Step 1: Browse the City's programming and resources.
This page contains an overview of the 30 departments that thrive on the power of volunteers. Click through the departments to see if volunteering with us is a good fit for you. If you have any questions, please email us at email@example.com.
Step 2: Visit the Engage website and Sign Up as a new user.
Engage is the City's enterprise level volunteer management software. This is where you will communicate with program managers, sign up for opportunities, track your hours, access training, and much more.
Step 3: Fill out an application.
You will need to complete a volunteer application for any department or opportunity that interests you. Please note that some opportunities will require you to answer additional questions.
If you want to apply to the City more generally, please fill out a General Volunteer Application.
Step 4: Attend a New Volunteer Orientation
Whether you have completed your first shift as a volunteer or you want to learn more before diving in, join us during our monthly New Volunteer Orientations! A detailed schedule is available on the Engage calendar, but typically occur on the last Thursday of every month. Feel free to bring a friend, this is a great way to meet other engaged citizens in your community.
Engage helps you manage your involvement, either as a participant or volunteer. Remember, we are available to help you navigate Engage and the application process. If you have any questions please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (970) 415-4245.
Meet the Volunteer Services Team#
The Volunteer Services Team hosts New Volunteer Orientations on the last Thursday of each month. While the orientations focus on new volunteer onboarding, we encourage anyone in our community to attend.
What to expect: We will tell the story about how volunteering emerged in Fort Collins and how the program has evolved since 1985. We will share updates about our Strategic Plan and City-wide initiatives to support our Service Enterprise culture. We will celebrate volunteer engagement, recognize outstanding programming, and host an open Q&A for any volunteer inquiries.
Visit the Engage Volunteer Services landing page to learn more.
Expanding Your Involvement#
We will ask you to fill out multiple applications throughout your time volunteering with the City. We encourage you to apply for any and all opportunities and departments that interest you. Even if you are a longtime volunteer with experience in a specific area, you may find that getting involved in other programs may broaden your engagement in our community.
Visit the Get Involved page on Engage to see what other departments need your help!
City Departments and Volunteer Programs#
Browse the departments and programs below. We encourage you to get engage as a Volunteer across multiple departments. When you find something that interests you, please fill out an application to learn about next steps. You may apply to more than one!
Volunteers make special events possible, provide educational support, and beautify spaces.#
Gardens on Spring Creek#
The Gardens on Spring Creek is the community botanic garden of Fort Collins, Colorado. Our 18-acre site opened in 2004 as part of an important partnership between the City of Fort Collins and the Friends of the Gardens on Spring Creek. The Gardens is City of Fort Collins Facility. Following a two-year, $6 million expansion project, The Gardens offers an expanded Visitor’s Center and gift shop, Butterfly House, Everitt Pavilion and Great Lawn, along with five acres of new gardens to explore.
The Lincoln Center#
Volunteers are an extremely important and essential part of The Lincoln Center family. We rely on our volunteers to be our eyes and ears and to assist patrons in navigating and participating in the over 300 performances and events we offer each year. Volunteers get exposed to a wide array of artistic and professional endeavors including theatrical performances, dance productions, art gallery installations, concerts and community events. We ask our volunteers to fill many roles such as greeters, ushers, ticket-takers, guides and art gallery attendants. While volunteers get to enjoy a majority of the presentations that they work, the priority is providing our patrons with a professional and enjoyable experience that makes them want to return time and time again.
The Parks Department is stewards for 6 community parks, 44 neighborhood and pocket parks; and 29 miles of recreational trails. We provide clean and safe outdoor environments for the citizens of Fort Collins to enjoy and recreate.
Parks can offer one-day service projects like mulching tree rings, weeding, planting, painting, raking; and more. For those of you who would like to volunteer on a regular basis, we have Adopt-a-Programs. Perhaps you enjoy walking or biking on a particular trail, or maybe you live close to and play in one of our wonderful parks. There are a variety of opportunities!
