Two volunteers wearing sunglasses and holding shovels smiling at camera with Sierra Vista hillside behind them

Volunteer Opportunities for Individuals


The Open Space Authority is always looking for individuals who are passionate about protecting our natural resources and who want to give back to the community. Our volunteer programs offer a fun way to preserve the environment while meeting new people who want to make a difference. More than half of our volunteers are repeat volunteers who take on various roles that require special training and a long-term commitment. We have about ten times as many volunteers as paid staff, and all work together as valued team members toward the Authority’s mission.

Get Involved

Three hikers on trail

Trail Patrol

Enjoy and Protect

Members of the Trail Patrol program serve as a resource to the public and Authority staff by providing information, brochures and maps to trail users. Trail Patrol volunteers also educate visitors about proper trail use and safety, and provide staff with information on trail conditions and visitor use patterns. Trail Patrol team members are self-scheduled and commit to patrolling the Authority’s open space preserves a minimum of once a month, on foot, bicycle or horseback. Training sessions for Trail Patrol are in May and November, and volunteers must be at least 18 years of age.

Male volunteer showing nature game to child at festival booth

Community Outreach

Fun and Fairs

Community Outreach Volunteers represent the Authority at community festivals, nature or science themed fairs, and other public events. Volunteers raise awareness for open space preservation by staffing the Open Space Authority display booth, providing information about our open space preserves, answering questions, and leading fun educational games. Training sessions for Community Outreach are in March and August, and volunteers must be at least 18 years of age.

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 on the Authority’s lands. No previous experience or training is necessary, and all tools and safety equipment are provided for the day of the project. Land Steward projects occur regularly from 8 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.. Volunteers should arrive prepared with their own water and snacks to keep them fueled and hydrated as needed. Youth volunteers (age 14-17) are welcome, accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Two hikers pointing to plants next to trail


Share and Inspire

Share your love of nature with others as a Docent volunteer. Docents share information about the natural environment, lead groups on fun, informational hikes and receive special training on how to effectively lead groups. Docents commit to participating in at least one program per quarter, and must pass a fingerprint background check (fees for background checks are paid for by the Authority). Docent training is annual, with weekend classes in late February through early March. Docents must be at least 18 years of age.

Group of volunteers working on muddy trail with tools


Learn and Manage

Would you like to keep your local preserves beautiful, safe, and open 365 days a year? Trail Masters is a fun, hands-on, skills-based program designed to train volunteers who wish to gain a deeper knowledge of parks and natural resource management. This program prepares participants to complete trail maintenance and field work alongside Authority staff and other volunteers. We provide annual training and certification every winter/spring. No prior experience in trail work required - willingness to break a sweat and get dirty is a plus!