: The Visitor Services program offers volunteer support to staff the National Monument Visitor Center. Program volunteers help to run the gift shop cash register, maintain inventory control, and greet and assist visitors, providing information on hiking trails, places of interest and general valley information. Volunteers may answer telephone calls and take messages as needed and help with clerical tasks such as filing, organizing, spreadsheets, etc. Operations may include facility maintenance and wildlife feedings. Livescan required for volunteers to operate the cash register.
Weed Warriors: Volunteers have the opportunity to get absolutely filthy, sweat profusely and laugh heartily with fellow volunteers and State and Federal partners while doing important work to protect our native flora and fauna. Volunteers eradicate various invasive species of plants that threaten native plant and animal communities with the use of tools and/or by hand pulling, monitor sites after eradication efforts, assist staff with seeking out potential eradication sites for future work days, and help with keeping data logs of eradication and monitoring efforts. Volunteers must wear proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including but not limited to gloves and eye protection before using any tools.
Youth Programs: Friends is currently in the process of overhauling our Youth Education program in order to provide more kids with the opportunity to get out on the land and learn firsthand about our valley and the importance of education. In addition, Friends currently works with the Desert Recreation District, offering hands-on, half-day educational programs to children in Desert Recreation District summer programs. Volunteers may be asked to work indoors or outdoors with kids, and may have the opportunity to work with live animals in the course of hands-on science learning (not required). Livescan required. 1st Aid & CPR Certification recommended and will be provided when available.
- Event Planning / Management
- Environmental Education
Good Match For
Teens People 55+
Requirements & Commitment
- Must be at least 55
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- Baby or Not Pregnancy Choice
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