The New Year has arrived and we have big plans here at Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC). With nearly 100 volunteer projects on our calendar, we’ve got a lot to do… and we want you to join us!
Whether you’re an avid outdoorist or new to the whole nature thing, there’s a place for you with VOC. As you think about the year ahead – the hikes and trips you’d like to take and fulfilling those New Year’s Resolutions – why not make giving back to Colorado part of your plans?
Not convinced? Here are 9 benefits of volunteering with us:
Get outside without the hassle. Many people want to spend more time outside, but don’t know where to start. At VOC, we make it easy: all of our projects take place in beautiful locations, providing opportunities to explore trails and open spaces, and our team takes care of everything from cooking to finding and reserving a campsite. All you need to do is show up!
Spend quality time with friends and family. With group volunteering opportunities and projects for children as young as six, volunteering with VOC is a great way to unplug, unwind, and spend time together. By the end of the day, you’ll feel closer to one another and you will have made a huge difference for Colorado!
Learn about your environment. You might be surprised by what you don’t know! All of our volunteer projects address a critical need on public lands in Colorado, and you’ll learn firsthand about each area’s unique ecology as well as the maintenance challenges faced by land managers, such as invasive species or how erosion harms the sustainability of a trail.
Discover Colorado’s diverse landscapes. Let’s be honest: our state is stunning! With projects from the plains to the mountains, our volunteers explore everywhere from well-known destinations like Red Rocks and Hanging Lake, to hidden gems in every corner of the state – so you always know a good spot for your next trip!
Challenge yourself. There’s something rewarding about trying something new: whether you’re planting a garden for the first time, pushing yourself physically on a high-altitude project, or learning backcountry cooking techniques as a volunteer Crew Chef, our projects can help you push past your limits.
Play outside guilt-free. Our footsteps have an impact on our state’s wild spaces, and that impact must be offset with hands-on stewardship if we wish to preserve these places for generations to come. So, in the words of long-time volunteer Steve West, “Spend one day giving back and you can hike anywhere in the state of Colorado, guilt-free.”
Build new relationships. Ask any VOC volunteer and they’ll tell you that one of the best parts about volunteering is the people you meet. Our volunteers come from all walks of life: teens and seniors work side-by-side; brand-new volunteers mingle with those who have been with VOC for decades; and together, we’ve created a welcoming, supportive community for anyone who wants to take care of Colorado.
Earn bragging rights. When you spend a day pulling weeds or maintaining a trail, you immediately see the difference your work makes. You walk on the trail you built; you return months later to see the tree you planted grow taller, or the trail you closed now unrecognizable under native grasses. Besides your own instant gratification, you get to show off envy-worthy selfies (everyone looks gnarly holding a pickaxe or wearing a hard hat) and bring friends back to say, “I built this.”
Clear your mind. We all need to escape the drudgery of the daily grind sometimes, and spending time in nature has been proven to make people healthier and happier. So put down your phone, pick up a tool, and join us for a day outside to reconnect with yourself, each other, and the Earth.
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