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Get Involved: Douglas County

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Astronomy

Douglas County Astronomy Volunteers, working in partnership with the Denver Astronomical Society, promote the enjoyment and understanding of astronomical phenomena, history, and lore by providing educational and observing opportunities for visiting guests.   

 Astronomy Volunteer Responsibilities  

  • To instill a sense of enthusiasm, wonderment, and understanding of astronomical phenomena in the night sky. 
  • Help others understand the issues that diminish the ability to view the night sky. Instill the sense of stewardship and conservation values to help protect the sensitive night sky as an important natural resource. Share the connections of elements in the universe that help with varying tides, life cycles, migration ability for birds, navigation, and other phenomena.   
  • Assist in gathering resources that can be used for interpretive and educational programs and displays and provide assistance for viewing the night sky.   
  • Must be at least 18 years of age. 
  • Desire and the ability to work in the outdoors are required for field astronomers.  
  • Complete First Aid and CPR Certification and a background check with Douglas County.  

 Training 

  • Indoor and outdoor training at various sites may be followed by astronomy mentors.  
  • A variety of naturalist interpreters and astronomical scientists and volunteers and Douglas County Open Space staff members will contribute a wealth of interesting knowledge and connections to the sky and the Douglas County Open Space and NR program.  
  • Get to know the Open Space resources, helpful contacts, dark sky properties, and function of the Denver Astronomical Society as a partner.         
Learn more...

Ready to get involved?

Apply below for the Astronomy volunteer role.

Questions? Contact Jackie Sanderson
(303) 663-7652


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Bike Ambassador

The Volunteer Bike Ambassador will assist Open Space staff in having a fun and safe experience by educating visitors about the property and trail system and promoting proper trail etiquette.   

The volunteer will work with Open Space staff at various open space locations such as Dawson Butte, Spruce Mountain, Lincoln Mountain, and Columbine. Trails range in difficulty.  Trails follow the natural topography and wind through scenic meadows, breathtaking vistas, and forested landscapes. 

Primary Activities: 

  • Works under the direction of Open Space staff. 
  • Volunteers follow safety guidelines and practices provided by Open Space staff.  
  • Represent Open Space by being a positive visible presence within Open Space properties
  • When needed, assist in medical emergencies. 
  • Educate trail users on the proper use of trail etiquette. 
  • Inform Open Space staff of trail conditions.

Requirements 

  • Must complete a background check with Douglas County.  
  • Must be at least 18 years of age. 
  • Must be willing and able to work in various outdoor conditions and elements.
  • Must be First Aid and CPR Certified.
  • Must have your mountain bike, safety equipment, and other gear.   
  • Good physical condition is recommended but not required.
  • Desire and ability to work in the outdoors.

Training:  

  • Proper use of a mountain bike while interacting with Open Space trail users.
  • Proper trail etiquette when using a mountain bike on Open Space properties.
  • Trail safety.
  • Trailside bike repair. 
Learn more...

Ready to get involved?

Apply below for the Bike Ambassador volunteer role.

Questions? Contact Jackie Sanderson
(303) 663-7652


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Bluebird Box Monitor

Help to bring back bluebird populations by becoming a Volunteer Bluebird Box Monitor.  Large areas of bluebird habitat have been cleared for development, loosing natural nesting cavities in trees.  Substitute nest boxes monitored by volunteers create opportunities for bluebirds to regain nesting spots.  Your contribution as a citizen scientist by sharing gathered field information that is sent to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology will help track the population trends.   

 

Requirements 

  • Interest in wildlife conservation
  • Ability to walk across uneven land in spring and summer
  • Work with team members to maintain and monitor a bluebird nesting box route on a Douglas County Open Space property
  • Check boxes weekly and record stages of nest development, egg laying progress, and incubation data.
  • Clean out nesting boxes and help to repair or replace boxes as needed
  • Ensure all records in the NestWatch database are up to date.

 

Training 

  • Group trainings and materials will be provided, including bluebird box building instructions, NestWatch training, Bird Identification
  • Douglas County ethics training
Learn more...

Ready to get involved?

Apply below for the Bluebird Box Monitor volunteer role.

