Become part of an enthusiastic community that shares your passion. Volunteers are critical in all parts of Resource Stewardship. Volunteer today!
Dark Sky Monitoring
Assist state parks in learning more about the quality of the night sky by collecting measurements of light pollution at night. CPW is working to document sky brightness in State Parks through the Dark Sky Monitoring community science program. We connect volunteers with tools to collect dark sky data that can be used to help preserve and protect the nighttime environment and our heritage of dark skies. Help us identify parks for recognition of their Dark Sky quality so that astronomers, campers, and nighttime photographers know where to see the Milky Way, escape to true nighttime, and enjoy the natural night sky! Using a smart phone or printed star charts, our Dark Sky monitors take a few minutes on moonless nights to document how many stars can be seen with the naked eye. Observations can be made year round in different moon phases (new moon is best). To fully document a park's night sky quality, multiple measurements need to be taken, depending on the size of the park the time commitment would vary. Observations may be made in any state park that allows overnight recreation - please check the state park website before visiting! No experience needed.
To fully record a park's dark sky quality, 2-4 hours may be needed in one night. However, a signle observation should take less than 15 minutes.
Learn how to measure dark sky quality and help CPW identify parks eligible for certification through International Dark Sky Association.
We are attempting to build a volunteer reptile and amphibian monitoring program! The goal is to contribute to community science and management decisions at Colorado's State Parks. Roles and responsibilities are loose right now, with a hope of formalizing the program and building from the ground up. Volunteers should have a keen knowledge of reptiles and amphibians and be able to identify species that exist in the desired state park. Contact staff to see how you could help build this program!
Help collect data on the biodiversity of state parks! iNaturalist is a mobile app and online network where you can record what you see in nature, meet other nature enthusiasts, and learn about the natural world. The Resource Stewardship Program at CPW manages the State Parks NatureFinder project, which provides volunteers, staff, and visitors the opportunity to assist in ecological monitoring.
To participate, simply download the free iNaturalist app on your mobile device or visit iNaturalist.org to set up a free account, then join the State Park NatureFinder project by visiting https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/state-parks-naturefinder and clicking "Join this project" in the upper right corner. Observations or identifications need to be within the boundaries of a Colorado State Park.
State Parks NatureFinder Project Terms & Rules:
- Remember to always be respectful of wildlife and keep these viewing and photography guidelines in mind. By following these guidelines you are helping promote conservation of wildlife and their habitats, as well as the safety of yourself and others!
- Wildlife should be viewed/photographed from a safe and respectful distance.
- Use binoculars, spotting scopes, zoom lenses, and viewing blinds to avoid disturbing species.
- Avoid getting close to nests or dens - your presence can disturb breeding and alert predators to nest/den locations.
- Never post locations of nests/dens.
- Stay on trails and roads, tread lightly, and leave plants and animals where you find them.
- Do not use recorded animal calls to attract wildlife.
- If an animal shows any sign of stress, move away.
- Keep pets on leash at all times.
- Do not feed wildlife.
Flexible. Volunteers can count 1 hour for every 4 observations or every 8 identifications made within the State Parks NatureFinder project on iNaturalist.
Help collect data on the biodiversity of state parks! Get outside and observe plants, animals, and fungi! Help Colorado Parks and Wildlife document biodiversity in our state parks and earn volunteer hours by submitting photos of plants, animals, and fungi