Public Hike Coordinator
As an organization working to protect the rich natural heritage of the Ottawa Valley region, CPAWS-OV firmly believes in connecting people to nature. In addition to offering programming for school, we also plan to offer hikes and excursions for members of the public starting in fall 2023. The goal of these outings is to connect people to nature in general terms, but also to raise awareness of conservation issues in the region and conservation issues specific to certain sites we may visit, finally, the hikes are opportunities for people to meet others and build social connections. The volunteer Hike Coordinator will be responsible for working with CPAWS-OV volunteers and staff to identify potential hike locations in the region, with both areas close to the city and accessible by transit, as well as areas farther afield where carpooling would need to be coordinated. The Hike Coordinator would help develop a calendar of hikes, at least one hike per month, ideally on a weekend day. This calendar would be posted to our website with a special page dedicated to the hike program. Prior to each hike, the Coordinator would be responsible for promoting the hike, including to CPAWS supporters and the public, to local hiking and community groups, field naturalists and others, including groups of new Canadians and others who may not have access to nature or necessarily be aware yet of what is available locally. The Hike Coordinator will coordinate requests for carpooling, will manage a database of attendees via an email address to be established using the CPAWS domain, will communicate important information with attendees, and answer any questions people may have. On the day of the hike, the Coordinator would be expected to attend the hike, help greet attendees, register people, take photos and gather feedback. The walk will generally be led by a CPAWS-OV staff member or volunteer. Following the hike, the Coordinator will send a thank you message to those in attendance and ensure names and contact information is entered into a hike database in order to contact attendees for future events.
Our region of interest and influence includes the entire Ottawa River watershed in Quebec and Ontario, we have an active interest in protecting Gatineau Park and the Greenbelt and are exploring new conservation opportunities in the Madawaska Highlands region as well as in the area between Algonquin Park and the Dumoine River protected area. Thanks to new funding, in 2023 we acquired a fleet of snowshoes for winter outings.
How will this opportunity benefit the volunteer?
This is a great opportunity for someone who enjoys being outdoors and exploring our region, it is also a great opportunity to hone skills associated with event planning, communications, logistics and organization. We reimburse mileage and any other costs associated with the coordination of the hikes, so the volunteer is not expected to be out of pocket for this project.
How will the organization benefit?
The organization will benefit in many ways, our current program of hikes is opportunistic and haphazard, which means not everyone knows of the hikes. We are not making good use of our Meetup group, for example nor are we keeping in contact as much as we could with those who have attended past events.
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