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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC)

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Volunteering Oportunities

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment, Forest Conservation, Land Resources Conservation, Sports, Water, Water Resources, Wetlands Conservation & Management

Mission: Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) is a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to motivating and enabling people to become active stewards of Colorado’s natural resources

Results: Founded in 1984, VOC is a nationally recognized leader in outdoor stewardship volunteerism, having helped more than 105,000 adults and youth get involved in and become inspired to care for Colorado’s outdoors.

Target demographics: Colorado's natural resources

Direct beneficiaries per year: 5,029 volunteers give back to Colorado's outdoors by giving 38,394 volunteer hours, a donated labor value of $926,831

Geographic areas served: Colorado

Programs: From April through October, we offer an exciting range of hands-on opportunities to volunteer outdoors and help care for Colorado's natural places. You can find opportunities in exciting locations all across the state, from urban parks to high 14ers and everything in between. From wildfire and flood restoration, to expanding access to trails, there are many ways to give back to our state’s incredible outdoors.

Community Stories

40 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Filip T.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

First time volunteer, it was great. 3 day project. Awesome people, good work, great food. Overall a great experience, hope to do more next year

Paendora

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is my first season with VOC. This is also my first experience volunteering. VOC just hits all the boxes. Stewardship of our amazing trail systems, sharing a passion for the outdoors, and choosing projects to explore new places mean going home both exhausted and rejuvenated. The projects are well organized, well led. Work is collaborative, the atmosphere supportive and encouraging. There is something for everyone!

Leah R.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working with VOC was so fun and enjoyable!

I contributed to constructing 4,065 feet of new hiking trail at the Pronghorn Natural Area and everything from interacting with the crew and volunteers to the work itself was extremely fulfilling. Even with undertaking such a large project, this was easily the most well organized volunteer project that I have been a part of and it is evident that the VOC crew truly cares about the work.

I have another VOC project coming up at the end of June and I absolutely can't wait to participate!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working with VOC has been a proud and rewarding experience to help maintain our state's wild lands.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have loved volunteering with VOC! I've been on two trips with them so far, and they were both excellent ways to get outside in beautiful places, meet friendly new people, get some exercise, and feel like I was giving back to our public lands. The VOC staff and volunteers are so helpful and fun to work with, and they run an amazing program that helps out places across the state. I can't wait to get out there next season!

George57

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a crew leader for VOC for nearly 50 projects. The training available and the wide range of valuable, fun projects make this a very rewarding organization to work with!

Casey25

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteer Outdoor Colorado makes it so easy to get involved. For my first volunteer experience, they took time to thoroughly explain the work I was responsible for, and made me feel very welcomed. It's an incredible opportunity to work together under a common love of the outdoors with people from all walks of life, and accomplish goals to preserve that love.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure of volunteering with VOC on a few projects now and each time I left yearning to do more. This year I had the pleasure of attending a week long backpacking trip in SW Colorado. It was the hardest work I have ever done, but it was the most rewarding work I have ever done. I met some really amazing volunteers and got to see a part of Colorado that most people only dream of. Already counting down till my next volunteer trip with them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

So much lifting and digging. Outrageous elevation. Immense climbing to reach the destination. And no income. This was not a chore, this was an experience. An incredible experience. Mind, Body, Nature, friendship and Spirit leaving me fulfilled in so many ways inside and out. This and future projects will leave my body moving on to the next universe.

Dave93

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Was lucky enough to volunteer for the Galena Ditch Trail near Breckenridge in July. This was a "Family" outing with camping available. It was extremely well organized with events for kids during the day, food for all, entertainment and rewarding work.

It was nice to see the side of a mountain with no trail change to have a bike/hike trail for use by all -- 3000 feet of new trail, connecting to the Colorado Trail.

The event was my wife and my first VOC event and we will be doing more in the future!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering with VOC is hard work and so rewarding. It can be difficult sometimes to find meaningful volunteer work that provides tangible results, but that's not the case with VOC.
As a first-timer, I was pleased to see a variety of options for people of all skill levels and an extremely well-organized operation that made it simple to be involved. I got home and immediately signed up for my next volunteer project with VOC.

Sarah319

Volunteer

Rating: 5

VOC blew me away with its organization, friendliness and complete competence in every aspect of both trail building and organizing volunteers. As an added bonus, they are family friendly and work with youth through their youth mentor program. I would recommend a VOC project time and time again! Thanks VOC!

1 Lisa564

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado is the whole package when it comes to volunteer work. The projects are meaningful, well organized and include projects for the whole family. Not to mention, when you volunteer you get the opportunity to see some of the most breathtaking scenery our great state has to offer. We've been signing up every summer for 7 years and hopefully will be for many more. We couldn't be more proud to work with this great organization!

