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Get Involved: Open Space & Natural Resources - Orchard

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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.  

Time Commitment:

Time Commitment: Main volunteer times are Tuesdays from roughly 8 AM to 1 PM.  Some work is done at other times too.  Autonomous individual or small group work is possible once a volunteer learns the tasks and systems.  Volunteers may work as little as one day per season or as much as they choose.   

Volunteer Benefits:

Benefits to Volunteer: Volunteers at the Research and Demonstration Orchard often feel a sense of gratification in the physical work they do there.  Frequently, a sense of nostalgia is satisfied by working with fruiting plants, vegetable production, native pollinators and being surrounded by a large flock of free-range chickens and ducks.  Altruism is standard fare; volunteers produce and donate between 1,500-5,000 lbs. of food into local food banks annually.  Of course, volunteers get to take some of the produce home too!   

Natural Resources - Botany, Maintenance - Gardening, Natural Resources - Environment, Maintenance - Land Restoration and Plantings
Botany, Environmental Ed/Interpretation, Gardening/Agriculture, Public Speaking/Presentations

Ready to get involved?

Apply online to become a volunteer.

Questions? Contact Andy Hough