Susan Schafer, City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Education and Volunteer Coordinator, 970-416-2480, c3NjaGFmZXJAZmNnb3YuY29t
Many people like to relax, exercise or spend time with friends in their spare time. There are some exceptional community members who instead choose to live their passion by working for what they care about, and working hard! Volunteers at the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department dedicate their time and talents to education, conservation and excellent customer service. Their energy shows in the statistics- in 2013, 1,633 volunteers donated over 10,000 hours. That’s the equivalent of five full time employees, a value of $238,181!
Many of these outstanding volunteers, 461 people, were involved in on-going service. Master Naturalists and Assistants provided over 200 educational programs on everything from geology to astronomy. Every educational program offered was free. Thanks to these skilled educators, over 1,300 students received free field trips to local and regional natural areas, learning science in a hands-on environment. Volunteer Ranger Assistants spent their time on the trails, creating a safer, friendlier outdoor experience for everyone. Adopters keep your natural areas clean by picking-up litter monthly.
Other special folks help with one-day service learning projects such as trail-building, tree planting or litter clean up. Thanks to these 1,072 volunteers, 15 miles of trail were maintained, 320 bags of trash were picked up, and more than 550 trees, shrubs and willows were planted. Several local businesses and groups have adopted trails, committing to three years of service: Otterbox, Team Peloton, Trailcology and Trout Unlimited.
Volunteers make natural areas better and make this great City an even better place to live. Natural Areas wouldn’t be the same without such strong community support. Thank you Fort Collins citizens and volunteers! You make land conservation and visitor services, such as volunteer opportunities, possible through your support of citizen-initiated sales tax ballot measures.