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.
There are many opportunities to get the word out to your community about your programs and projects – and many ways to ensure you are sharing valuable information and stories about where your programs and projects are taking place, what the volunteer experience is, and why this work matters. The Community Outreach Guide offers ideas and suggestions to help you start or expand your outreach initiatives, with a focus on online/digital outreach and face-to-face events.
Cal-Wood Education Center is a non-profit outdoor center that provides hands-on education to both youth and adults who otherwise may not experience the outdoors. Their mission is to inspire a greater appreciation for the natural world; to offer environmental education to those who would not otherwise experience it; and to provide unique educational opportunities in a special mountain setting. Cal-Wood’s programming provides outdoor and environmental education through residential science-based school programs, summer camps, weekend retreats, and family camp-outs.