SVT Announces Volunteer "Bark Ranger" Program

Engaging Dog Walkers on SVT Trails

Do you love walking SVT trails? Engaging with others? Have a passion for the environment? If so, then you might have the skills to be an SVT Bark Ranger.

SVT is seeking volunteer Bark Rangers to interact with dog walkers at our Gray and Memorial Forest Reservations in Sudbury and our Greenways Reservation in Wayland in order to spread awareness of property rules and regulations. This will include hiking our trails twice a week from May through July to engage visitors about their dog-walking habits and encourage good stewardship.

By educating dog walkers about proper dog etiquette, Bark Rangers will play an important role in SVT's conservation efforts. We want to ensure our trails remain enjoyable for all visitors and also ensure that dogs do not harm critical wildlife habitats. 

A key part of the job will involve explaining the negative impacts that free-running dogs can have:  They can trample and damage vegetation and disturb ground-nesting birds and other wildlife. By running into a stream or pond, dogs add sediments to the water and destroy aquatic species. In addition, dog waste that is not picked up introduces harmful bacteria that can be drawn into groundwater.

Requirements

  • Commit to monitoring at least twice per week for at least 1 hour per visit, from May to July.
  • Submit a data-collection report after each outing.
  • Willingness to approach strangers and provide positive reinforcement when good dog behavior is observed or provide gentle reminders and suggestions when dog owners are behaving badly.
  • Possibly run dog outreach events at trail heads.

This is a pilot program that will help us assess the value of having Bark Rangers on our conservation properties. Training provided.

Want to make a difference? Become a Bark Ranger!
If you're interested, please fill out our Volunteer Application.

For more information contact Trevor Nelson at [email protected] or 978-443-5588 x137