Volunteers provide education and promote safety and awareness for visitors. Volunteers improve, monitor and maintain critical habitats.#
Volunteer Naturalists & Rangers#
Volunteer Rangers and Assistant Naturalists provide educational programs on the natural areas to schools, clubs, and scout groups. Often groups are large, the outings take place in remote areas, or the activities are complex, and Naturalists need a helping hand. These volunteers also help staff booths at community events. Volunteering as an Assistant Naturalist is a good way to take an active role in the education programs without the time commitment or specialized training required of Naturalists.
These opportunities are a great way to gain experience in interpretation, natural history, and group management.
Long-Term Stewardship Projects#
Natural Areas are yours to treasure today, and for the future. You can help manage and restore land to its native state as a stewardship volunteer. The Natural Areas Department provides long-term opportunities to Adopt a Natural Area by picking up trash monthly, becoming a Volunteer Crew Leader and leading groups of volunteers on stewardship projects, or by helping maintain the Nix Native Plant Garden a a Volunteer Gardener
Nix Headquarters Garden Volunteer#
Volunteers work to nurture a living exhibit that teaches about the benefits of native plants and provides design inspiration. Volunteers work at the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Dept. Headquarters Nix Native Plant Garden including weeding, mulching, pruning and more. This is a great opportunity for garden clubs, neighborhoods or church groups.
Gardening volunteer days are Mondays and Tuesdays from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. (weather dependent). Gardening experience is helpful but not required. Volunteers may work alone or in groups. Adults only please.
One-Day Service Projects#
Short-term stewardship opportunities for individuals, families and small group volunteer projects are offered approximately monthly, May-October. These activities are announced in Natural Areas monthly electronic newsletters (subscribe on this page). Often projects are offered in conjunction with these special dates:
- Earth Day - April
- National Volunteer Week- April
- Colorado Public Lands Day- May
- National Trails Day- June
- Native Plant Gardening Days- Once a month in June, July, August
- National Public Lands Day- September
- Make a Difference Week- October
Request A Project For Your Group
Stewardship volunteer projects are great for team-building, networking, and camaraderie. Projects in this section are for larger groups.
- Login or create an account in Engage. It is easy and free! Need assistance? Call us at 970-416-2815 or email email@example.com .
- Complete the Group Stewardship Project Request form.
- Staff from the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department will contact you soon. Your request is not confirmed until you are contacted by a staff person.
Keep in mind:
- Service projects are dependent on the needs of the natural areas.
- Six weeks notice is preferred. A minimum of two weeks notice is required.
- A "group" has a minimum of eight (8) volunteers.
- Due to high demand, two activities per group per year are permitted.
Contact For Stewardship Volunteer Opportunities
Rachel Balduzzi, Volunteer and Stewardship Coordinator
Volunteers keep our City and Natural Areas clean and sustainable. Volunteers monitor indoor and outdoor air quality.#
When graffiti is reported, the Graffiti Abatement Team will contact the private property owner, business or City department as soon as possible about the issue and/or assist with the removal. Every effort will be made to see that the graffiti is abated within two (2) business days.
Healthy Homes Educators#
Volunteer Healthy Homes educators help Fort Collins homes reduce the risk posed by common hazards, increase energy efficiency, and live more comfortably.
Get your supplies ready. Grab some gardening gloves, close toed shoes and a trash bag. Help do your part by picking up trash in your community. The best and most impactful place to start is in your neighborhood. Stop litter before it gets to the river!
Adopt-A-Trail or Park!#
The Parks Department is stewards for 6 community parks, 44 neighborhood and pocket parks; and 29 miles of recreational trails. We provide clean and safe outdoor environments for the citizens of Fort Collins to enjoy and recreate. An organization or individual can assist Fort Collins Parks maintenance crews in controlling and cleaning our shared outdoor parks, trails, and spaces. Projects are broad and varied, including mulching tree rings, weeding, planting, painting, raking, and more.
Do you think recycling is important? As a Recycling Ambassador, you will help people recycle right! Greet and welcome Recyclers and answer their questions at the Timberline Recycling Center.
