The Trail Ambassador (TA ) program began in 2007 and expands the type of volunteer activities available to the public. Instead of doing typical "trail work" the club has always done with dirt and shovels, our TA provide a valuable service to the park through volunteer-based guide services, park interpretive information, and trail patrol functions.
Kennesaw Mountain is the most-visited Civil War battlefield park in the country with over 2,000,000 visitors each year! The park staff does not have the man-power to maintain 20+ miles of trails nor assist all the park visitors. Park staff welcomes the assistance of Trail Club volunteers as TAs.
After completing the training course, TAs work in coordination with the park ranger staff and notify them of emergencies and regulatory or resource violations on the trail system. Volunteers are trained by the National Park Service Staff to handle trail violators with appropriate dialog to avoid unpleasant confrontations.
Trail Ambassadors strive to educate park users to respect and enjoy the historical aspects of the park while obeying trail regulations. Some of our major challenges are:
Dogs off leash
Cars failing to stop for pedestrians at cross walks
Equestrians and hikers going off the designated trails
Here are few examples of typical recurring Trail Ambassador “patrols”:
A foot patrol is hiking any trail in the park while in uniform and carrying maps and a small first aid kit. TAs answer questions, treat minor injuries, educate and provide a comforting presence for park visitors.
Support of Civil War artillery or infantry demonstrations. TAs greet visitors and direct them to the demonstration area. A patrol involves covering two or more of the demonstrations for a day. Generally the best position is by the cannon outside the VC entrance 20 minutes before the demo begins. TAs can make a real difference here increasing the audience from 20 to 120 or more!
Support of monthly Trail Club work days. TAs register volunteers, provide safety patrols to let visitors navigate around work sites, deliver water and snacks and assist Trail Club Crew Leaders supervising the volunteer as needed.