About the Stewardship Site:
Volunteers will spend the weekend about three miles from the small town of Crestone at the base of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, known for their red hue at sunset and sunrise. The rural area, known as the San Luis Valley, is a stunning destination just an hour North of Great Sand Dunes National Park with hot springs and access to wilderness areas throughout. Volunteers will camp in the Baca National Wildlife Refuge, home to hidden wetlands and an enormous elk herd!
About the Volunteer Experience:
Celebrate Colorado Public Lands Day on this signature Family Camping project, which offers something for everyone, including individuals and volunteers of all abilities. While children ages 6-11 enjoy fun, educational activities led by VOC's Programs Manager and a local partner organization, children ages 12+ will work alongside parents and family members as they break ground on the new Eastern San Luis Valley Trail system. Tasks range from light shoveling and raking to moving large rocks and building structures for those interested in a more challenging experience.
All volunteers will be treated to an amazing campsite at the base of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, meals from our volunteer Crew Chefs on Saturday and Sunday, and an educational campfire talk with staff from Great Sand Dunes National Park. We recommend rounding out the weekend by exploring the nearby town of Crestone in the evening and taking time to visit the sand dunes on Sunday once the work day is over.
Great Sand Dunes National Park has generously offered to loan camping equipment to families who may not be able to participate otherwise. Availability is limited; please contact Taylor Driver for more information.
Save the dates for our Family Camping projects in Breckenridge (July 28-29) and Steamboat Springs (Sept. 8-9), too!
About the Overall Impact:
The Eastern San Luis Valley Trail System that volunteers help create will ultimately result in a series of trails that connect the Town of Crestone, Crestone Charter School, and the Baca Grande Sub Division with nearby public lands and recreational opportunities, including the Baca National Wildlife Refuge. While the majority of existing trails climb quickly into steep slopes and hold snow in the warmer months, the new trail system will travel through more mellow lands at lower elevations, significantly improving opportunities for residents and visitors of all skill levels to explore the area's remarkable natural areas.
- Minors: All youth under 16 must be accompanied by an adult 21 years or older on single-day projects. Youth under 18 must be accompanied by an adult 21 years or older on overnight projects.
- Parking, Food & Facilities: VOC will provide all tools and equipment, including work gloves and hard hats when needed. The campground offers full restroom facilities and is a 5-10 minute drive to the trail; the work site is an easy, few-minute hike from there. While campsites are provided, you must bring your own tent, sleeping bag, camp chair, and other supplies. Our volunteer Crew Chefs will provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Saturday, as well as breakfast and lunch on Sunday.
- Cancellation: Our land manager partners rely on VOC volunteers to accomplish critical stewardship needs, and our projects often have wait lists. If you need to cancel, please contact Jamie Burke at 303-715-1010 ext. 116 as soon as possible so we can free your spot for another volunteer and have a full workforce.