Anycolorulik

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization is legit! High quality people gathering in breath-taking places to build trails, protect the environment, and be stewarts of the land. I'm hooked!!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado has hosted our elementary school and Girl Scout troop on a variety of stewardship projects - trail building, invasive weed removal, and urban gardening. The VOC staff are high energy, organized, and reliable. The kids (and their adult chaperones), many of whom are not used to hard physical work, leave the projects tired, dirty, and proud. Thanks, VOC!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Just went on my first project with VOC. They are a great group of people doing great things. It's clear that their years of experience helps them do amazing work.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have participated in multiple projects with Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, each one exceeding my expectations! The staff is friendly, knowledgeable and passionate about their work in caring for the Colorado outdoors. Every year they have amazing opportunities for people of all ages and skill levels to give back to the environment around them. I would definitely recommend this organization to anyone remotely interested in outdoor recreation seeking a fun way to volunteer.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I very much enjoyed my experience with VOC making a new trail in my area. A great organization, doing great work with great people. Thanks VOC!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

VOC is an outstanding organization to get involved in if you're passionate about giving back to the colorful state you live in. There are projects and events for all ages to participate in. If you love nature, you want to be a part of this!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Volunteers of Colorado is a wonderful organization that benefits everybody in our beautiful state. Not only do they help keep Colorado's outdoors beautiful, sustainable, and useful for everybody, but they provide activities and events for people of all ages. The program allows people from all walks of life to feel like they can make an impact. I love the powerful sense of community and unity at the volunteer events. It is so rewarding to work toward a common goal alongside so many devoted volunteers and the passionate VOC staff members. Thanks for all you do, VOC!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a VOC volunteer for over 20 years because I find the projects a physical challenge and I have been exposed through my participation to parts of Colorado I might never have gotten to. Over the years the organization has broadened its scope from only bulding and repairing trails to eliminating invasive plants, restoring historic structures, rebuilding trails after the 2013 floods and more. The two newest state parks, Staunton and Cheyenne Mountain have excellent hiking trails, and VOC volunteers played a major role in their design and construction. At 75 I can't work the way I used to but still manage to do several projects each year.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been building trails, pulling invasive species, planting trees and shrubs and more for VOC since 1983, I think. Great way to see the state, meet nice people who love the outdoors and learn to recognize a well constructed trail when you hike. VOC makes an amazing contribution to the state with many projects of all kinds.

Donor

Rating: 5

VOC is a great organization that I feel proud to support financially. I am a frequent user of trails and the outdoors in Colorado but I don't have a lot of time to give to volunteer, so I feel that my small financial contribution is my way to make a difference and give back. Keep up the good work VOC!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I spend a lot of time outdoors from hiking to mountain biking and everything in between. I think that volunteering with VOC is a great way to give back to the outdoors that I spend so much time in. VOC doesn't always work on trails that I frequent, but that's okay. I still feel great knowing that I am working to rebuild and maintain trails that are used and enjoyed by others. The projects are fun, the work is meaningful, and I know that I am giving back to a great cause - the environment. Children to adults, young and old, men and women, from any walk of life can give back to this beautiful state in a meaningful way by volunteering with VOC. So, if you haven't already done so I encourage you to look into joining VOC during one of their many projects from the months of April through October. I promise you won't regret it, plus there's almost always free food and coffee ;-)

naturelover85

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

VOC is a great organization! I am incredibly passionate about the environment and environmental conservationism and I am honored that an organization such as this exists in my home state. The work VOC does on its public projects is absolutely instrumental in ensuring that our greatest outdoor places are around for generations to come. I feel that VOC's work is particularly important now that more and more people are moving to Colorado and our trails are seeing an increase in use. I love that people are getting outside and enjoying all this great state has to offer, but I love even more that VOC is out there to help repair and rebuild some of our most popular trails. I also love the badge program with its Do It Yourself stewardship emphasis. Sometimes you just can't make it out on a project, but it is great that there is motivation and incentives to do your own work to make this state even better.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado is, hands down, the best volunteer organization around for those who enjoy spending time outside giving back to the outdoors while meeting fun, passionate and like-minded people. I had such a memorable time on my first trail building project with VOC last year, and went on a gardening and fire restoration project this year that were equally amazing! The volunteer crews were extremely knowledgeable and friendly and taught me everything I needed to know to get the job done, and I loved the diversity of volunteers - old and young, male and female, from all different walks of life. The BEST way to give back!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My first crew with VOC was in Brown's Canyon Wilderness Study Area, and NOW Brown's Canyon National Monument! Crew was managed incredibly well, food fantastic, and we were even treated to live music by a band. I would recommend VOC wholeheartedly, for memories and volunteering, over and over!
Thank you VOC.

1 Jack54

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've done volunteer trail work throughout the west since 1972. VOC is one of the premier organizations to work with. They not only run numerous weekend and weekly trail projects, they take great care of the volunteers, providing meals, training and respected crew leaders. They also run specialized training classes.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

VOC sets a high bar for the volunteer experience. I've done local day projects and weekend-long projects with them, all of which have been fantastic. The volunteer leaders are great, and they work with many other organizations to make sure volunteer hours are going to the right projects, so you really feel like you make a difference. VOC projects are a highlight of my summer!

