Becoming a volunteer ranger assistant in Larimer County
By Amber McIver-Traywick
Are you looking for a way to give back to the community and help the public safely enjoy our natural areas? If so, you might want to consider becoming a volunteer ranger assistant and help park, open space and natural area rangers with their important work. As a volunteer ranger assistant you will serve as an ambassador by promoting outdoor safety and awareness and answering visitor questions.
Since 2008 Larimer County and the City of Fort Collins have collaborated to use this program to make visiting our natural areas a little better. These folks can host at a trailhead, special events, or monitor trails by wheelchair, hiking, biking, rollerblading or even horseback. In fact, you may have already had an encounter with one of these great volunteers. Applications are being accepted now through the end of the business day on Jan. 13, 2020.
Qualified candidates will have experience in the outdoors, excellent communication skills, and enjoy talking to people, have time for volunteering and filling online patrol logs, and have access to the internet. You must be over 18 years old with strong interpersonal skills and a commitment to promoting the responsible enjoyment of natural areas and Larimer County open spaces. You do have to commit to 20 hours of volunteer service per year.
If you are selected to be a part of the program there is a mandatory training and you must be able to pass a background check. The training this year will be Feb. 18, 20, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Feb. 22 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
If you are unsure about having the skills or knowledge needed to volunteer, the training will give you the tools you need to be successful. In training you’ll learn about local and regional trails, how to approach visitors, ecology, safety, responding to emergency situations, and stewardship. You’ll meet rangers from Larimer County Department of Natural Resources and the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department.
This is a great opportunity to get exercise, fresh air, and quiet time all while giving back. The schedule is flexible, however volunteers are needed most on weekends during the summer months.
To find more information and fill out an online application, visit larimer.org/nrvolunteer or call Ranger Peckham at 970-631-2944.
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