Summer is almost here, which means longer days to play outside, cool places to explore, barbeques galore, and of course, a new batch of volunteer projects! As you plan your outdoor adventures this year, schedule time for stewardship so you can give back to the parks, trails, nature, and wildlife that make summer in Colorado so enjoyable.
Not sure where to start? We’ve collected ten of our favorite projects taking place this July and August; there’s something for everyone, so check them out below and head over to voc.org/volunteer to see what else we have planned!
1. CDT Celebration & Herman Gulch Trail Restoration Series | August 4, 10, & 11 | Ages 14+
Shortly after Colorado’s birthday on August 1, we’ll celebrate another milestone: the 40th anniversary of the Continental Divide Trail! To commemorate the occasion, volunteers will give the Herman Gulch Trail, located just off I-70 near the Loveland Ski Area, some critical TLC – then toast to the trail, and their hard work, with a post-project happy hour sponsored by Colorado Native. Registration opens June 1 >>
2. Women Only Trail Construction @ Floyd Hill | July 7 | Ages 12+
VOC’s female staff members and volunteer leaders are stoked to provide this one-of-a-kind opportunity for girls and women to get outside, get dirty, and give back! Created by women for women, we’ll be building a brand new trail near Denver with up to 100 outdoorsy ladies – and a few special guests celebrating women’s achievements in the outdoors. Open to girls as young as 12, it’s a great way to introduce yourself, your daughter, or your girlfriends to stewardship in a welcoming, supportive environment. Registration opens June 1 >>
3. Continental Divide Trail Reroute @ Alpine Tunnel | July 20-22 | Ages 18+
It’s our 4th consecutive year rerouting this part of the CDT, just west of Salida. There’s a reason volunteers keep coming back: wildflowers are in bloom and the remote, rugged setting offers an intimate weekend in nature while the altitude provides a welcome retreat from the summer heat. Plus, the drive to the project is half the fun, with ghost towns and hot springs along the way. Registration opens June 1 >>
4. Breckenridge Family Camping & Trail Construction | July 28-29 | Ages 6+
We look forward to this project every year! Our unique Family Camping trips take kids ages 6-11 on fun, educational adventures while those 12 and up work on the trail; then, at the end of the day, everyone comes together for s’mores and stories around the campfire. Plus, you can walk from camp to downtown, should you wish to explore in the evening. Registration opens June 1 >>
5. Trail Restoration @ State Forest State Park | August 4 & 5 | Ages 16+
We’re excited to be working in Colorado’s largest state park, which is also the moose-viewing capital of Colorado! State Forest State Park, about two hours east of Fort Collins, offers a backcountry feel as volunteers build bridges, turnpikes, and other structures to carry the Ruby Jewell Trail through precious wetlands and reduce the impacts of erosion. Between working and enjoying meals from our volunteer Crew Chefs, you’ll have the chance to visit alpine lakes – and maybe see a moose or two. Registration opens June 1 >>
6. Trail Construction @ Floyd Hill w/ Colorado Native | August 25 | Ages 12+
This is the final of three projects taking place at Floyd Hill Open Space this year, and as we continue our work in 2019, volunteers can make their mark on a new trail system that will ultimately connect to Clear Creek Canyon and the Peaks to Plains Trail, offering miles of hiking and mountain biking! Tasks are appropriate for volunteers as young as 12, and Colorado Native will be sponsoring a celebratory post-project happy hour with free beer for volunteers 21+. Registration opens June 1 >>
7. 14er: Redcloud and Sunshine Trail Restoration | August 17-19 | Ages 16+
It’s our 3rd time hosting this three-day project in which volunteers restore the main route to two of Colorado’s “fourteeners” (14,000-ft. peaks). Nestled between the San Juan and Rio Grande National Forests in southwest Colorado, it’s worth the drive: the rugged terrain makes this the perfect project for volunteers looking for a good workout – and even better views. Registration opens June 1 >>
8. Half-Day Ecological Restoration @ James Peak | July 21 | Ages 8+
Volunteers have been digging up invasive (yet pretty!) oxeye daisies from the James Peak Wilderness Area near Nederland for nearly 10 years. It’s our only half-day project this summer, making it an easy way for volunteers young and older to get their feet wet and make a BIG difference for the outdoors in just a few hours. At noon, we’ll wrap for lunch against the beautiful backdrop of James Peak. Registration opens June 1 >>
9. Trail System Construction @ Silverthorne | August 11 & 12 | Ages 14+
We’ll be creating a new loop for mountain bikers outside the Eagles Nest Wilderness near Silverthorne, connecting two existing trails in the Salt Lick system. With easy access to the trail and to town, we’re looking forward to a weekend of camping and exploring this popular Summit County destination. Registration opens June 1 >>
10. Trail Construction @ Urad State Wildlife Area | July 21 & 22 | Ages 14+
As Colorado’s newest State Wildlife Area, Urad’s undisturbed beauty feels a world away, even though it’s only an hour’s drive from Denver near Berthoud Pass and the town of Empire. To preserve this pristineness, we’ll be repairing an existing trail as well as building a new, sustainable hiking trail for visitors and anglers to enjoy the area while protecting the local fish and wildlife. Registration opens June 1 >>
There is no shortage of amazing places to explore in Colorado, and we encourage everyone to do their part in ensuring that these places remain beautiful, healthy, and accessible for summers to come.
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