Questions? Contact Jackie Sanderson
(303) 663-7652


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Communications / Arts

Do you have skills for communicating with others through creative writing, photography, computer help in the office or from home, setting up events, displays, musical talents or other creative arts?  Volunteer to share these multimedia skills with the public to draw interest to conservation efforts and natural resources that bring Douglas County’s rich landscapes to life.  Whether it’s helping to convey etiquette for trail users, the website, or showcasing new properties, your talents can be valuable assistance to Douglas County Open Space and Natural Resources. 

Requirements

Your imagination is welcome!

  • Individual or group projects can be proposed to Douglas County Open Space and be chosen for their appropriateness for an activity, a property, or an audience.
  • Activities depend upon the needs of Douglas County Division of Open Space and Natural Resources.
  • Guidance will be given by Douglas County Staff to initially create a project, but suggestions and creativity from volunteers are strongly encouraged. 
  • Completed materials to be presented to the public will be reviewed and approved by Douglas County staff and possibly other professionals for content accuracy or appropriateness
Learn more...

Ready to get involved?

Apply below for the Communications / Arts volunteer role.

Questions? Contact Jackie Sanderson
(303) 663-7652


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History

You enjoy our Douglas County Open Space properties…but who were the people who lived here before us and how did they live in the land around us?  Were they traveling, living here seasonally, gathering, or planting food, settling, feuding, leading, or making memorable changes on the land…or light footsteps as they passed through?  Become a history volunteer to research their past and explore remaining documents, stories, photos, and structures that might bring to light their colored pasts.  Gather your findings of the past and bring them to light by sharing. 

History Volunteer Project Possibilities 

  • Create an intriguing biography of a local resident who was connected to a Douglas County Open Space property and reflect on a particular time and life experiences of that person.   
  • Research and gather information about our Open Space properties that can be used for group presentations, special events, field trips, history tours, interpretive signs and brochures, and website articles.  
  • Work with other history groups, such as Larkspur Historical Society and Douglas County Historical Society to acquire information or provide outreach to the public.     

Requirements  

  • History projects are dependent on the needs of Douglas County Open Space  
  • Guidance from Douglas County Open Space Staff to initially create the project is required, but suggestions from volunteers are strongly encouraged. 
  • Material to be presented to the public will be reviewed and approved by Open Space staff and possibly other professional historians for content accuracy.   

 Training 

  • Onsite training at various sites may be held for History Volunteers. 
  • A variety of Volunteer Naturalists, local history resource specialists, and Douglas County Open Space staff members can contribute a wealth of information and assistance for History Volunteers. 
  • Get to know the Open Space properties and natural resources, helpful contacts, Douglas County history maps, history of local settlers, Indigenous people of the area and their many connections of the land, and how to maintain or improve our historic resources. 
Learn more...

Ready to get involved?

Apply below for the History volunteer role.

Questions? Contact Jackie Sanderson
(303) 663-7652


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Mounted Patrol

Douglas County Mounted Patrol Mission Statement 

As Ambassadors of Douglas County, Mounted Patrol Volunteers are dedicated to public safety and protecting the county's land and resources. The Mounted Patrol educates and assists visitors in need and promotes the values and ideals of Douglas County Open Space.

The Volunteer Mounted Patrol assists Open Space staff by providing an additional presence on the trail systems and at some special events.  Occasionally, they lead guided rides for approved special events.  Finally, they may be asked to assist Search and Rescue.

Participation in the Mounted Patrol requires additional screening and verification of the rider's skill and ability, along with the horse's temperament and skills.  

Learn more...

Ready to get involved?

Apply below for the Mounted Patrol volunteer role.

Questions? Contact Kirk Inderbitzen
(303) 501-0522


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Naturalists

If you enjoy exploring and sharing the natural wonders of Douglas County with others, consider becoming a Volunteer Naturalist with Douglas County Open Space and Natural Resources. Volunteer Naturalists interpret the natural history of Douglas County and share their knowledge and experience with participants of all ages.  They may also develop and present interpretive programs, becoming Volunteer Naturalist Guides or Assistant Naturalist guides.   

Naturalist Guide Responsibilities  

  • To enlighten the public about local natural resources such as plants, animals, and geology, and the interconnections with the land at trail sites, on hikes, at display booths, and in presentations. 

