Preserve the Colorado Trail’s 486 miles for future hikers to explore. From June to September, the Colorado Trail Foundation organizes one- to eight-day volunteer work crews on sections needing maintenance. The foundation provides food and equipment for the crew and charges a small fee to help defray these costs. The Colorado Fourteeners’ Initiative offers similar opportunities, but focuses its efforts on reducing human impact to the state’s popular peaks. Don’t have a week to dedicate to the trails? Along with multi-day opportunities, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado organizes day projects throughout the state. Celebrate Father’s Day by planting native grasses on the outskirts of Greely or remove invasive flowers in Nederland’s James Peak Wilderness.
Want to be active when you volunteer? At the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center’s Adaptive Cycling Program you can bike around Summit County with a participant for the day. Or join the Challenge by Choice Adventure Retreat and spend a week cycling, hiking, rafting and canoeing with an adult with a brain injury. The center requires training, personal health insurance and a $25 background check. Or introduce youth to the outdoors with SOS Outreach. Its three Colorado offices organize Backyard Adventures day camps throughout the summer. Paddle, rock climb or mountain bike with campers for a day or an entire week. SOS Outreach requires volunteers pass a background check, too.
Care for wolves, lions, tigers or bears. Located just outside of Fort Collins, W.O.L.F. invites volunteers to feed its rescued wolves and clean their enclosures, as well as do odd jobs around the property. Volunteers must attend full-day orientation and commit to helping at the sanctuary two days per month for six months. Mission: Wolf, a two-hour drive from Pueblo, also relies on volunteers to care for their wolves and horses. Interested parties can send an email to the refuge. Mission: Wolf provides space for the volunteers to camp, a bathroom and water access for up to two weeks. Longer-term volunteer opportunities are also an option. Northeast of Denver, The Wild Animal Sanctuary cares for almost 400 large exotic animals. Contribute to their care by constructing habitats or preparing meat. On the observational walkway, volunteers also educate visitors about the animals. Volunteers must commit 16 hours per month for six months and make a $60 deposit, refundable once they complete their six-month service.