Wanted: Volunteer Bark Rangers
Do you love walking trails? Engaging with others? Or have a passion for the environment? Help us keep Weston’s trails and open spaces enjoyable for everyone.
The Town of Weston is actively seeking volunteers to assist the Conservation and Animal Control departments in spreading awareness of the Town’s rules and regulations for dogs and dog owners.
Volunteer responsibilities will include hiking our trails, greeting visitors at a trail head, engaging and educating visitors about their dog walking habits, and collecting data, all while modeling good dog walking behavior and following COVID physical distancing safety precautions and wearing a mask. Please note that some of the Bark Ranger activities will be modified to accommodate current public health guidelines.
- Attend an on-site training with the Conservation and/or Animal Control departments
- Commit to monitoring at least once per week on average, depending on weather
- Track your observations after each outing
- Be willing to approach strangers and provide positive reinforcement when good dog behavior is observed
- Provide gentle reminders and suggestions when dog owners are behaving badly
- The ideal candidate would also be interested in providing outreach information at various community events and/or greeting visitors at trail heads
Ready to make a difference in your community? Fill out an online volunteer application today.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the next step?
To apply to be a Bark Ranger, please fill out the volunteer application. If you have any additional questions, contact Animal Control Officer Karen O'Reilly at oreilly.k [at] police.westonma.gov .
Which trails will I be visiting?
Our main focus is our two most popular properties: Cat Rock Park and the Ash Street Reservoir; however, we are more than happy to have Bark Rangers visit any of our Conservation Land properties. Please let us know your preference on the application.
Will I have to sign up for time slots?
No, you may visit any Conservation Land location at your preferred time.
Can I bring my dog when I am volunteering?
Yes, you may bring your companion(s) with you so long as they set the example for other dogs to follow. Please keep the number to a maximum of two dogs during your volunteer time.
How will I know what to say to people if they are not following the rules?
During our training session, we will be covering the methods that we have found helpful and we would like you to use when engaging with visitors. Not to worry,* we will make sure you are well prepared before sending you out!
*Additionally, you may shadow the Animal Control Officer until you feel comfortable.
How will I be encouraging good behavior?
We will provide each volunteer with the materials to distribute to visitors. This will include waste bags, brochures, and courtesy tags.
How will I be collecting data?
We will have a simple form for you to fill out following each monitoring patrol. You will track observations on the number of dogs/people, the approximate percentage of dogs not under control, and the number of poop bags/waste piles seen, as well as have the opportunity to provide additional comments.