“If we don’t feel nature in our souls, then we may not be interested in saving — and restoring — the natural world.”
Richard Knight had it right. The English man of leisure elegantly described something we Wyomingites know well — we care for what we love. And when we Wyomingites experience nature, we feel it in our soles as much as in our souls. At Sheridan Community Land Trust, feeling nature in your soles and your soul is exactly what we hope to inspire as we conserve open spaces and create new opportunities for more people to experience the beauty of the Bighorns or to go from their front doors to the outdoors easier than ever before.
Have you felt our nature in your soles and soul? Here’s a quick test: Do you love how convenient it is to get your steps (or pedals) in at Soldier Ridge and Hidden Hoot trails? Do you love the exhilarating thrill of a downhill ride on Let ‘em Roll or the breathtaking views from Elliot’s Saddle when you’re at Red Grade Trails? Do you like to tell your friends, family and even random people on the street about how awesome SCLT trails are?
If you said “Yes” to any of those questions, then you’re exactly the type of person who would make a great trail ambassador. Why? Because trail ambassadors are people who care for what they love — and you clearly love SCLT’s trails.
So what’s a trail ambassador do?
“They’re folks who frequent the trails that are interested in sharing the load of watching out for and taking care of the trails,” said Tami Sorenson, SCLT trails coordinator.
She explained that trail ambassadors allow SCLT to coordinate keeping trails open and in good condition by identifying common issues, sharing information and providing light maintenance like monitoring for trash, keeping the dog stations stocked and clipping back vegetation when needed.
“The beauty of it is that it can all be done simply when a person is out enjoying their favorite trail,” Sorenson continued. “The impact a few trail ambassadors can make is huge. I think of them as the backbone of stewardship; we couldn’t do it without them.”
But you don’t have to take Tami’s word for it — take Caryn’s.
“I ride, run and hike the trails with my dog, so it was an easy addition,” offered Caryn Moxey, who has been a trail ambassador from the beginning. “I use the trails a lot and wanted to give back, but didn’t have a lot of time.”
So, the opportunity to be a trail ambassador was perfect.
“I can help on my own time,” she said, adding, “It gives me a chance to support the trails and have some ‘pride of ownership’ for all of our wonderful community trails.”
How has she done it? She throws a pair of clippers in her bag and takes a garbage bag with her.
“It’s easy to keep an eye on trail conditions and do a little clean up and restocking supplies as needed all while getting some exercise and enjoying our amazing trails,” Moxey said.
And that’s exactly what it’s all about — caring for what you love because you feel nature in your soles and your soul. If you care for what you love and are interested in learning more about SCLT trail ambassadors, please email Tami Sorenson (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call the SCLT office at 307-673-4702.
Chris Vrba is director of marketing and development for Sheridan Community Land Trust.