This year marks the 40th anniversary of National Volunteer Week, demonstrating the enduring importance of recognizing our country’s volunteers for their vital contributions. National Volunteer Week, April 6 -13, is a time to celebrate people doing extraordinary things through service.
The week draws the support and endorsement of the president and congress members, governors, mayors and municipal leaders, as well as corporate and community groups across the U.S.
“The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” – Nelson Henderson
The Boulder County Parks and Open Space volunteer program began in 1975 when the department was formed, and has a rich legacy of connecting residents with the county’s natural and cultural heritage. Involving volunteers makes our department stronger and more productive. Volunteer naturalists, cultural history volunteers, and park patrollers provide opportunities for volunteers to educate neighbors about the county’s rich natural and cultural legacy. Long-term, ongoing volunteer programs use groups of volunteers for skilled tasks such as wildlife monitoring, gardening, livestock care and crew leading. Wild Work projects are often one-time events that engage residents in labor-intensive projects while teaching them about natural resource management on open space properties.
Volunteers By the Number
With the cooperative efforts of department staff, local companies and special interest groups, many county residents experience hands-on opportunities of land stewardship. Here’s a brief and impressive snapshot of the level of community engagement we see within Parks and Open Space and Extension Services:
Grand Total Volunteer Hours
Volunteers in 2013 – 4,492
Volunteer Hours – 60,594
Parks and Open Space (excluding Extension)
These volunteers included natural resource monitors, naturalists, Walker Ranch homestead and Agricultural Heritage Center volunteers, Citizen Ranger Corps, angler hosts, mountain bicycle patrollers, crew leaders, Left Hand Outdoor Challenge teens, Partnership Program groups, and one-time (episodic) volunteers who attended outdoor work projects.
Volunteers in 2013 – 4,048
Volunteer Hours – 34,010
Extension Boulder County (excluding Parks and Open Space)
These volunteers included 4-H, master gardeners, wildlife masters, small acreage management volunteers, Boulder County Fair volunteers and fair board, native plant masters, energy masters and master food safety advisors.
Volunteers in 2013 – 444
Total Hours – 26,584
For those volunteers reading this article, we want to extend special thanks for your contributions. Volunteers are an integral part of a thriving community and you make a tremendous impact on the quality of life in Boulder Countythank you!