Environmental Stewardship: It's In Denver's Nature

Published on September 14, 2023

It's In Denver's Nature: Environmental Stewardship

Taking care of our shared public spaces takes long-term dedication, passionate people, great partners and a whole lot of resources. The team at Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) comes to work each day with a passion for the great outdoors and a drive to keep our outdoor spaces healthy and welcoming for all of Denver’s residents. But we don’t do it alone. We are proud of the stewards young and old, who work to keep our parks – and our planet – moving toward a resilient future. DPR offers training grounds for the next generation of caretakers along with a number of nonprofit partnerships to help people learn about environmental and outdoor jobs and participate as volunteers in hands-on stewardship opportunities.  

To better explain the type of environmental stewardship training that takes place in Denver, we are highlighting some of the work of our programs and partners.  

Generation Wild

My Outdoor Colorado (MOC) connects youth with the outdoors through strategic partnerships that provide access to nature education, recreation and skill-building opportunities for children, teens and young adults, through the Generation Wild program.  

Denver’s young people are integral to the future of our parks. Because of the work of our MOC/Generation Wild partners Mile High Youth Corps, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, Lincoln Hills Cares, The Greenway Foundation and Groundwork Denver, Denver’s young people have had a chance to install new trails, collaborate with municipalities, work on restoration projects and even go on stewardship-focused camping trips! 

Denver Parks Green Corps

Denver Parks Green Corps was created to provide employment and job skills training opportunities to individuals who are new to the workforce, or those seeking a career transition into the Green Jobs industry. The program provides on-the-job training for individuals through various projects that primarily focus on creating resilient parks and landscapes that can adapt to the challenges of climate change.  

Learn more about the Denver Parks Green Corps Workforce Training program and apply for a position

Denver Green Corps Volunteers in an Open Space

Pictured above: members of the Denver Parks Green Corps workforce development program.

Master Gardeners

Through the Denver CSU Extension Office’s Master Gardener program, hundreds of hours are spent working in the city’s greenhouse by the program’s participants – a job that would otherwise take away time and resources from DPR employees. 

Volunteer Opportunities  

Whether you’re one person or organizing a group of 100 or more, volunteering for Denver Parks and Recreation begins and ends with Tina, DPR’s matchmaker for environmental stewardship efforts. Once she receives your application, she connects the dots to come up with some great options for you and your group.  

Tina tells us that, just this year, the Volunteer Services team worked with nearly 20,000 participants in all activities:  

  • Urban Parks attracted 10,373 volunteers who provided 40,762 hours of service, and donated labor valued at more than $1.2 million. 
  • Mountain Parks saw 1,854 volunteers who provided 7,246 hours of service for 52 projects in 15 mountain parks. 
  • Recreation had 1,062 volunteers who provided 12,458 hours of service to recreation programs citywide. 

Explore Volunteer Opportunities

DPR Volunteer Coordinator Tina

Pictured above: Tina Myers, DPR Volunteer Coordinator

Everyday Acts of Stewardship 

Don’t have the time for a volunteer project? Following the Leave No Trace principles is a great way to practice environmental stewardship while enjoying Denver’s parks!   

Together we can do more, and partnerships help us achieve our goals!  

We work closely with dozens of partners and local organizations that share a goal to make our city more resilient. You can learn more about our partners and the work they’re doing as environmental stewards –  Mile High Youth CorpsDenver Park TrustThe Park People, Denver Mountain Parks Foundation Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, Wildlands Restoration Volunteers, Sand Creek Regional Greenway Partnership, Environmental Learning for Kids, Lincoln Hills Cares, The Greenway Foundation and Groundwork Denver – and even join their efforts! Together, we can continue to repair ecosystems, restore shorelines, transform landscapes into pollinator habitats and restore the wildlands. 

These are our parks. This is our planet. It’s in our nature to be part of the solution.