• Email : info@champlainareatrails.com
  • Phone : (518) 962-2287
  • Address : 6482 Main Street Westport, NY 12993
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Volunteering

There are many ways you can volunteer for Champlain Area Trails: you can help build and maintain trails, join as a volunteer trail steward, assist with office work, lead hikes, teach about nature, reach out to others, and follow your imagination in finding ways to make trails, connect people with nature, and promote economic vitality.

   

Please consider how you want to get involved; how much time you have; what you want to do; specific skills you have and/or want to know. And mostly, we want you to enjoy your volunteer experience.

   

Here are some volunteer opportunities.  Click on the panel on the left for more details:

Outside

  • Trail Steward
  • Trail Adopter
  • Trail Crew Member
  • Occasional Volunteering
  •  Photography

Inside

  • Volunteer Coordinator
  • Office Volunteer
  •  Photography/ Marketing
  • For more info on volunteering or to get involved, contact the CATS office at (518) 962-2287, or email us.

  •    

    Click HERE to add your name to our email list to learn about our trail projects.
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Description of the Volunteer Trail Steward Position 

A Volunteer Trail Steward for Champlain Area Trails (CATS) maintains trails selected by CATS staff or the Steward on days and at times convenient for the Steward. This is different from a Volunteer Trail Adopter who visits and maintains the same trail or trails every two months. 

    

 The Volunteer Trail Steward: 

  •  Walks and maintains a trail selected by CATS staff or the steward when it is convenient
  •  Maintaining The Trail includes the following:

  •  Inspecting the trail
  •  Cutting branches and saplings growing into the trail &/or blocking views of trail markers
  •  As much as is practical, taking cut & fallen branches and logs some distance from the trail and scattering so the trail looks natural
  •  Sawing fallen logs and/or reporting that a chainsaw is needed to cut the log 
  •  Cutting or removing sapling stubs that could trip hikers
  •  Fixing and replacing trail markers
  •  Removing litter from the trail, parking area, and road 
  •  Fixing and/or reporting infrastructure needs (bridges, etc.) 
  •  An optional activity is to mow the trail(s) with a CATS mower or the Steward’s mower
  •  Reports actions and findings through a designated process 
  •  Is as a “trail ambassador” who talks to trail users, asks how they happened to hike the trail if they hike other CATS trails, where they are from, etc., and includes this as part of the reports 
  •  Cutting branches and saplings growing into the trail &/or blocking views of trail markers
  •  As much as is practical, taking cut & fallen branches and logs some distance from the trail and scattering so the trail looks natural

    

The Volunteer Trail Steward will provide the following tools:

  •  Loppers
  •  Hand saw
  •  Tool belt that holds hammer, nails, nail puller, trail markers 
  •  Hammer
  •  Nail puller
  •  Rake
  •  Shovels
  •  Gloves
  •   

Volunteer Trail Stewards will attend one or more training sessions and use the CATS Volunteer Trail Adopter Handbook as the reference for best trail management practices.

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DESCRIPTION OF THE VOLUNTEER TRAIL Adopter POSITION

A Volunteer Trail Adopter for Champlain Area Trails (CATS) maintains one or more specified trails over an agreed-upon time frame. This is different from a Volunteer Trail Steward who maintains trails selected by CATS staff or the Steward on days and at times convenient for the Steward.

    

 The Volunteer Trail Adopter: 

  •  Walks and maintains the trail(s) at least every two months and after strong weather events. 
  •  "Maintaining The Trail" includes the following:

  •  Inspecting the trail
  •  Cutting branches and saplings growing into the trail &/or blocking views of trail markers
  •  As much as is practical, taking cut & fallen branches and logs some distance from the trail and scattering so the trail looks natural
  •  Sawing fallen logs and/or reporting that a chainsaw is needed to cut the log 
  •  Cutting or removing sapling stubs that could trip hikers
  •  Fixing and replacing trail markers
  •  Removing litter from the trail, parking area, and road 
  •  Fixing and/or reporting infrastructure needs (bridges, etc.) 
  •  An optional activity is to mow the trail(s) with a CATS mower or the Adopter’s mower
  •  Reports actions and findings through a designated process 
  •  Is as a “trail ambassador” who talks to trail users, asks how they happened to hike the trail if they hike other CATS trails, where they are from, etc., and includes this as part of the reports 
  •  Cutting branches and saplings growing into the trail &/or blocking views of trail markers
  •  As much as is practical, taking cut & fallen branches and logs some distance from the trail and scattering so the trail looks natural

    

The Volunteer Trail Adopter will provide the following tools:

  •  Loppers
  •  Hand saw
  •  Tool belt that holds hammer, nails, nail puller, trail markers 
  •  Hammer
  •  Nail puller
  •  Rake
  •  Shovels
  •  Gloves
  •   

Volunteer Trail Adopters will attend one or more training sessions and use the CATS Volunteer Trail Adopter Handbook as the reference for best trail management practices.

