We Celebrate our Volunteers

Each year BYLT volunteers contribute over 2,000 hours to building trails, restoring wildlife habitat, collecting data in the field, tending pollinator gardens, vegetation management, leading treks, and providing administrative assistance, among other areas. Our volunteers make our work possible. We would not be able to conserve and restore more lands or build and maintain the trails without their commitment to our mission.

Our Volunteer of the Year award recognizes those outstanding volunteers whose unselfish and dedicated service to BYLT and has made a significant difference in their community and mirrors the commitment to success in the BYLT mission statement.  

2023 Jonathan Keehn and Ralph Silberstein

The 2023 Volunteer of the Year Award was awarded jointly to Jonathan Keehn and Ralph Silberstein. Jonathan and Ralph are both members of the Wolf Creek Community Alliance and have been active volunteers with BYLT working along the trails of Wolf Creek. Together they acquired the property in Slide Ravine (a tributary to Wolf Creek) when the property went into default. Shortly after, they successfully revised a proposal to construct a trail between Bragg Avenue and Doris Drive which had been put forth 10 years prior after the former property owner petitioned to subdivide the property. 

In 2018, Keehn and Silberstein along with BYLT and other volunteers, started the process of building the trail, securing easements and grant funds along the way. Keehn and Silberstein worked as volunteers on the trail and using their experience and knowledge designed the bridges that would be needed to complete the trail across two watercourses. They also took the lead in constructing the trail bridges as both are or were licensed general contractors. 

After Slide Creek Trail was completed in 2021 the group began planning for the extension of the Bailey Trail. This trail project required a bridge over a NID canal. Again, Keehn and Silberstein designed the bridge and took the lead in its construction. The work on the extension of the Bailey Trail began in late 2022 and was completed in June 2023.


2022 Cathy Scott 

Cathy Scott is a longtime volunteer who continues to dedicate her time towards helping BYLT in whatever way she can. Whether it is helping at events, swinging a Pulaski on the trails, pulling invasive species, cleaning up Highway 49, and leading hikes or runs along BYLT trails, Cathy is always eager to jump in and make things happen.  She is known for her chainsaw skills and enthusiasm! 

A life-long love of the outdoors drew Cathy Scott’s family to Nevada County in the 1980’s. They share their small acreage with two horses:  An Arabian named Mandy and a BLM Mustang named Angel.  Exploring what’s around the next bend, whether on horseback, foot, bicycle, or boat is what motivates her to get out on local trails and waterways.  Cathy believes that organizations like BYLT provide vision, expertise, and structure. She finds that the guidance makes her volunteer efforts educational, fun, and purposeful, benefiting not only herself, but the community as well.