Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area launching volunteer educational series

Rafting on the Upper Arkansas River - Courtesy CPW
Published Sunday, March 19, 2023

The Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area and the nonprofit Greater Arkansas River Nature Association are sponsoring a free four-part educational series to train volunteers to help steward the public lands of the Upper Arkansas Valley. 

Participants will study a different topic each week. The goal is for participants to go out and educate others about volunteer opportunities related to each week's topic.

Besides AHRA and GARNA, partners in the project include the Royal Gorge Region of the Bureau of Land Management and the Salida Ranger District of the U.S. Forest Service, as well as individual educators.

Participants can sign up for one or all four training days.

The series will culminate in a Summer Kick-Off Event May 13, at Riverside Park in Salida.

All events meet at the AHRA Visitor Center at 307 W. Sackett in Salida at 9:00 a.m. If a field trip is part of the training, transportation will be provided.

Saturday, March 25, 9-11 a.m.

  • Topic: Ornithology - Dave McNitt from the BLM will teach about public land management agencies, birding and bird habitat on public lands and volunteer opportunities such as Nestbox Monitoring and Pinyon Jay Monitoring programs.

Friday, April 7, 9-11:30 a.m.

  • Topic: Stream Ecology - Alex Townsend, CPW aquatic biologist based in Salida, will discuss the fish of the Upper Arkansas River. Participants will get hands-on experience electroshocking fish with CPW staff and learn of volunteer opportunities with Collegiate Peaks Trout Unlimited's Stream Ecology programs.

Friday, April 14, 9-11:30 a.m.

  • Topic: Wildlife - Participants will learn about opportunities to volunteer as with the Boreal toad monitoring program.

Saturday, April 29, 9-11:30 a.m.

  • Topic: Geology - James McCalpin, president of GEO-HAZ Consulting in Crestone, will discuss local geological features through maps and a short field trip. Volunteer opportunities with the Chaffee Rec Adopters and stewarding public lands also will be discussed.

To register, go to:

For more information, contact AHRA at 719-539-7289 or GARNA at 719-539-5106 or by email at

GARNA is a Salida-based nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the natural resources of the Upper Arkansas Valley by providing educational opportunities and experiences. may earn an affiliate commission if you purchase products or services through links in an article. Prices, when displayed, are accurate at the time of publication but may change over time. Commissions do not influence editorial independence.

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