Interviewed by Haley Sutton, Land Stewardship Associate
How long have you lived in the Bay Area?
How did you learn about Save Mount Diablo?
I learned about Save Mount Diablo a few years ago while hiking with Sean Burke and Ted Clement.
When did you start volunteering with us, and why did you get involved?
I started volunteering in the fall of 2020 during the inaugural Pine Canyon cleanup event. I got involved because I wanted to start giving back to Mount Diablo, a mountain I care deeply about.
Which Save Mount Diablo programs are you involved in?
I am involved in the Pine Canyon cleanup; Discover Diablo; BioBlitz; helping with wildlife releases with The Kestrel Campaign and Lindsay Wildlife Experience; 10,000 trees in 10 years project (planting, protecting, and watering native plant species); and helping map California milkweed for the pollinator project.
About Frenchy’s Work
What do you enjoy about the volunteer work you do?
I enjoy giving back to the beautiful mountains of California that give so much in hopes that the mountains inspire future generations just as much as it has been inspiring me. I also enjoy meeting like-minded folks who are also passionate about nature, and I really enjoy learning from my peers and nature’s classroom.
What is the most challenging project you’ve worked on as a Save Mount Diablo volunteer?
The most challenging project I’ve worked on is definitely the Pine Canyon cleanup events. It’s challenging in terms of carrying as much water as possible to the graffitied rock areas in order to load the pressure washers to wash off the graffiti. It makes for a great workout and a great feeling of accomplishment when you see the graffiti wash off the beautiful sandstone.
Is there a memorable experience you’ve had as a Save Mount Diablo volunteer?
All my experiences as a Save Mount Diablo volunteer are super memorable to me but if I really had to pick, I would narrow it down to two. First is being a part of the kestrel releases. Witnessing the kestrels have that second chance to live their life free, is spectacular. Second would be joining the Save Mount Diablo land team for the BioBlitz. I learn so much from them and I love exploring through the SCU lightning fire complex to see the life that continues through the ashes.
How do you spend your time beyond your volunteer work with us?
I spend a lot of my time outdoors working in a school garden. I love hiking, trail running, walking my dogs, rock climbing, and continually learning more about my surroundings. Before volunteering with Save Mount Diablo I would always try to leave a place cleaner by picking up trash that I may see on trails. I continue to do so but I’m so happy to be a volunteer with Save Mount Diablo so that I can help even more.
Join Our Volunteer Crew! We Depend on You
Given limited staff, resources, and time, Save Mount Diablo depends on volunteers to take organizational effectiveness from excellent to exceptional. Save Mount Diablo seeks to connect a passionate community to our mission, cultivating a sense of ownership and proficiency in every volunteer position offered.
Whether you want to help with restoration and stewardship, build and maintain trails, help with events, assist in the office, lead hikes, or advocate for us, there’s a place for you. For more information, check out Save Mount Diablo’s volunteer opportunities.