Volunteers can assist Recyclers to unload materials, help with outreach tabling, give presentations, give tours of the Timberline Center, and help keep the "A-Z List" up-to-date. No need to “police” Recyclers; however, safety is a #1 priority, so volunteers will report any unsafe conditions to the City.
Volunteers make our youth sports and senior programs affordable and accessible by everyone in our community as coaches, instructors, and trained inclusion aides for athletes with disabilities.#
The Fort Collins Senior Center is open to those 18 years and older and provides patrons an opportunity to access and engage in recreational opportunities, stay active, and socialize. The Senior Center's diverse program selection includes travel, outdoor adventure, special events, fitness, art, and more. The Senior Center is open to all adults but specialized in programming for adults 50 years of age and older.
Adaptive Recreation Opportunities (ARO)#
Adaptive Recreation Opportunities (ARO) provides recreation programs for community members of all ages and abilities. We are looking for partners to play alongside Special Olympics athletes during Unified Softball. This is an opportunity for volunteers 16 years old & up, running May through July!
Additionally, for folks 8 years old & up, ARO is looking for volunteers to assist coaches/staff during baseball practices for youth with various disabilities. Helping with technique and equipment will be just part of the opportunity when volunteering with this program, running from late June through July!
The Farm at Lee Martinez Park#
The Farm at Lee Martinez Park has provided hands-on family fun since 1985. The Farm serves as an education and interactive experience for Fort Collins residents and visitors. A visit to the The Farm will be an adventure for all ages.
The Farm welcomes adult and youth volunteers (one of the select sites that allows youth volunteers, in fact!). A volunteer here would love animals, enjoy interacting with children, have an interest in education, and is enthusiastic about hosting guided tours for visitors.
Youth and Adult Sports Coaches#
Our Youth and Adult Sports Coaching Programs benefit thousands of community members per year. Adults can get active and stay healthy by participating in sports like softball, volleyball, basketball and flag football. Kids can benefit from exercise and learn important social values by participating in sports such as basketball, football, wrestling, cross country, volleyball, and track. Our diverse opportunities and dedicated staff make sports a valuable community resource.
Volunteers promote safe cycling and contribute to data collection efforts that influence our City’s engineering projects.#
FC Bikes - Bicycle Ambassadors#
The FC Moves Bicycle Ambassador Program acts as an educational and advocacy program, comprised of community members in Northern Colorado who volunteer to get more people on bicycles, educating the community to make the roadways safe and comfortable for all users.
Ambassadors can have diverse skill sets, ranging from Bronze and Silver to Gold levels. Bronze Ambassadors work at community events, promote safe cycling on the streets and trails, advocate on safe cycling issues, collect and report information on engineering deficiencies and report them to appropriate municipalities' staff. Silver Ambassadors complete Bronze level requirements, assist with Smart Cycling bike handling skills drills and rides, five BAP-approved bicycle safety presentations, assist with guided rides. Then Gold Ambassadors complete Silver level requirements, teach cycling safety and other cycling related courses, lead guided rides.
FC Bikes - Safe Routes to School#
FC Moves also offers a youth-focused program called Safe Routes to School. This program works with strategic partners, like Poudre School District and Bike Fort Collins, to increase the number of students safely walking, bicycling, skateboarding, scootering, and taking the bus to school. Volunteers champion walking and cycling and can get involved in a variety of ways: special events, data collection, education outreach, and more!
Volunteers serve in positions that inform and advise City Council, support teens to learn about government and restorative justice, serve as Volunteer Victim Advocates, and are Municipal Court Bailiffs.#
Boards and Commissions#
Volunteers serve on a term of one of the City's 27 Boards and Commissions to inform and advise City Council. Established for the purpose of acquiring and studying information in specific areas and to make recommendations to City Council on issues within the board's are of expertise.
Boards and Commissions recruits new members once per year in September. Thank you volunteers for your commitment to civic engagement!
