As visitation increases and funding decreases,
caring for the outdoors requires a significant shift in all our efforts.
Hands-on volunteer experiences are one of the most powerful means of creating a caring and engaged public, and volunteer programs – when done right – have proven to be an effective, affordable, and immediately available workforce capable of tackling our most pressing outdoor stewardship needs.
This Toolkit was developed by Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC), Colorado’s largest and oldest outdoor stewardship organization. Since 1984, we have worked with land management agencies of all types to engage more than 120,000 volunteers in over 1,000 public land stewardship projects – an estimated labor value of nearly $24 million.
Throughout the site, you’ll find free guides, hands-on training, and customized consulting to help your group start, enhance, or expand your outdoor stewardship volunteer programs. By sharing VOC’s proven practices, it is our goal to enable others – in Colorado and elsewhere – to take on more of this critical boots-on-the-ground work. With more of us actively caring for the outdoors, we will ensure the next generation will find these outdoor places at least as good – if not better – than what we inherited.
Trained volunteer leaders can help with everything from ensuring the safety and comfort of volunteers to the technical planning and execution of the project itself. The Skilled Volunteer Roles & Training Guide offers a starting point for your organization to assess your volunteer leadership needs, identify resources for training, and begin developing your volunteer leaders.
More information on how to recruit volunteers for leadership roles can be found in the Engaging New Leaders Guide; you may also want to complement the guides with hands-on training through VOC’s Outdoor Stewardship Institute (OSI).
Colorado Parks and Wildlife is a nationally recognized leader in conservation, outdoor recreation and wildlife management. The agency manages 41 state parks, all of Colorado’s wildlife, more than 350 state wildlife areas and a host of recreational programs. The mission of Colorado Parks and Wildlife is to perpetuate the wildlife resources of the state, to provide a quality state parks system, and to provide enjoyable and sustainable outdoor recreation opportunities that educate and inspire current and future generations to serve as active stewards of Colorado’s natural resources.