Interviewed by Haley Sutton, Land Stewardship Associate
How long have you lived in the Bay Area?
My whole life!
How did you learn about Save Mount Diablo?
Through friends involved in the watersheds.
When did you start volunteering with us, and why did you get involved?
I learned a lot about the damage done to the ecosystem by invasive plant species when I took the UC ANR California Naturalist Certification Program last year. I care deeply about wildlife (especially birds) and I wanted to do my part to help restore and preserve precious habitat.
What do you enjoy about the volunteer work you do?
I enjoy the comradery and being part of a community of like-minded people who care about the earth. With the hikes, it feels great to connect people with nature—to share its healing benefits and to promote stewardship of the land.
What is the most challenging project you’ve worked on as a Save Mount Diablo volunteer?
I was acting as a sweep on one of our hikes when one of the hikers started to flag, probably due to dehydration and heat exhaustion. I stayed back with him until he was rested enough to carry on. I was so happy for him that he was able to finish the hike with a positive attitude.
Is there a memorable experience you’ve had as a Save Mount Diablo volunteer?
I met another positive hiker when I was a sweep on Ted Clement’s Sauntering and Soloing hike at Mangini Ranch. Even though she was visually impaired, she seemed to really enjoy the benefits of being out in nature. It’s wonderful that Save Mount Diablo is able to provide that kind of opportunity for people, and I’m proud to be part of that.
How do you spend your time beyond your volunteer work with us, and what did you do before you started volunteering with us?
Mothering, writing and editing, hiking (especially in Scotland), birding, volunteering . . . I also help out at Lindsay Wildlife, Mount Diablo State Park, and the Peregrine Team in Pine Canyon.
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 photo: Haley Sutton