In 2018, Parks & Open Space celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Partnership Initiative. The program involves diverse businesses and organizations in the long-term stewardship of our parks and open space land through the annual participation in inspirational volunteer projects.
A Seed Was Planted
The Partnership Initiative was conceived in 2008 when our department’s director met Brian O’Neil, the general superintendent of Golden Gate National Park in San Francisco who developed a partnership program to involve the community in long-term stewardship. That visit motivated Boulder County Parks & Open Space staff to expand our community partnerships beyond one-day group volunteer projects or individual volunteer opportunities to adding more long-term, ongoing projects for teams. The Partnership Initiative focuses on involving employees from businesses and members of organizations in the stewardship of our county land.
Today, we have over 50 groups committed to recruiting between eight and 40 members to engage in one of our high-quality and rewarding volunteer projects at least once annually. Over the last 10 years, our partners have contributed 40,000 volunteer hours—a value of almost one million dollars. More importantly, volunteers of all ages, from all parts of the county and beyond, and from a variety of different backgrounds have been involved in the many ways the department cares for its over 100,000 acres of open space and 110 miles of trails
The careers of many of our partnership volunteers keep them indoors. Attorneys, executives, scientists, environmental consultants, students from middle school through graduate school, teachers, and other professionals report that it is a special treat for them to spend time outdoors building fences, thinning forests, and collecting seeds, among other projects. In some cases, these volunteers (who might not see each other in the course of a regular week) find themselves standing side-by-side, working together to plant a tree, construct a trail section, or engage in any number of stewardship tasks. They enjoy the guidance of our skilled volunteer coordinators who are experts at making the work educational, fun, and worthwhile.
Ten years of involving the public in annual stewardship projects has resulted in a constituency that understands and appreciates the work needed to care for our beloved public parks and trails. They care deeply for our open space and have a strong desire to protect it far into the future.
The Partnership Initiative Team
The success of the Partnership Initiative would not be possible without our talented and energetic volunteer coordinator team which has grown from one and a half employees in 2008 to five team members today. Our team includes Ari Addes and Mike Rutter in the Recreation and Facilities Division, and Carrie Cimo, Shane Milne, and Amanda Hatfield in the Resource Management Division.
Boulder County Parks & Open Space greatly appreciates each and every partner and all of the work accomplished through their efforts!
To see a list of our partner businesses and organizations or for more information about how your organization can partner with us, please visit BoulderCountyOpenSpace.org/partners