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Open Space Volunteer

Ways to volunteer with Open Space

Check our events calendar for upcoming volunteer opportunities.

Trail Watch Volunteer Program

Trail Watch Volunteers are the foundation of the volunteer program. Trail Watch is ideal for those volunteers who enjoy using the trails. Often referred to as Open Space "eyes and ears," these volunteers patrol areas of their choice and record observations, report problems and needs, and educate the public on proper resource use.

One ABQ Volunteer website banner


The Shackley's, who are Trail Watch Volunteers Adopt a new Trail.

Trail Watch Volunteers:

  • Report observations such as flora and wildlife sightings and visitor activities
  • Notify the Division of maintenance needs and law enforcement issues
  • Educate and guide the public to be stewards of our environment
  • Assist with conservation projects


Getting Started

All volunteers attend a two-hour orientation which provides background on the Open Space Division and discusses volunteer responsibilities. Trail Watch volunteers are required to contribute a minimum of 25 hours per year and complete two additional trainings or attend two programs of the individual's choice. After completion of 25 hours, volunteers receive an official Open Space Volunteer t-shirt or ball cap.

Required Background Screening: The City must take reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of everyone in our parks and Open Spaces, including park users, volunteers and City employees. Therefore, we require all volunteers with the City of Albuquerque to be screened by the City (background check) to determine their suitability to participate in City programs. Volunteers with convictions or pending charges will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and will be considered for a volunteer position if they do not pose a threat to the public or vulnerable populations.

Adopt an Open Space

This program was formed to concentrate stewardship in a targeted area. Trail Watch Volunteer training and duties are applied, but adopters also agree to organize at least one group project per year. Some areas may require more scheduled projects within a year. In the foothills, individuals or groups can adopt trails and assist with the essential maintenance of these visitor corridors. In the Bosque, groups of 10 or more can adopt restoration areas and help with non-native plant control, trash clean up and trail maintenance. At the City's expense, a sign is installed in the adopted area recognizing the adopters' efforts.

For more information about the Trail Watch and Adopt programs please contact Volunteer Program Coordinator Jenny Blackmore, [email protected].


Open Space Visitor Center Volunteers

Open Space Visitor Center Volunteers are trained to:

  • Greet visitors and tell them about the Visitor Center
  • Introduce visitors to changing educational and art exhibits
  • Work in the demonstration gardens
  • Assist with programming and events
  • Describe the history, purpose and goals of the Open Space program
  • Encourage visitors to explore Open Space lands
  • Observe and interpret the Visitor Center's wildlife and plants
  • Learn and share: The geography of the Open Space system, the history of the Piedras Marcadas Pueblo Village, the natural and human history of the Middle Rio Grande Valley


  • "I became a volunteer because I enjoy the atmosphere at the Visitor Center."
  • "The staff gives me the freedom to see a need, make a plan, and create a solution! Something I couldn't do in my paid job."
  • "I keep coming back - the community of Open Space is a definite positive in my life."
  • "The Open Space Visitor Center is a magical place."

To learn more about volunteering at the OSVC, please contact Visitor Center Manager Dionne Epps, [email protected].