In celebration of World Ranger Day, July 31, we asked Cheryl Bierwirth, Head Ranger at World’s End a few questions.
What do you do at Trustees? What’s your role? As the Head Ranger on our ranger team of 12 who welcome and interact with our many visitors throughout the year, I manage all the front facing and behind the scenes needs of the ranger team. Part of my role as ranger is to provide property and trail guidance. Some visitors only want minimal trail guidance, while others are interested in more detailed information about the history, flora, fauna, ecology, and/or geology that makes up Worlds End. Others want to know about the other Trustees of Reservations properties. Still others are interested in volunteering their time either at Worlds End or at other Trustees properties, or coming back to Worlds End with their students, so we rangers need a good breadth of knowledge of the trails, history, stewardship, and ongoing educational and event programming offerings at Worlds End throughout the year. As Head Ranger, I also manage the hiring, training, and retraining of new and veteran rangers. Our operating procedures and software tools to best manage visitation evolve over time so I am responsible for communicating and updating the ranger team on new guidelines and software tools. I very much enjoy the mix of visitor engagement and leadership skills required of the Head Ranger role.
What is important to you as a ranger at The Trustees and what do you want people to know about rangers in general. My highest priority in my role is to do my part to warmly welcome all who come to explore Worlds End have a positive, calming and rejuvenating experience as they wander and wonder at the natural and landscaped beauty of the tree lined carriage roads, rocky shores and wooded trails. All of the rangers I have had the pleasure of working with share a common love and protective spirt for the natural beauty that exists at Worlds End. Rangers appreciate that visitors are in search of the physical and mental benefits of the fresh air, bird songs, swaying grasses, fluttering butterflies, scents of wildflowers, and water views, so they all do their part to create a welcoming environment.
What brought you to the Trustees? As a member Member and regular visitor to many Trustees properties and with children who attended Trustees’ summer camps at Worlds End and Weir River Farm, I became aware of the ranger opportunity. The role seemed like a great fit as I re-entered the work force. My previous experiences in teaching and non-profit administration and management were a good complement to the Trustees mission of preserving and sharing open space forever, for everyone.
Do you have a favorite property ? I haven’t visited all Trustees properties yet, so for now it’s a tie between Monument Mountain and World’s End. The views and rock outcroppings at Monument Mountain are amazing. The combination of grasslands, trees, rocky shores, and salt water at Worlds End throughout the seasons checks all the boxes for my outdoor happy place.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not at work? Being with family and friends; playing tennis, soccer, golf, board games, and yard games; reading; wandering in the woods and open spaces; backyard bird watching.
What are you excited about that The Trustees is working on?I love the ongoing focus of protecting and sharing scenic, historic, and ecologically significant places across Massachusetts in our rural, suburban and urban communities. The work of connecting people to these places means more advocacy power to make sure our communities have a balance between natural and human made resources for all.
Learn more about World Ranger Day and the important work rangers do!