May Volunteer Spotlight

We’re excited to re-launch our Volunteer Spotlight series! We could not do what we do without the incredible work of our devoted volunteers.

Learn more about one of our wonderful volunteers, Al, below!

Name: Al Coons

Town: Winchester, MA

Originally from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Al Coons has spent most of his life in New England, specifically Massachusetts. He spent 43 years as a high school math and statistics teacher and coach of seven sports, many involving outdoor education. Al knew he wanted to be a teacher since high school. He found his passion in experiential education, which involves classroom and outdoor learning by engaging students through hands-on experiences rather than lectures.

Al enjoys sea kayaking, mountain climbing, hiking, and camping whenever and wherever he can, but he especially enjoys being in the Fells, which is only a few doors down from where he resides in Winchester.

Since January 2023, Al has been volunteering with Friends of the Fells as an active Trail Adopter. Before discovering the Trail Adopter program, Al would pick up trash and work to keep trails clean and clear whenever he was out in the Fells or at Horn Pond in Woburn, another area that he visits frequently. When he found the Trail Adopter program, he signed up to help give back to the Fells in a more structured and communal way.

In addition to giving back to the Fells, Al enjoys exploring new areas of the park through his work as a Trail Adopter. He has found a new favorite spot on the eastern Fells, which is by the MWRA reservoir. His current favorite memory of the Fells is when he and a deer met face-to-face on the Rock Circuit trail and found a compromise so she could continue snacking nearby.

Al likes to say that at times the Fells is “just like New England!” In other words, even an urban reservation just miles from Boston can feel like a secluded area of New Hampshire or Vermont.

If you are interested in volunteering, Al recommends finding what you are excited about and taking advantage of all the opportunities and events that are available.

You can visit our website and learn more about getting involved or reach out to Maddie Morgan at