White Mountain National Forest Trailhead Stewards Receive
Regional Volunteer Award
Campton, NH February 11, 2018 – The White Mountain National Forest Trailhead Stewards Program has been awarded the prestigious 2017 Eastern Region Honor Award for Volunteerism and Service. This award recognizes “Forest Service individuals or units who have demonstrated major achievements in building internal capacity to support volunteerism and community service on Forest Service lands and accomplish priorities with a focus on partnerships, 21st Century Conservation Service Corps, community groups and individuals, and corporate engagement.” White Mountain NF Supervisor, Clare Mendelsohn, received the award on behalf of the Trailhead Stewards Program at the Eastern Region Award Ceremony in Milwaukee, WI, February 8, 2018.
The Trailhead Stewards Program was developed and is led by John Marunowski, Pemigewasset Ranger District Backcountry and Wilderness Manager. There are currently 84 volunteer trailhead stewards that engage hikers at some of the busiest trailheads on the White Mountain NF to offer advice about current weather conditions and general hiker preparedness. Volunteers contacted more than 40,000 visitors in 2017, volunteering over 3,500 hours. During a local ceremony held immediately following the Regional award presentation, Pemigewasset District Ranger Brooke Brown presented awardees with an official certificate of recognition, and John Marunowski expressed his appreciation to trailhead steward volunteers for their “tireless and passionate work as the face of the forest." He also thanked his fellow colleagues, the Waterman Fund, White Mountains Interpretative Association, and the New Hampshire Outdoor Council for their support of the program.
Since 2014 the White Mountain National Forest has hosted a program designed to equip forest visitors with information they need before they begin their hike. From late May through October, volunteer trailhead stewards encourage outdoor safety and conservation by interacting with hikers, backpackers and climbers at trailheads to promote responsible enjoyment and protection of public lands. NH Fish & Game Dept. has stated that the efforts of Trailhead Stewards is helping to prevent costly search and rescue incidents.
#1: Trailhead volunteer stewards assisting hikers at busy trailhead in the White Mountain NF
#2: John Marunowski ,Pemigewasset Ranger District Backcountry and Wilderness Manager and Brooke Brown, Pemigewasset District Ranger