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Ways to Help


Get Informed

1. Plan ahead and know when it’s okay to visit the Preserve which is home to hundreds of wildlife species that live here. The Preserve opens at 9 am and closes at 5 pm (Oct-May)/6 pm (June-Sept).  Visit Trail Hours.
2. Check the weather before you plan your trail activity. The Preserve is closed 48 hours after a heavy rain, and it is not safe to hike when it’s a red flag day.
3. If you live next to the hills find out what you can do to co-exist with wildlife.
4. Visit our website for interesting studies and reports about the history and biology of the hills.
5. Visit our pages on FacebookX (formerly known as Twitter)Instagram and our Ecologist’s blog.

Get Involved

6. Sign up for our email alerts to get involved in helping protect the hills.
7. Meet your fellow hikers. Join our group.
8. Attend our annual Earth Day event or one of our other events by visiting our website calendar.
9. Train to become a volunteer Trail Watcher, and help be the eyes and ears for our rangers.
10. Train to become a volunteer Docent, and help inspire people about the wonders of nature.
11. If safe, report any acts of graffiti in the process you see in the hills by calling: Whittier Police (562) 567-9200 -for graffiti at Hellman Park trailhead, Ranger Services (562) 698-1466 -for graffiti at all other trailheads or on all trails, or call 911.
12. Make a personal annual gift to the Habitat Authority.
13. Stay on the designated trails illustrated on the trail maps.
14. Support other preservation organizations and volunteer with them.

Enjoy Responsibly

15. Keep the trails clean and set a good example for others by picking up litter on your hikes.
16. Enjoy the hills by being an example for others by following all of the Preserve rules as posted.
17. Take plenty of water for you and your dog on the trails where dogs are allowed. Don’t hike with a dog when it’s warm and especially not when it’s hot; with no sweat glands and only panting available to disperse body heat, dogs are much more susceptible to heat stroke than we are.
18. Spread the word about hiking responsibly and thank fellow trail enthusiasts for picking up trash or throwing away their dog’s waste.
19. Expect to see wildlife while you are on the trails, and know you are a visitor in their homes.
20. Have fun on the trails!


Due to staff vacancies because of diminished funding, the Habitat Authority is currently unable to fully onboard and train new volunteers. Existing trained volunteers continue to act as the eyes and ears of the rangers, keep the trails clean, and provide guided hikes to youth and adults. This volunteer program is being administered on a limited basis. Thank you for your patience.

For additional information or to apply for a volunteer opportunity, please contact us at or call (562) 945-9003. Applications, interviews and background checks are required. Must be 18 years old and over.

Docent Volunteers (Currently not accepting new volunteers)

Have fun while spending quality time in nature. Learn about local history, plants and animals and more. We are looking for people who love nature and would enjoy working with children and adults. Docent volunteers must complete a docent training program. CPR and First Aid training are required. Upon completion, trained docents will be able to lead and assist on themed hikes offered to the public on the trails located within the Habitat Authority’s property. They will also be able to use education kits to help educate visitors on the trails and perform educational presentations at special events. Commitment is 48 hrs/yr minimum (includes training sessions and meetings)..

General Volunteers

Help with a variety of tasks on a short-term basis, no formal training required. Tasks may include such things as special events, assisting with mailings, program promotions, or light office duties. Commitment is 24 hrs/yr minimum (includes training sessions and meetings).

Trail Watch (Currently not accepting new volunteers)

Become a vital part of the Preserve by assisting the MRCA rangers maintain and patrol the trail system within the Habitat Authority’s property. Trail Watch volunteers report any violations or incidents directly to the rangers and provide general assistance and information to Preserve visitors. CPR and First Aid training are required as well as a special training program on trail safety. Commitment is48 hrs/yr minimum (includes training sessions and meetings)..

Service Learning/Trail Maintenance Volunteers

These are one-day volunteers for trail maintenance cleanup, restoration, and other special events. No orientation is needed. Liability waiver forms must be signed at the beginning of the program. Groups welcome.

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