Volunteer of the Month | David Nichols

Meet David

How long have you lived in the East Bay?

I moved here from San Francisco and have lived here for 12 years.

How did you learn about Save Mount Diablo?

During the summer of 2022, I began looking for volunteer organizations that were outdoor based.

I was looking for a nearby volunteering organization that allowed volunteers under 18. I happened on Save Mount Diablo’s DiRT program and felt it would fit my criteria perfectly.

When did you start volunteering with us and why did you get involved?

I started volunteering with Save Mount Diablo in August of 2022 and I’ve attended all the DiRT events I could since.

I wanted to get involved because I’ve always had a passion for the outdoors and nature itself, and seeing an opportunity to be a part of something bigger than my day-to-day life was something I didn’t want to miss.

Which Save Mount Diablo programs are you involved in?

I’m solely involved in Save Mount Diablo’s DiRT program.

What do you enjoy about the volunteer work you do?

I love not just being outdoors but being outdoors and knowing I’m making an impact on our local community.

Whether that be helping plants thrive by giving them water to get through the summer or removing graffiti (an eyesore for all passersby), every aspect of the DiRT program betters the experiences of those hiking throughout the region, and I believe improves the ecosystem itself.

What is the most challenging project you’ve worked on as a Save Mount Diablo volunteer?

I can’t say for certain which project has been the most challenging as I have only attended so many projects and still have many more to be a part of.

However, the most difficult one so far would be the third annual Pine Canyon cleanup where we had to make our way down steep portions of the mountain.

Although making it down to the site was a bit challenging, cleaning up the graffiti and in the end looking at the graffiti-less wall felt very rewarding.

The difficult part came when I volunteered to take some of our painting equipment back up the mountain, which proved to be very challenging, but an experience I will remember and am glad I was a part of.

Is there a memorable experience you’ve had as a Save Mount Diablo volunteer?

My most memorable experience comes from the Pine Canyon cleanup. I mentioned the graffiti cleanup in the section prior, but our work made such a drastic change that it was incredibly memorable.

When we reached the cave that fell prey to the spray-painting, I was shocked when reading what messages were sprayed onto the walls. Knowing that the graffiti has been taken care of and the site is in a far better state makes it memorable.

Pine Canyon cleanup 2022. Photo by Sean Burke

How do you spend your time beyond your volunteer work with us?

Beyond volunteer work I love going outdoors and taking pictures of nature and landscapes, as well as doing a bit of astrophotography. I also enjoy biking, hanging out with friends, and going on hikes with my family.

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.

Top: David (left) with younger brother. Photo by Carl Nichols

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