Colorado Public Lands Day: Erosion Control Rock Structures @ Rio Grande Natural Area

Spend the day building rock structures in the San Luis Valley.
Type of Work:
Ecological Restoration, Flood Restoration
May 16, 2020
8:00 am-4:00 pm
Physical Difficulty:
Minimum Age:
Southern Mountains
Groups Allowed:
Payment Required:
Individual, Family, Friends Registration Organized Group Registration
You will be sent to a secure registration site.


Where You'll Be:
Spend your Saturday on the west banks of the Rio Grande River in the Rio Grande Natural Area, just north of the New Mexico border. This beautiful and remote area features
cliffs, bluffs, canyons, starry night skies, and distant views of the Sangre de Cristo and San Juan Mountains.

What You'll Do:
Celebrate Colorado Public Lands Day by improving river health and expanding your rock structure skills! Open to volunteers ages 14+, you'll learn how to build rock dams and walls called "Zeedyk" structures after hydrology and erosion master Mr. Bill Zeedyk. No experience is required, and this is a great project for volunteers who will enjoy learning more about ecological restoration and spending their day entirely on rock structures.

This single-day Saturday project offers the unique opportunity to camp with VOC on Friday and/or Saturday night, with breakfast, lunch, and dinner provided on Saturday.

Why It Matters:
The Rio Grande Natural Area can get hit by pretty powerful storms in monsoon season, and with large amounts of water falling on the land in a short amount of time, severe erosion can occur on the hillsides above the Rio Grande River. By building rock dam structures along drainages on a hillside above the Rio Grande, you will help improve habitat and ecosystem function and reduce heavy sediment loads from washing into the river and negatively impacting river health.

Need-to-Know Details:

  • Minors under 16 must be accompanied by an adult 21 years or older on single-day projects.
  • VOC will provide all equipment including tools and work gloves.
  • Cancellation: Our partners rely on VOC volunteers to accomplish critical stewardship needs, and our projects often have wait lists. If you need to cancel, please email Kendall Cox or call 303-715-1010 ext. 116 as soon as possible so we can free your spot for another volunteer and have a full workforce.

About Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC)
Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) is the state's oldest, largest, and leading outdoor stewardship nonprofit organization. Founded in 1984 to motivate and enable people to become active stewards of Colorado's natural resources, VOC has engaged nearly 125,000 people in more than 1,000 volunteer projects for a donated labor value of $25 million. Through award-winning youth and volunteer programs, leadership training, capacity-building programs, and collaborative efforts with nonprofits and land management agencies, VOC is an invaluable resource in Colorado, especially as our outdoor stewardship needs are approaching near-crisis levels. For more information, visit or call 303-715-1010.