  • Help others understand the issues that involve natural resources and their interactions with people and the forces of nature.  Instill the sense of stewardship through conservation to help protect sensitive natural resources.  

  • Assist in gathering resources that can be used for interpretive and educational programs and displays. 

  • Lead interpretive nature hikes, present public natural history programs, and provide hands on environmental field experiences for all ages in Douglas County.   

Requirements  

  • We encourage people with a passion for nature, some knowledge of local natural history, and a strong desire to learn more and share their passion with others. 

  • Must complete required trainings for Douglas County Open Space Naturalists 

  • Must be at least 18 years of age. 

  • Desire and ability to work in the outdoors is required for the Naturalist Guides.  

  • Complete First Aid and CPR Certification and a background check with Douglas County.  

Training 

  • Indoor and outdoor trainings at various sites may be held from late March through May.  

  • A variety of naturalist interpreters, physical and biological scientists and Douglas County Open Space staff members will contribute a wealth of interesting knowledge and connections to the natural world and the Douglas County Open Space and NR program.   

  • Get to know the Open Space properties, resources, helpful contacts, trails, wildlife, geology, plant life, local ecology, and history of the land.       

Learn more...

Ready to get involved?

Apply below for the Naturalists volunteer role.

Questions? Contact Jackie Sanderson
(303) 663-7652


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Orchard

Position Description: We need volunteers to help at the Research and Demonstration Orchard at Hidden Mesa Open Space.  General categories of work include:  

  • Variety trials 
  • Developing growing protocols for food crops to be successful in our Front Range climate
  • Growing vegetable crops for donation into local food banks
  • Planting and maintaining demonstration beds of native and pollinator plants
  • General orchard and garden development and maintenance
  • Operation and upkeep of various types of high tunnel greenhouses and various row cover systems
  • Propagation of fruiting and native plants

The facility is located on the picturesque 1,200-acre Hidden Mesa Open Space with trails, historic buildings and recreational opportunities.  Camaraderie develops between the various teams of volunteers.  Volunteers will have the opportunity to learn about fruit, nut, vegetable, native and pollinator plants adapted to the Front Range.  They will have the opportunity to learn or even develop innovative growing systems and protocols to increase the cropping success on the Front Range.  Many of the volunteers are certified Master Gardeners or have knowledge and experience with various crops and agricultural systems; they love to discuss myriad agricultural and horticultural topics.  Many volunteers increase the productivity of their own gardens and edible landscapes with the knowledge and experience they gain at Hidden Mesa.  

 
Learn more...

Ready to get involved?

Apply below for the Orchard volunteer role.

Questions? Contact Andy Hough
303-660-7460


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Researcher

Do you wonder what attracts a certain species of bird to nest in a certain area, or can you figure out why layers of rock seem to reappear in unsuspected places? Sharpen up your inner sleuthing skills to systematically investigate natural resources or possibly habits of trail users on Douglas County Open Space properties to establish facts and reach new conclusions.  Become a citizen scientist (or maybe you are already a scientist) and help others understand our properties better through you revealing work.  Your research can also help determine how lands will be managed for plants, wildlife, and other components of ecosystems.  Help a research project for a day or embark on a long-term project.

Requirements  

  • Research projects are dependent on the needs of the Open Space property  
  • Guidance from Douglas County Open Space Staff to initially create the project is required. 
  • Special tools, materials, access, and procedures for each project will need to be determined and followed. 

 Training 

  • Indoor and outdoor trainings at various sites may be held for Researchers and procedures for Special Projects.  
  • A variety of Volunteer Naturalists, Trail Crew Volunteers, local resource specialists, and Douglas County Open Space staff members can contribute a wealth of information and assistance for Volunteer Researchers. 
  • Complete First Aid and CPR Certification and a background check with Douglas County.  
  • Naturalist training is available
  • Douglas County Ethics Training
  • Get to know the Open Space properties and natural resources, helpful contacts, trails, and history of the land, and how to maintain or improve the resources.   
Learn more...

Ready to get involved?

Apply below for the Researcher volunteer role.

Questions? Contact Jackie Sanderson
(303) 663-7652


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Resource Steward

You enjoy our Douglas County Open Space properties…now, how can you give back to the land to secure the natural resources or make access to the properties more inviting?  Help for a day at a stewardship special project or give back more long-term by adopting an open space property, becoming a volunteer crew leader to lead groups of volunteers on stewardship projects.  

