Volunteer of the season: Meet Robert Feist, who met his wife on a Mt. Tam hike!


A volunteer gathers plants on a hill top

Hello volunteers!

Throughout the year, we try to show appreciation for our wonderful volunteers who spend every week with us helping to restore our national parks. These volunteers work hard to care for our natural habitat and help give our beautiful parks all the love and attention they deserve. 

We’re inspired by the grand landscapes and the lands we work, and the people who help us take care of these lands. For this reason, we’d like you to meet Robert Feist, a longtime Marin volunteer! 

What was your first volunteering experience? 

Robert started his journey at the Redwood Creek Native Plant Nursery in January 2004, where he helped create riparian zone, propagation and planting of native plant species and maintenance. He volunteered with the nursery until the very last day and attended the very last volunteer work day (work party, potluck, celebration party) before the nursery was decommissioned in April of 2015. 

What got you interested in volunteering with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy?

His sister is an avid gardener and is environmentally focused, and her passion inspired Robert to begin his volunteering experience with the Marin Park Stewardship program on March 7, 2012 with Naomi LeBeau. Price Sheppy took over the program on October 15, 2014, and Robert vividly remembers the apple cobbler Price brought to the program. We are still fortunate that Robert still comes out to volunteer with us!

Favorite spot within the Golden Gate National Parks? (Can be your favorite park to visit or your favorite site to volunteer.) 

Leading numerous hikes and trail work on Mt. Tamalpais and working where he could enjoy nature and share his enthusiasm with the community. 

Most memorable volunteering experience?

On one particularly beautiful hike on Mt. Tamalpais, Robert befriended a fellow hiker and exchanged emails. This ended up being his future wife!

A photo, poem, drawing, or song that you created in the parks / of the parks, that you would like to share with the rest of our volunteers:

“I want to contribute to this world to make it a better place. I’m not interested in making money, money is not a motivator for me. This is something to pass to future generations, like the past generations who saved the Marin Headlands. Hats off to them.”

Has volunteering in the Golden Gate National Parks changed your perception of the lands we steward? If so, how has it changed?

Robert expressed appreciation for the volunteer coordinators and staff in the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy and their ability to bring on such awesome interns and young people to continue the passion that the Bay Area has for local communities and environmental conservation. 

Something people do not know about you:

He’s a triplet!

Talking to Robert has got us thinking about the meaning of volunteering and giving back to the land and to the community. We take in some incredible sights and find some amazing creatures and plants regularly, but one of the best parts about our weekly programs is connecting with people from all parts of the Bay Area and beyond. Come out and join us—we look forward to getting to know you! See you in the parks!

Your parks need you now

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