The VOC Voice is typically sent twice a month during our field season. Given recent project cancellations, we will continue to send this newsletter monthly, with additional issues as needed.
Finding Your Place in Stewardship (While Staying at Home)

We hope this newsletter finds you well. These are uncertain times for everyone, and while we may not see you in the field yet, all of us at VOC are diligently working to make sure our stewardship community stays strong and connected during this difficult time.

Over the coming weeks, we'll share ways to help you virtually connect with VOC staff and volunteers, as well as to help you continue your commitment to stewardship even when you're stuck at home. We recommend keeping an eye on your inbox and following us on Facebook to make sure you don't miss out!

In the meantime, there is one thing you can do right now to help outdoor places and the people who take care of them: stay home, or close to it. It's important that we take the time to de-stress and appreciate nature, but it's even more important that we don't put additional stress on communities, park rangers, first responders, and hospitals.

On busy trails, it is difficult (if not impossible) to maintain safe social distancing, risking the health of people as well as the environment as users step off the trail to pass. In less-populated areas, surrounding towns often have fewer resources available if you get injured or spread infection.

We know it can be hard to stay away from your favorite places right now, but it's what is best to protect them - and each other! - in the long-run. We hope you join us in taking this as an opportunity to discover nature in your own neighborhood, whether it's bird-watching from your balcony, exploring a local park, or tuning in to your favorite nature webcam .

This won't last forever, and it will take some getting used to. But know that we are right there with you!
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Update on Volunteer Projects

All VOC volunteer projects have been cancelled through April to comply with state and federal guidelines and to do our part in protecting the community from COVID-19.

In the meantime, we are actively working to update our project model and on-project procedures to comply with COVID-19 precautions so that we can be safe and "shovel-ready" when the time is right to resume volunteer projects. You can always access the latest on VOC's response to COVID-19 at voc.org/covid19.
Help #SupportOurSupporters

From financial contributions to food donations and SWAG, businesses make our volunteer projects possible. Now, it is our turn to return the favor.

COVID-19 restrictions have hit our business partners in particularly difficult ways, and it is important that we show our support for them during this uncertain time. If you can, we ask that you join us in supporting our supporters - the ones who have supplied you with hot lunches, cold beer, fun raffle items and more - by placing an online order, purchasing gift cards, or otherwise using their services.

We will post the full list of businesses on our website soon; we will also be promoting our #SupportOurSupporters effort on social media over the next few weeks.
Grossman Scholarship Deadline Extended to May 17

Sunday, May 17: Scholarships should be exciting, not stressful. Given the extenuating circumstances affecting students and schools, we have decided to extend the application deadline for the Grossman Scholarships to midnight on Sunday, May 17. These scholarships are available to Colorado residents who are pursuing a degree related to natural resources at a Colorado institution; this includes graduating high school seniors as well as graduate students and "non-traditional" students, such as those who did not attend college immediately after high school graduation. Click here to learn more and apply.

These scholarships are provided through the generosity of former VOC Board Member Rick Grossman and his wife, Susie, to make outdoor careers possible for Coloradans.
Farewell to Dean

After nearly seven years, Dean Winstanley will be leaving VOC next week on April 9. Dean has been a tremendous asset to VOC over the years, overseeing our volunteer projects and project-related partnerships as the Director of Statewide Stewardship. Upon his departure, Dean is going to spend some valuable downtime with family before figuring out life's next chapter. All of us would like to thank Dean for his contributions to VOC; we wish him well in his next adventure!
Use Your State Tax Return to Support Stewardship

With no out-of-pocket costs, the reFUND Program is an easy way to donate. The program allows Coloradans to directly donate all or part of their state income tax return to registered nonprofits, including VOC! This feature is added onto the existing contributions area of your state tax return; just look for the 'Donate to a Colorado Nonprofit' line and include the amount you wish to donate along with:
 
Reg. # 20023003120 
and our full name, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado 
 
Your donation is completely anonymous and will be used to help us continue our work of caring for Colorado's outdoor places.
Online Training Courses Available

Whether you're stuck at home and want to learn something new, or simply need your trail work fix, VOC's online courses will do the trick! Visit our training calendar or use the links below to sign up for any of these self-paced and informative classes:


For more information about online training, contact Dan .
Beyond the Boots

VOC does a lot to advance stewardship beyond our volunteer projects. For example...

COVID-19 is having far-reaching impacts on the management of parks, trails, and natural areas. As VOC works to "retool" our project model, we are also taking part in broader conversations with land managers and stewardship organizations across the country. Together, we are working to understand how COVID-19 will impact stewardship long-term and how groups can best respond to these growing challenges.

In addition, as we determine and finalize updates to our project model, we will be sharing this information as a free, downloadable guide for other organizations via our Stepping Up Stewardship Toolkit .
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One Thing You Can Do for VOC in Less than
2 Minutes

Support VOC as you shop for groceries and household supplies. Whether you shop online or in person, it's easy to give back to VOC when stocking up on essentials. Here's how:
 
 
  • Vote for VOC through Target's rewards program. Through June 30, shoppers in Denver, Aurora, Lakewood, Boulder, Greeley, and Fort Collins can use Target Circle to vote for VOC every time they shop. Target will use these votes to decide how to divide their donation between VOC and other local nonprofits.
 
The Roundup Riders of the Rockies Heritage & Trails Foundation has been a strong supporter of VOC since 2012. We are grateful for their support on trail projects that are important to the equestrian community.
Save the Date

April 22

April 27-May 3

May 17

June 1

June 30
Last Day to Vote for VOC in Target Circle Program

August 1
Continental Divide Trail Survey

If you use the Continental Divide Trail, take 10 minutes to complete this survey before April 4. The survey is part of a graduate project by Sophie Katz (one of our 2017 Seasonals!), who will share the results with the Forest Service to better understand why people value the trail.
Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) is a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to motivating and enabling people to become active stewards of Colorado's natural resources. Founded in 1984, VOC is a nationally recognized leader in outdoor volunteerism, having helped more than 125,000 people of all ages get involved in and become inspired to care for Colorado's outdoors.
303.715.1010 |  voc@voc.org  |  voc.org
600 S Marion Pkwy, Denver, CO 80209