Tips Tree Planting: Open Space Volunteer

Tips Tree Planting: Open Space Volunteer

Check our events calendar for upcoming volunteer opportunities.

Trail Watch Volunteer Program

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Trail Watch Volunteers are the backbone of our volunteer program. If you love using the trails, then Trail Watch is perfect for you. As the “eyes and ears” of Open Space, our volunteers patrol their chosen areas, record observations, report problems and needs, and educate the public about proper resource use.

Getting Started

To become a Trail Watch Volunteer, all volunteers are required to attend a two-hour orientation. This orientation provides background information about the Open Space Division and discusses volunteer responsibilities. As a Trail Watch volunteer, you are expected to contribute a minimum of 25 hours per year and complete two additional trainings or attend two programs of your choice. Once you’ve completed your first 25 hours, you will receive an official Open Space Volunteer t-shirt or ball cap.

It is important to note that the city conducts a background check on all volunteers. This is to ensure the safety of everyone in our parks and open spaces, including park users, volunteers, and city employees. Volunteers with convictions or pending charges will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and will be considered for a volunteer position as long as they do not pose a threat to the public or vulnerable populations.

Adopt an Open Space

Our Adopt an Open Space program focuses on concentrated stewardship in specific areas. Volunteers who participate in the Trail Watch program can also choose to adopt an area. Adopters commit to organizing at least one group project per year, although some areas may require more scheduled projects. For example, in the foothills, individuals or groups can adopt trails and assist with the essential maintenance of these visitor corridors. In the Bosque, groups of 10 or more can adopt restoration areas and contribute to non-native plant control, trash clean up, and trail maintenance. To recognize their efforts, a sign is installed in the adopted area at the city’s expense.

For more information about the Trail Watch and Adopt programs, please contact our Volunteer Program Coordinator, Jenny Blackmore, at [email protected].

Open Space Visitor Center Volunteers

Our Open Space Visitor Center Volunteers undergo specialized training to provide a welcoming experience for visitors. They are responsible for greeting visitors and informing them about the Visitor Center, introducing visitors to changing educational and art exhibits, working in the demonstration gardens, assisting with programming and events, describing the history, purpose, and goals of the Open Space program, encouraging visitors to explore Open Space lands, observing and interpreting the Visitor Center’s wildlife and plants, and gaining knowledge about the geography of the Open Space system, the history of the Piedras Marcadas Pueblo Village, and the natural and human history of the Middle Rio Grande Valley.

Testimonials:

  • “I became a volunteer because I enjoy the atmosphere at the Visitor Center.”
  • “The staff gives me the freedom to see a need, make a plan, and create a solution! Something I couldn’t do in my paid job.”
  • “I keep coming back – the community of Open Space is a definite positive in my life.”
  • “The Open Space Visitor Center is a magical place.”

To learn more about volunteering at the Open Space Visitor Center, please contact our Visitor Center Manager, Dionne Epps, at [email protected].

Join us at Tips Tree Planting and make a difference in our open spaces!

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