Volunteer Services Team#
Join the Volunteer Services Team and help with tasks as-needed, like HR Admin/Front Desk Support, Special Events, lead a volunteer group of teens in NextGenServe this Summer, or assist with large projects as a skills-based volunteer.
Volunteer Mediators are neutral third parties that help public clients address, discuss, and transform conflict. Mediation is a dispute resolution process that is an alternative to hiring lawyers, going to court, calling enforcement agencies, or allowing the conflict to escalate. Mediators do not advocate for one side or the other. They cannot give legal advice, rather they listen, reflect back what they hear from clients, and help keep the conversation civil and productive.
The process to become a Volunteer Mediator is extensive and requires extra training, practice, and facilitation from the FC Mediation and Restorative Justice Department staff. If you would like to learn more about this process, please email Dana Henderson firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an informational interview and find out if this is the right opportunity for you!
Restorative Justice Volunteers work with young persons (ages 10-22) who have committed eligible offenses, and have chosen Restorative Justice as a meaningful way to repair the harm caused by their offense. Volunteer participate in Restorative Justice Circles with the young people and represent the community perspective on how crime impacted the community. Some volunteers also participate in other areas of the department, such as administrative tasks and special projects.
The process to become a Restorative Justice Volunteer is extensive and requires extra training, practice, and facilitation from the FC Mediation and Restorative Justice Department staff. If you would like to learn more about this process, please email Dana Henderson email@example.com to set up an informational interview and find out if this is the right opportunity for you!
Opportunities in Police Services#
The Fort Collins Police Services offers several opportunities to get involved. There is a high need for Volunteer Victim Advocates, who provide aid to innocent people who suffer physical, emotional, or financial loss as a result of a crime of violence.
Additionally, teens (ages 15-20) who are interested in exciting and fun opportunities in law enforcement can apply to the Fort Collins Police Explorer program, which acquaints young people with the field of law enforcement as a future career choice. Explorers receive ongoing police training through instruction, hands-on practical exercises, and valuable real-world experiences. Police Explorers not only receive training but regularly assist patrol officers with their duties. Police Explorers are required to attend regular meetings and training sessions.
For young adults (21+), the Reserve Community Officer Unit assists Fort Collins Police in many areas of law enforcement by working closely with officers, detectives, and specialty units. Reserve CSOs not only work side by side with officers but also give presentations on crime prevention, conduct traffic control and patrols during events, provide security to crime scenes, and conduct surveillance. Reserve CSOs are required to attend regular training sessions and meetings.
The FC Police Services has also embraced mental health needs of the community, recently launching a refined outreach program called the Mental Health Response Team. If you or someone you know needs support, please refer to these mental health resources for help. This team was established to support our community!
Community Programs are Powered by Volunteers#
These programs would cease without volunteers:
- Educational programming:
- Shows and exhibits:
- Recreation and sports for everyone:
- Stewardship and conservation:
- Community support and intervention:
- Special events:
City Volunteer Picnic 2022 on a Colorado summer afternoon.
Volunteer helping with small plant sale at the Gardens on Spring Creek.
Volunteer Naturalist with Natural Areas guiding a public tour.
Natural Areas volunteers at an outdoor celebration.
Volunteer greeting guests at an outdoor event.
Volunteers working together on a one-day service project during National Volunteer Week 2022.
Kiddo sharing their story about City Park, a beautiful place to gather thanks to volunteers!
Volunteer Appreciation Event at a Civic Center Park.
Volunteer organizing recycling during a one-day service project.
FC Moves on the Spring Creek Trail
Community Development and Neighborhood Services at Hickory Village Celebration
Volunteer with Community Development and Neighborhood Services demonstrating a "Little Shop of Physics" activity.
Asphalt painting project on Romero Street.
Volunteer Services Manager, Sue Schafer, guiding interpretive tour with kiddos and Natural Areas.
FC Moves annual event "Bike to Work (or Wherever) Day" with Transfort volunteers.
Project Hort teen volunteers at the Gardens on Spring Creek.