I've volunteered only once (so far) with this dedicated non-profit. We planted thousands of seedlings to the flooded St. Vrain river bed, and also cut and sealed hundreds of invasive weeds. A large group of friendly volunteers worked hard to get this done over two days, this go-around. I was impressed with the dedication, the many returning volunteers, and the fun! I was also introduced to a fabulous new camping spot nearby. We worked with student interns in the field, who are doing studies as to what works best with the plantings, and will follow up as part of their studies.
WRV is an extremely well organized group who strives to show appreciation your hard work and your time. The worksites are staged beforehand with tools and equipment; breakfast and lunch and dinner(on full weekends) are provided ( super yummy) with a trained cook crew; trained crew leaders who describe your work and provide support. Every single event I've paricipated in has been a fantastic experience. You just gotta keep going back for more to get your mind and spirit revitalized! - 7 years and counting
What a wonderful way to enjoy being out of doors and enhancing the native landscape! There's work to do on every difficulty level, so even old-timers and youth can be involved. There are weekend projects--camping, with great food prepared by trained cook volunteers. The project settings are unusually beautiful Colorado landscapes, some in areas where the general public is usually not granted access.
WRV does a great job of partnering with the community and doing projects that have high impact locally. I found out about them while working to reopen a local trail that had been closed from a highly damaging wildfire, and have continued to do service with them for the past several years. I was impressed by WRV's organizational structure, which trains and encourages volunteers to help lead projects, and organizes work into small groups on each work day. This means I have always felt that the work I have done with WRV is done well and the purpose of doing something a particular way is clear to volunteers, and have gotten to know people who were total strangers at the beginning of the day. Because WRV's vision is for the long term, in a community they understand and are part of, they foster a great sense of community and leadership as well as improving the local environment potentially for generations. WRV truly embodies the "think globally, act locally" call to action!
Not long ago, I volunteered to help on a seed gathering event on Marshall Hill.
It was such a well organized event filled with some of the happiest people I've had the pleasure to meet.
We worked together while chatting the whole time.
The staff at WRV are so wonderful. Near the end of the event a women stepped forward to tell me how this makes her feel connected to her community and the area. As dusl settled, She explained how these moments are more valuable than gold.
I am officially hooked on WRV.
I've been volunteering with WRV for nearly a year. This is the type of nonprofit that gets work done in addition to creating a stronger community. I've never had so much fun during our restoration work and felt so much pride looking back on it until I saw my own work in restoring the Big Thompson. Since then I've built new trails and worked to restore other watersheds.
I've participated with WRV for five years now, initially as a crew member and then as a crew leader. Both roles have been very fulfilling as a way to give back to the environment that's so important to me. WRV projects consistently deliver a welcoming community, "honest work," education and great food. Affordable training opportunities are available for those who wish to grow into additional roles such as crew leadership, technical advising, project leadership, sawyer, cook. WRV has a very small paid staff that effectively leverages volunteers to get the work done. All in all a great organization.
WRV has very high quality, experienced staff, so I have always felt like my volunteer time has been well spent in helping to restore the degraded landscapes we've worked on. In addition, they have such a wide range of different kinds of projects, from heavy rock work at high altitudes to gentle seed collecting nearby, that everyone from children to young people at the height of their strength to seniors who enjoy taking a break a little more often than we used to can find a project that is fun and a great fit for their interests and abilities.
This is a great way to see the outdoors in Colorado and get to know other people like yourself who want to help restore the outdoors. Why do you need restoration? Maybe a trail is work out from use by humans, maybe there was a flood or a fire.. It takes years for things to get back to the way they were, and they may never get back without a little help because other invasve and non native species are waiting to take over. This is a great group of people doing great things in Colorado. Give us a hand!
I first got involved with WRV as a high-schooler, doing one weekend-long project every summer. Now that I'm out of college, I've gotten involved again as an adult volunteer and it's still a great time! They feed us every project, and I've met some great people on the projects I've done. Plus, I'm always learning new conservation techniques!