August 8, 2022

Escondido Creek Volunteers bring Ideas, Energy, and Imagination to Elfin Forest Reserve

Jeff Anderson, Park Supervisor, Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve

The Escondido Creek Conservancy and Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve began their volunteer program back in 2009. Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve’s first class of volunteers included Tanya Ingorvate, a retired teacher; Jeff Swenerton, a retired principal; and Donn Wilber, a retired tooling manager.  Tanya, Jeff, and Donn were among the first volunteers at the Elfin Forest Interpretive Center, and they are still some of the most active volunteers today.  Everything you see and experience in the Elfin Forest Interpretive Center was created or influenced by these very enthusiastic and talented volunteers.

“I love interacting with the people, enjoy the comradery amongst volunteers, and sharing my passion for the outdoors,” said Donn Wilber, volunteer for the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve and Interpretive Center for the past 12 years. 

Volunteers are very special people who I have the pleasure to work with as a park ranger.  Volunteers greet visitors, act as tour guides, assist with our school programs, give a friendly pat to visiting dogs, provide nature interpretation, help with trail maintenance and, in general, provide another pair of eyes on the Reserve for the rangers.

In addition to their regular volunteering duties, Tanya, Jeff, and Donn all volunteer on advisory committees for the Reserve.

Working as a park ranger is a great job, but what makes it even more fulfilling is the privilege of collaborating with volunteers on projects, ideas, goals, and dreams. Having such great talent, imagination, and energy available, allows the education programs and displays in the Interpretive Center to constantly evolve and improve. 

Working with volunteers like Tanya, Jeff, and Donn is like driving an electric car that never needs to be plugged in!  It is refreshing (and keeps me on my toes) to be surrounded by a constant flow of ideas, energy, imagination, and motivation.   

I’d like to give a very special thank you to our original volunteers Tanya, Jeff, and Donn, and I’d like to thank all our volunteers who make a difference each and every day they interact with Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve visitors to educate them on the value of our precious open spaces in the Escondido Creek watershed.  I am grateful to work as a park ranger and am even more grateful to work with an amazing group of volunteers who help make Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve the special place it has become.

The volunteer program has become an important and influential part of the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve, and the education programs at the Interpretive Center.  Learn how you can get involved and volunteer at Escondido Creek Conservancy or Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve.

Volunteer at Escondido Creek Conservancy!

Volunteer at Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve!