What Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation Means to Me
For me spring has always been a time of renewal. The sun shines a bit brighter, the weather gets warmer (eventually), and it’s a time where my motivation is at its highest. In early April I always feel like I can do anything, which is what lead me to becoming a part of Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation originally. With our 10th anniversary fast approaching this month I felt like it would be a great opportunity to reflect on why I got involved and the impact TMPF has made on me.
It’s hard to believe that my first involvement with TMPF happened over six years ago. Much like the months of March and April I was in a transition in my life. I had left a career in media and was working on a golf course maintenance crew while I tried to find my next move. I had a passion for storytelling and always had a love for the outdoors, but I had no idea there was any way to combine them into a new career. Enter TMPF and AmeriCorps. If i’m being 100% honest I had no idea what AmeriCorps actually was, even though I once covered an AmeriCorps clean up when I was a news photographer, but I saw an ad on Facebook for the position of Community Programs Coordinator VISTA for TMPF and decided to take the jump and apply for it.
My favorite part about becoming a VISTA was how sure I was after the interview that I needed to be a part of TMPF. The Executive Director at the time called me after to offer the position and I accepted immediately. To which he said “Woah there, slow down. Take the weekend to think about it and call me on Monday”. There was zero chance my answer was going to change. I felt like I had found my place and my people. As my term began I knew that I made the right decision. The friends I made and the experiences I had during my term as an AmeriCorps VISTA showed me there was a path out there where I could be making a positive impact in my community and still use the skills that I had gained from years in the media field. From seeing how kids were impacted through our Student Stewards Program to working with community partners promoting how everyone could get out and explore their parks, I truly felt like I was making the place I call home a better place to live.
The unfortunate thing about AmeriCorps terms is they come to an end, and I had to move on to another job. The skills and contacts I had made as an AmeriCorps member lead to me being successful in my newest position but I always said that if I ever had the chance to come back I would, and four years later I did. As the Communications Manager I get the opportunity every day to talk about how we raise awareness, appreciation, and stewardship of the parks, trails and open spaces that surround the Truckee Meadows. Or more simply my job is to go tell people to “take a hike” but in the nicest way possible.
I only played a small part in the first ten years of Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation but I am so excited to play a role in the next ten. I hope you feel like you want to be part of the future of TMPF as well! There’s no better way to kick off your journey of being part of the impact we all make in the community than by attending our 10th Anniversary Gala on April 23rd. It will be a night celebrating the accomplishments from the last ten years and talking about our dreams for the next ten. I’m ready to dream big about how we can make the biggest impact in our community and I hope you’re ready to dream with me.
About the Author:
Matt is the Communications Manager for Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation. After serving with TMPF as an AmeriCorps VISTA in 2017 he worked to promote AmeriCorps programs throughout Nevada for four years and is excited to be back at the place that started his journey in the nonprofit world. Matt studied Radio Television Production at the University of Montana and brings over a decade of experience to the TMPF communications team. When he isn't working you can find Matt watching baseball, hiking with his family, or being pulled behind a boat.