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Very Valuable Volunteers
Volunteers at Riverbend Ponds
Volunteers do trail work at Riverbend Ponds Natural Area

Volunteers are key to the success of the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Program. They are the backbone of the highly popular Master Naturalist Program; they contribute many hours of service for site management projects; and they serve as dedicated Adopt-a-Natural Area volunteers. In 2003, over 400 individuals contributed more than 3,800 hours of volunteer time to the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Program.

The Adopt-a-Natural Area program began in 1993. In adopting a natural area, volunteer organizations and individuals commit to at least a year of periodic site clean-up. In 2003, thirty groups were active Adopt-a-Natural Area volunteers.

Master Naturalist with students
Students learn from a Master Naturalist at Cathy Fromme Prairie Natural Area

Volunteer Master Naturalists lead interpretive field trips, give class presentations, and conduct other outreach and education programs. To become Certified Master Naturalists, volunteers are trained by the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Program. In 2003, optional Certified Interpretive Guide instruction was added to the training program. There are currently 100 Certified Master Naturalist volunteers. In 2003, these volunteers provided 138 programs totaling over 1,300 volunteer hours. These programs reached more than 4,500 people. Since the program's inception in 1994, Master Naturalists have donated over 7,500 hours of time, reaching over 33,000 people.