VOC Riparian Restoration at Southern Plains Land Trust



Where We Were: 

The Southern Plains Land Trust creates and protects a network of shortgrass prairie preserves, including Heartland Ranch near Lamar. This preserve spans approximately 25,000 acres, an area larger than any of Colorado’s state parks as well as several national parks! The rolling grassland terrain supports black-tailed prairie dogs, pronghorn, and a large herd of reintroduced bison. Several rare plants, a variety of native vegetation, and dozens of miles of seasonal streams can be found throughout the ranch.

Public visitation at the preserves is extremely limited, and volunteer projects such as this one offer the unique opportunity to visit for free and learn about this remarkable area!

What We Did: 
Join us for a Spring weekend in the southeast corner of Colorado. There are many sites throughout Heartland Ranch in need of TLC to restore the important streambank habitat. Working alongside volunteers ages 12+, you’ll help install structures such as rock dams, Zuni bowls, and media lunas to help control erosion on streambanks and, if possible, plant cottonwoods and coyote willows to further improve the habitat. 

Camping is available Friday and Saturday night; VOC’s volunteer Crew Chefs will provide breakfast on Saturday and Sunday as well as dinner on Saturday night.

Why It Matters: 
This work is vital to improving watershed health in the Arkansas River Basin, the largest basin in Colorado by area. By installing these erosion control structures and adding native plants to the landscape, you’ll help slow water movement and improve stream health within these large and important preserves.

About Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC)

Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) is the state’s oldest, largest, and leading outdoor stewardship nonprofit organization. Founded in 1984 to motivate and enable people to become active stewards of Colorado’s natural resources, VOC has engaged nearly 126,000 people in more than 1,000 volunteer projects for a donated labor value of $25 million. Through award-winning youth and volunteer programs, leadership training, capacity-building programs, and collaborative efforts with nonprofits and land management agencies, VOC is an invaluable resource in Colorado, especially as our outdoor stewardship needs are approaching near-crisis levels. For more information, visit www.voc.org or call 303-715-1010