There are many rewarding volunteer opportunities at Quail Hollow that promote the natural and cultural qualities of the park; here’s a complete list. If you are interested in joining one of these volunteer teams, contact us, or better yet, contact the county parks volunteer coordinator Margaret.Ingraham@santacruzcounty.us or 831-454-7927.
Many docent-led programs educate visitors, instilling an appreciation for the ecological value and abundant beauty of the park as well as its significant cultural history. Programs range from herp walks and star gazing to house tours and history hikes.
The Quail Hollow Trail Crew assists the County in developing and maintaining the 5 miles of hiking trails, which run through 15 diverse habitats. Crew leader emeritus, Al Keuter, began his volunteer service in 2003 and was later joined by other dedicated trail crew members, including Tim Jolly, the current team leader. The trail crew meets weekly throughout the year.
Eradication of the non-native French Broom began in 2002 and follow-up maintenance has continued thanks to Linda Brodman (from CNPS Habitat Restoration Team) and Chuck Baughman. This long-term project has sites throughout the park and volunteers can join the bi-monthly Saturday work parties in the winter and spring months. Other team projects include removing other non-natives, such as Bull Thistle, and removing the barbed wire left over from the days when beef cattle were kept at QHR.
Nest Box Monitoring
The Nest Box Project was started in 2002 by the conservation arm of the Santa Cruz Bird Club, with the goals of providing nesting habitat for local cavity-nesting birds and gathering information about their breeding biology. The project’s founders initially focused on the Western Bluebird, whose numbers in the county were declining. To date, over 120 of these beautiful birds have fledged from park nest boxes. Using protocol from Columbia University volunteers monitor the species and the number of eggs, hatches, and fledges of each box. (Visit Quail Hollow Ranch Nest Box Project for more information about joining.)
Ranch House (Visitor Center) Staffing
The ranch house, our Visitor Center, houses many interesting cultural and nature displays, but we depend on volunteer docents to keep it open. Today, it’s often closed, and we’d like to open it to the public every day! Greet visitors during the week and/or weekends, offer tours of the house, give advice on hikes, direct people to county resources, spiff up house as needed, suggest and implement new educational exhibits, assist with events at the visitor center, etc. Set your own hours; from as little as 4 hours a month.
Own or work on the garden projects around the visitor center, and small apple orchard, including weeding, clearing spots for new plants, suggesting improvements, planting, trimming, etc. Work with Friends of Quail Hollow to obtain plants, other goods for the gardens. A weekly or monthly task, perhaps 2 – 4 hours per month, any day of the week.
Hike leader / naturalist
Lead educational hikes. Depending on your interest … full-moon, astronomy, mushroom, flora, fauna, geology, history, and photography walks. Commitment is variable, from 2 hours a year to as much as 2 hours a month. Usually on weekends.
Take interesting photos of places, plants and animals around the park for posting on the Friends of QHR Facebook and other social media sites. Bi-weekly or monthly, to capture the seasons. Approx 1 – 4 hours per month, any days.
Fleeces for volunteers
Friends awards nice fleece jackets with the county parks emblem to volunteers who accumulate 500 hours at Quail Hollow.
Santa Cruz county residents bring a wide range of skills and interests to the park. If you have an idea; bring it to us, or even better, contact county parks volunteer coordinator Margaret.Ingraham@santacruzcounty.us or 831-454-7927.