Group of 12 adults and children taking in the view at the top of Sierra Vista, surrounding a female volunteer in an Open Space Authority t-shirt


Get Involved Volunteer Login

Have fun outdoors while giving back

Our Volunteers Are Making a Difference for the Planet

Here's why you'll love being a volunteer:

Build meaningful connections with visitors and nature

Help make Santa
Clara Valley a better place

Protect and restore natural lands for future generations to enjoy

Volunteer of the Month


Preserve Steward, Land Steward, Docent

Volunteer Dave sitting in field of wildflowers

Anyone who knows John, appreciates him for his diverse interests, willingness to share his knowledge, and his great sense of humor. After a career in the gaming business, John went back to school to get a PhD in evolutionary biology. He and several scientists worked on the phylogenetics of birds using DNA sequences, resulting in the ‘Early Bird Project’- a fantastic, big-picture view of avian phylogenetics. 

These days John tutors for the GRE and GMAT, and in his spare time, he learns about birds, bugs, rocks, science fiction, and history, though the order may vary. Not only does John share his knowledge at our monthly volunteer book club meetings, he is also a regular Preserve Steward at Sierra Vista and has joined us for several Land Steward projects over the years.

John's curiosity for the natural world is inspiring to all of us who get to work with him.


Volunteer Dave sitting in field of wildflowers


Years of volunteering with us


Favorite Program

Sierra Vista

Favorite Open Space Preserve

Volunteer Opportunities

As a volunteer for the Open Space Authority, you will help preserve and protect valuable natural resources for yourself and future generations. At the same time, you’ll get a chance to learn about the environment, meet interesting people, work hard, and have fun. Learn more about volunteer roles. You can also volunteer for roles on the Authority's committees.

Three hikers on sunny trail

Trail Patrol

Enjoy and Protect

Trail Patrol team members are agency ambassadors and information resources for visitors, and commit to patrolling the Authority’s open space preserves a minimum of once a month, on foot, bicycle or horseback.

Male volunteer showing child nature game at booth

Community Outreach

Fun and Fairs

Community Outreach Volunteers represent the Authority at community festivals, nature or science themed fairs, and other public events.

Female volunteer removing invasive weeds with hoe

Land Stewards

Restore and Preserve

 Land Steward volunteers assist Authority staff with trail maintenance, habitat restoration, fencing and cleanup projects.

Two hikers pointing at plants next to trail


Educate and Inspire

Docents share information about nature and the Authority's mission and work, leading groups on fun, educational programs and activities.

Group of volunteers working on muddy trail


Learn and Manage

Trail Masters is a fun, hands-on, skills-based program designed to train volunteers to complete trail maintenance and field work alongside Authority staff 

Trail Patrol, Docent, and Community Outreach roles are open to anyone 18 years of age and older. Youth aged 14-17 are welcome in the Land Stewards Program or for Internship and Special Projects with parental consent. Contact Gavin for more information.

Volunteer Handbook

Gavin Comstock headshot
Point of Contact
Volunteer Programs Administrator
(408) 224-7476 ext. 517