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Mono Lake volunteer spotlight: Maddog

August 12th, 2018 by Anna, Mono Lake Intern

Maddog, spring. She says that making tasks fun is one of the best parts of volunteering. Photo courtesy of Maddog.

If you’ve ever walked down the boardwalk at Mono Lake County Park, or taken a sunset stroll at South Tufa, you have Maddog to thank for the clear trail. A dedicated volunteer since 2011, Maddog has spent many hours tearing out stinging nettle at County Park, repairing the stairs at the Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center, and trimming back the overgrown brush along the trail at South Tufa. “It’s a good way to give back,” she says of her time spent volunteering.

Although born in New York, Maddog moved around a lot in her childhood—spending time in more than eight different states before moving to Hawthorne, Nevada in 2004. She first visited Mono Lake in 2010 and was inspired to become a volunteer the next year. “I always like to be helpful. If someone needs dog sitting, or their yard picked up, I’ll do it. I don’t sit. I just keep moving,” she says. But Maddog says there is also a social component to volunteering: “The volunteers have become my friends. It feels like you’re on a team, and it’s fun to laugh and have fun with the group. Everybody seems to find their niche and the way they like to work.” Maddog also volunteers with Friends of the Inyo, does trail maintenance, and has volunteered at the Tioga Pass Run in recent years. She enjoys trimming plants and fixing trails because she likes enjoys making things look nice. It also reminds her of good times on an all-female landscaping crew that she worked on in the past.

Maddog with a pile of invasive white sweet clover removed by volunteers. Photo by Anna Boyes.

But Maddog does much more than trimming trees and clearing trail. She is also an avid snowboarder, cyclist, and dog-lover. She has taught snowboarding lessons at many different ski resorts across the country, including in Mammoth Lakes and June Lake. She won “Most Valuable Snowboard Instructor” three times at Nashoba Valley in Massachusetts, despite only learning to snowboard herself at age 50. She recently completed a 260-mile bike ride, and doesn’t plan on slowing down her active lifestyle anytime soon. “You need to keep moving or you’ll fall apart!” she remarks.

About Mono Lake, Maddog says “I just love the lake! Mono Lake is definitely worth saving.” If her passion for this place has inspired you to make a difference, please consider supporting the Mono Lake Committee by joining as a member or by volunteering! You can read more about our awesome volunteers here.


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