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Volunteer Trail Crew Member

A Volunteer Trail Crew Member for Champlain Area Trails (CATS) is part of a specific or rotating group of people that maintains trails selected by CATS staff or the Crew on days and times convenient for the Crew. This differs from a Volunteer Trail Adopter who maintains the same trail(s) every two months and a Volunteer Trail Steward who maintains trails selected by CATS staff or the Steward on days and times convenient for the Steward. 

 The Volunteer Trail Crew Member: 

  •  Walks and maintains a trail selected by CATS staff or the steward when it is convenient
  •  Maintaining The Trail includes the following:

  •  Inspecting the trail
  •  Cutting branches and saplings growing into the trail &/or blocking views of trail markers
  •  As much as is practical, taking cut & fallen branches and logs some distance from the trail and scattering so the trail looks natural
  •  Sawing fallen logs and/or reporting that a chainsaw is needed to cut the log 
  •  Cutting or removing sapling stubs that could trip hikers
  •  Fixing and replacing trail markers
  •  Removing litter from the trail, parking area, and road 
  •  Fixing and/or reporting infrastructure needs (bridges, etc.) 
  •  An optional activity is to mow the trail(s) with a CATS mower or the Steward’s mower
  •  Reports actions and findings through a designated process 
  •  Is as a “trail ambassador” who talks to trail users, asks how they happened to hike the trail if they hike other CATS trails, where they are from, etc., and includes this as part of the reports 
  •  Cutting branches and saplings growing into the trail &/or blocking views of trail markers
  •  As much as is practical, taking cut & fallen branches and logs some distance from the trail and scattering so the trail looks natural

    

The Volunteer Trail Crew will provide the following tools:

  •  Loppers
  •  Hand saw
  •  Tool belt that holds hammer, nails, nail puller, trail markers 
  •  Hammer
  •  Nail puller
  •  Rake
  •  Shovels
  •  Gloves
  •   

Volunteer Trail Crew Members will attend one or more training sessions and use the CATS Volunteer Trail Adopter Handbook as the reference for best trail management practices.

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occasional stewardship volunteer program

An Occasional Stewardship Volunteer for Champlain Area Trails (CATS) participates in trail projects on an occasional basis. These are associated with “volunteer trail projects” where CATS invites people to come on a specific day and time to help make or maintain trails. These can also be “individual trail projects” where CATS identifies a specific trail need and asks for a volunteer or volunteers to complete it on their own or with our Trail Steward. 

   

 Tasks Performed by an Occasional  Volunteers include:

  •  Cutting branches and saplings growing into the trails
  •  Taking cut & fallen branches and logs some distance from the trail and scattering them so the trail looks natural
  •  Cutting or removing sapling stubs that could trip hikers
  •  Replacing and posting trail markers
  •  Cutting grass & weeds growing on the trail (CATS can provide the mower)
  •  Digging post holes and installing posts for signs, trail markers, fences at trailheads, etc. 
  •  Removing litter from trail & parking area; if the trail is along a road, pick up litter there 
  •  Working on infrastructure projects like bridges and boardwalks 
  •  Inspecting Trails 
  •  Mapping trails with a CATS GPS unit or phone app
  •  As much as is practical, taking cut & fallen branches and logs some distance from the trail and scattering so the trail looks natural

    

While CATS can provide tools, it would be helpful if the Occasional Volunteer has any of these tools: 

  •  Loppers
  •  Hand saw
  •  Tool belt that holds hammer, nails, nail puller, trail markers 
  •  Hammer
  •  Nail puller
  •  Rake
  •  Shovels
  •  Gloves
  •   

To become an Occasional Trail Volunteer, please call 518-962-2287 or email info@champlainareatrails.com. Thank you.

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Volunteer Coordinator

CATS has a big mission but a small team.  This position will help coordinate our volunteers to ensure they have fun and feel like they are making an impact.  This position is a long-term weekly position that requires a 2-4 hour weekly commitment. 

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Photography/ Marketing

Help capture the beauty of the Champlain Valley and CATS trails. These hi-resolution photos will be used in CATS marketing materials, such as social media, website, printed marketing materials, and press releases.  You don't have to be a professional, just have an interest and good eye for landscape and motion photography.