When Jared Koenig came to his first trail volunteer day when Red Grade was little more than a few scratches on the mountain, he never imagined he’d be leading Sheridan Community Land Trust’s recreation program one day.

Koenig was there because he had been mountain biking for a few years and was “excited to help build a great trail so close to where I lived.”

“It was refreshing to find a positive and beneficial community organization so in tune with my recreational activities,” he remarked.

But it wasn’t just an organization that aligned with his passions that left the largest impact, Koenig said, it was the community he found by rolling up his sleeves and lending a hand.

“To this day, I still think about the great friendships and the sense of accomplishment I developed during my first times volunteering,” Koenig reflected. “We have an amazing community that is engaged and dedicated, and I have always enjoyed spending time with such positive people.”

“When the work is was done, enjoying the trail and seeing others enjoy it as well really drove home that connection to the community,” he affirmed.

On May 2, Jared was back at another volunteer trail night. Only this time, he was leading the work on his second day as SCLT’s Recreation Program Manager. It marks the first time SCLT has had someone in that position full-time, year-round.

A man in a small boat

Left: Jared captains his “Trash Raft” at a volunteer creek cleanup in 2021. Right: Jared thanks the volunteers who helped get Hidden Hoot Trail ready to open on May 2, 2023.

After an evening that saw 40-plus people quickly get Hidden Hoot Trail ready for human visitors after calving season, Jared stood on the bed of the SCLT truck and thanked everyone for their help and for creating a passionate, caring community.

That’s exactly what Koenig will prioritize as SCLT’s Recreation Program Manager.

“I am mostly excited about the growing recreation community that is taking a prominent role in stewarding and maintaining their recreation access and infrastructure. I look forward to meeting even more passionate folks from the area and seeing how our wonderful community develops.”

To that end, Koenig laid out why it is never too late for someone to get involved.

“You will discover new recreation opportunities and can help to create more for the community,” he offered, and explained, “You will develop friendships that will last a lifetime as you get to know others who have similar interests and passions. You can develop skills and confidence as you complete projects with others.”

“Best of all,” Jared closed, “you will be actively helping keep Sheridan County an amazing place to live and recreate.”

Have a question about a trail, in interest in helping out, or an idea about recreation access? Jared would like to hear from you. You can reach him by email at [email protected] on the SCLT Trails phone (307) 620-2479.