1 Laurie70

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I don't live in Colorado, but I follow the organization on Facebook because my son works for VOC. I am always blown away by pictures of the work volunteers do! This is truly an amazing organization that motivates people to get out and help care for outdoor Colorado!

1 Barbara202

Client Served

Rating: 5

Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado has helped Grow Local Colorado plant our vegetable gardens every spring for the past four years. The purpose of the gardens is to grow local, fresh, organic produce for those in our community that are in need. Thanks to VOC we are able to plant 5,000 seedlings in ten gardens in ten days in late May. They provide the volunteers, the publicity, and the tools to get the job done. If not for their help Grow Local would not be able to get our gardens going and growing so quickly and smoothly. We love VOC!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with VOC for my first time this summer and plan to continue working with them as long as humanely possible. It is a great opportunity to meet inspiring people and to get some exercise working hard in beautiful places to protect those resources for generations to come. VOC is very organized and makes everyone feel like they are an integral part of the team.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with VOC for the first time in October of 2013 after moving to the state. I was initially seeking a way to meet new friends while giving a little of my time to improve our parks, but what I ended up getting in return far exceeded my expectations. Now, over 6 volunteer events later, VOC has become a part of my regular life in CO.

They operate like a well-oiled machine and are very safety conscious. I've had the opportunity to meet a bevy of wonderful people from all over the state. Everyone involved is a positive thinker and really take pride in what they do. It is very inspiring for me to do the same. I highly recommend working with VOC - they are ready and willing to accept new people into their fold.

You'll learn tons about trail construction (setting stone or railroad tie steps, erosion control, laying down new trail, etc.) and tool usage and care. If you ever intend to be in a leadership or management position regardless of what walk of life you're in, this is a wonderful place to observe and/or become a crew leader.

A+ for getting Coloradans outdoors and falling in love with the state all over again!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had volunteered with other outdoor organizations but the recent project at Mt. Crested Butte was my
first experience with VOC. I was impressed with how smoothly everything ran, despite a fairly large crew
(over 50 volunteers) and the additional challenge of conducting the project on the same weekend as the
Bud Light Whatever festival. Obviously a testament to the organizational skills of the VOC leaders.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with VOC since I moved to Colorado 18 months ago. The projects are in beautiful locations like Crested Butte or the Continental Divide, and I take the opportunity to work with VOC as my chance to see the state. Projects often have a variety of different work needed, ranging from easier work such as re-vegetating a damaged section of trail to hard muscular work involving setting stone steps--meaning that there is something for everyone. The people are fantastic, and I've met Americorp kids to pot-smoking hippies to super-strong athletes to hard-core right wing conservatives to people who have dedicated their lives to living the Boulder mentality, and they all believe that we must take care of the outdoor areas we use. The organizers make sure that everyone is fed healthy meals throughout the day and that volunteers are comfortable with the tools. Working with VOC I get to be outdoors in beautiful places with cool people, creating something of enduring value. It leaves me feeling good about myself and the friends I make and the place I live. A great way to spend the weekend.

Sara107

Volunteer

Rating: 5

VOC provides great opportunities for a variety of skill levels. We recently volunteered for a project near Salida, getting to meet some young people working with AmeriCorp up to the hardest working 80 yr old I know! Hanging around the campfire after a hard day of work giving back to the hiking community is extremely rewarding, and the best way to make new friends.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I did my first VOC project working on the Mt. Bierstadt weekend project a few weeks ago. I will definitely be volunteering again. VOC is organized, professional and super fun (the free food and post-work beers didn't hurt either!).

I have been looking for new ways to volunteer and am really excited I found VOC. Not only do you get to help restore trails and protect the environment when doing a VOC project but you get to do it in a beautiful place while getting exercise and meeting fun and inspiring people from all walks of life. Great organization.

Christy26

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been working with Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado since 2003. I look forward every year to the upcoming project lists. I have learned skills I can also use at home. I've met a ton of wonderful outdoor minded people and have made a difference on countless miles of trail. I love seeing new areas before the public is even aware. Funny thing is that I love the group, how organized they are, and how much they get done. The fact that this results in something good for the community is actually secondary :). The skills this group has and how they share that knowledge is invaluable.

Chris155

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This has been my first year working with the VOC, they are just amazing. This is a well organized group of extremely friendly people who put together and coordinate awesome work on Colorado's trails and parks. I am very proud to be associated and volunteer my time with the VOC, I would love to see them recognized and rewarded for everything they do!

Steven40

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first got involved with VOC in the early 90's, became a crew leader and worked on numerous projects before moving to Florida in 1998. I returned home to Colorado in June 2014 and was able to volunteer on a project in August 2014 (Waldo Canyon Fire Restoration). The projects that the VOC are involved with allows us to give back to the people and places in Colorado that are in need as well as to help maintain the beauty of Colorado's outdoors that we all love to enjoy. This organization has done great things for our State and I will continue to be a part of it.