Project photo from the Denver Post.
Where You'll Be:
Spend the weekend in the quiet, stunning beauty of the San Luis Valley. You'll camp in the Baca National Wildlife Refuge - home to hidden wetlands and an enormous elk herd - just 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. An hour North of Great Sand Dunes National Park, the area has many attractions with hot springs, international spiritual centers in Crestone, access to Wilderness areas, "Fourteeners", lakes, and more.
What You'll Do:
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 the Alpine Achievers Initiative, children ages 12+ will work alongside parents and family members to continue building the first-ever public trail in the Baca National Wildlife Refuge and remove old barbed-wire fencing to reduce the risk of injury to resident elk.
All volunteers will be treated to an amazing campsite at the base of the Sangre de Cristo mountains and meals from our volunteer Crew Chefs on Saturday and Sunday. 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.
Save the dates for our Family Camping projects in Stagecoach State Park near Steamboat Springs (June 22-23) and Silverthorne (August 11-12).
Why It Matters:
Your efforts will improve the wellbeing of local elk and the trail you help build will be part of the Eastern San Luis Valley Trail System, which will ultimately 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 under 16 must be accompanied by an adult 21 years or older on single-day projects. Minors under 18 must be accompanied by an adult 21 years or older on overnight projects.
- Volunteers are responsible for providing their own camping equipment. VOC will provide meals, 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 contact Emily Schaefer at 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 120,000 people in more than 1,000 volunteer projects for a donated labor value of $24 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 www.voc.org or call 303-715-1010.