Volunteer Land Steward Project Possibilities 

  • Create monthly stewardship projects to engage individuals, families, and small groups to tackle a clean-up project, weed removal effort, trail maintenance, habitat improvement project, or other projects to enhance Douglas County Open Space properties.   

  • Guide or assist with a special project that has been requested by a Scout, company, church or school group, or other community-minded organization that will enhance an Open Space property.  

  • Celebrate Earth Day, Colorado Public Lands Day, National Trails Day, or Make a Difference Week by creating a beneficial project that will engage volunteers.  

  • Adopt an Open Space property to help monitor and conditions, assist with invasive weed removal, correct minor situations along the trail, record wildlife observations, pick up litter, and assist being the eyes and ears for the property.     

Requirements  

  • Service projects are dependent on the needs of the Open Space property  

  • Guidance from Douglas County Open Space Staff to initially create the project is required. 

  • Special tools, materials, access, and procedures will need to be determined and followed. 

 Training 

  • Indoor and outdoor trainings at various sites may be held for Volunteer Land Stewards and procedures for Special Projects.  

  • A variety of Volunteer Naturalists, Trail Crew Volunteers, local resource specialists, and Douglas County Open Space staff members can contribute a wealth of information and assistance for Volunteer Land Stewards. 

  • Get to know the Open Space properties and natural resources, helpful contacts, trails, and history of the land, and how to maintain or improve the resources.   

Learn more...

Ready to get involved?

Apply below for the Resource Steward volunteer role.

Questions? Contact Jackie Sanderson
(303) 663-7652


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Trail Ambassadors

Become the friendly, welcoming face of Douglas County Open Space. Greet visitors and provide them with advice and information to ensure they have safe and enjoyable outdoor experience while also protecting our lands and resources.  You can also have the option to work in a group of two to four volunteers at the trailhead or on the trail, sharing information about  good trail etiquette while also providing friendly reminders to hikers, bikers and riders about how they can best respect the Open Space properties.  

Learn more...

Ready to get involved?

Apply below for the Trail Ambassadors volunteer role.

Questions? Contact Amy Knopp
303-356-9538


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Trail Crew

The Volunteer Trail Crew Member will assist in Increasing community involvement with Douglas County Open Space and Natural Resources (DCOSNR) and its trail users through active participation in trail maintenance while increasing trail safety and sustainability. 

The volunteer Trail Crew Team Member will work with DCOSNR staff at various open space locations such as Dawson Butte Open Space, Spruce Mountain Open Space, Lincoln Mountain Open Space, and Columbine Open Space. Trails will wind through scenic meadows, breathtaking vistas, and forested landscapes.

Primary Activities:

  • Works under the direction of DCOSNR Staff.
  • Follows safety guidelines and practices provided by DCOSNR Staff.  
  • Represent DCOSNR by being a positive visible presence within DCOSNR properties. 
  • Assist DCOSNR Staff with Trail Maintenance work, including but not limited to:
    • Corridor Clearing
    • Tread Work
    • Installation and repair of water diversions structures
    • Trail development and improvement

Requirements:

  • Must complete a background check with Douglas County. 
  • Must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Desire and ability to work in the outdoors.
  • Good physical condition is recommended but not required.
  • Must be willing and able to work in various outdoor conditions and elements.
  • First Aid and CPR Certification.

Training:

  • On the Trail Training and Mentoring including but not limited to: 
    • Proper use of trail tools 
    • Proper storage of trail tools on and off the trail
    • Trail safety 
    • Trail development and improvement training  
Learn more...

Ready to get involved?

Apply below for the Trail Crew volunteer role.

Questions? Contact Tyler Dubin
(720) 682-6239


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Weed Warriors

Do you enjoy watching wildlife and listening to birds while hiking through picturesque landscapes?    If so, by joining the Weed Warriors, you will help to create experiences like this! In addition, we will teach you about noxious weeds and how to remove them.

Learn more...

Ready to get involved?

Apply below for the Weed Warriors volunteer role.

Questions? Contact Jackie Sanderson
(303) 663-7652


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