Volunteer With Us!
For twenty years EVLT was an all-volunteer land trust, and volunteers still play a critical role in the daily activities of the organization.
Our organization conducts about 200 site visits to easement properties each year, and our largest volunteer program with over 100 active volunteers assists with this task.
Please don’t hesitate to contact EVLT by mail, phone, email, or just drop by!
New Volunteer FAQ
What does a volunteer monitor do?
We have over 160 conservation easements on approximately 10,000 acres of land across the Estes valley. By state law, we must monitor each property every year, and we are lucky to have over 100 volunteer monitors to assist us with this task.
Each monitor is partnered up with another monitor and are assigned a property. The monitors contact the landowner, set up a time to meet between June and August, and go to the property. The monitors walk the entire property and look for any violations of the terms of the conservation easement and document them on the provided monitoring form. They return this form and any photos or GPS tracks they took to the office and their work is done! The volunteers are never responsible for enforcement, only the land trust staff does this.
How much time and effort is required?
You can choose to monitor small, flat, simple properties if you wish, or large, steep, difficult properties. Our smallest lands are less than an acre, and our largest are well over 1000 acres. We are happy to accomodate volunteers of varying abilities. You may choose to monitor just one property each year, or as many as you can fit into your schedule.
We also use volunteers in our office to help with mailing letters and other activities. If you are interested in this, reach out to us!
Is there a commitment?
We don’t have a defined time commitment, but we value institutional knowledge among volunteers that is built over years of experience. New monitors are paired with experienced lead monitors who have been monitoring the same properties for years. When the lead monitor “retires” from their volunteer service, the partner monitor becomes the lead and can train the next partner monitor. This builds relationships among our volunteers and between landowners and volunteers.
Do I need to know anything about conservation easements to volunteer?
Most of our volunteers do not know how conservation easements work before they begin monitoring. We host a monitor training lunch each year to train new volunteers and refresh experienced volunteers. We are happy to answer any questions about our work that volunteers have, but you don’t need any prior experience of knowledge to begin!
How does this benefit me and the community?
Monitors get the chance to hike and see some of the most stunning private properties in the Estes Valley while volunteering, and by ensuring the properties are abiding by the terms of the easement, you are preserving that land for wildlife to use and for the community to enjoy seeing, now and forever.
Active Volunteer Resources
Lost you monitoring form? Use this blank one:
If you are unable to contact your landowner to schedule a monitoring date, send them this postcard. You can print it yourself or stop by the office to pick one up with a stamp already affixed.