Do you love the Phoenix Mountains Preserve? If so, you can be a volunteer and we would love to have you!
North Mountain Visitor Center (NMVC) would not be open to the public without dedicated volunteers through Save Our Mountains Foundation. The Visitor Center is open every day of the week, 365 days a year now; but when we started in January 2011, we were able to open only on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays with five volunteers. Now, because of the volunteers who love the Mountains Preserve and are willing to donate their time to serve the public, we are open every day from 8:00 A.M. to noon. In the fall and winter, from October to April, we stay to 1:00 P.M. In the summer, between June to September we are open earlier and close at noon.
Hikers come into the Visitor Center mostly to ask our volunteers about the trails. Many people come to browse in the Visitor Center Gift Shoppe, which is open all the hours the Center is open and also is staffed by volunteers. Everything from water to hats and rocks to books are available for sale in the Shoppe. Visitors are amazed by the wildlife photographs taken by local photographer, Joel Pearson, whose photos highlight our website pages. Most visitors learn a thing or two from the volunteers, the wealth of information in the Reading Room, and/or the interpretative displays in the Exhibit Hall.
On weekends in cooler weather months, there is a leisurely, but steady stream of visitor traffic at NMVC. Folks come from local neighborhoods, far-off suburbs, out of town, and from many other countries. Sometimes they stop in before they hike and sometimes after. The experience of volunteering can be very rewarding listening to folks as they recount their experiences in the out-of-doors. Volunteers host the Coffee House socials on the first and third Saturdays at the Center and enjoy talking to our hundreds of visitors.
NMVC Volunteers are based at the Information Desk just inside the Visitor Center’s main entrance. We assign at least two volunteers at a time; some sign up for 5-hour full shifts and others sign up for 2 ½ hour half-shifts. We conduct bi-monthly (every other month) informational workshops for all new volunteers, provide emergency information, mobile phone numbers of personnel who are assigned to open and close the Center for the volunteers, and volunteer badges.
Save Our Mountains Foundation would like to expand the number of hours the Visitor Center is open every day as the number of our volunteers grows. And …stay tuned as we continue expanding our program and activities that will require volunteer help.
Cheryl and Bob Toloskiewich, NMVC Volunteer Coordinators, would like to hear from anyone interested in volunteering. Please Contact us You will be asked to provide your name, phone number, and e-mail address for Cheryl to help you explore your interests with the Center. Volunteers must be over 18 years of age. Sign up with a pal or a family member. It will be fun! See you at NMVC soon!