Overview of 2021 Volunteer Impact

Year after year, thousands of volunteers lend their time and energy to help us make Boulder a better place for all. Thank you to all the volunteers that make a difference in our community every day. View current volunteer opportunities.

In 2021 we welcomed many of our volunteers back to the City of Boulder. Thankfully, our volunteers have been very flexible and adapted to the uncertainty of 2021. Last year, we brought back group volunteer opportunities and some indoor volunteering safely. Overall, 4,493 people volunteered for the City of Boulder in 2021, giving 61,385 hours of their time and energy.

We look forward to working with even more of our volunteers in 2022 as we continue to recover from the pandemic. Thank you for your continued dedication and service to the Boulder community.

Volunteer Impact Areas

Find out more about the incredible volunteers that participated in dozens of programs from across the city.

In 2021, 134 community member volunteers served on various boards and commissions, contributing over 10,000 hours of service.

In 2021, the Boulder Public Library had 423 volunteers in volunteers who contributed 14,017 hours.

2021 Impact:

  • Increased reading and learning across our community. 95 volunteers led the way in registering 4,000 people to participate in the Boulder Public Library’s Summer of Discovery program. The community logged over 2 million minutes of reading!

  • Ensured re-use and community access to thousands of used books, CDs, and DVDs for bargain prices. Volunteers re-opened and managed day-to-day operations of the Boulder Public Library Paper & Spine Used Bookstore.

  • Provided welcoming space for adult learners in Conversations in English. Volunteer facilitators gave 1,035 hours leading 10 online conversation sessions across 6 days each week! Over 220 adult English Language Learners have participated in our program since 2020. In 2021, participants from a least 15 countries joined the discussion groups, sometimes from as far away as Libya and Brazil!

  • Preserved the stories and voices of our community. Volunteers contributed 477 hours to the Maria Rogers Oral History program, conducting 14 new interviews and transcribing and preparing 25 interviews that were added to the Carnegie Library website. 

  • Increased access to archival photographs online. Carnegie Library for Local History volunteers scanned over 2,000 archival photographs to make them available to the public on the Carnegie Library website.

  • Provided 4,200 hours of tutoring support to 50+ adult literacy and language learners. BoulderReads learners graduated high school, gained employment, became US citizens, read to their children, made cooking videos, voted, wrote stories, passed tests, went to college, and more. All accomplishments, large and small, make their lives (and the Boulder community) better.

  • Ensured access to library services to vulnerable community members. Over 100 Home Delivery volunteers gave over 2100 hours providing library items directly to residences of those who are unable to leave their home due to age, illness, or disability reasons.


  • It makes me feel great to help people be able to figure out how to text, call, and facetime their loved ones!" - Drop-In Tech Coach
  • “The lady I deliver books to lives about a third of a mile from me, it's nice to meet more people in my neighborhood” – Home Delivery Volunteer
  • “I loved meeting other volunteers and having a certain section of books to look after” – Used Bookstore Volunteer
  • “It is such a privilege!  I feel like a mentor to many of the learners who when they open up, share so very much.” – Conversations in English Facilitator
  • “Beneficial to both tutors and learners, this effective program has been a personally rewarding and gratifying experience for me and, if I may speak for my learner Jenny, a positive one for her as well. Over the four and a half years together, each of us has thrived and I am very proud of her progress and many successes.” – BoulderReads Tutor
  • “I believe the work that BoulderReads does can be considered community care. In reflecting on our pair-up, it's clear that our sessions were pretty vital in maintaining a sense of community and combating isolation in a tumultuous year.” - BoulderReads tutor
  • “There is no doubt that BoulderReads has played a significant role in our life here. You have helped us become familiar with Western culture and quickly settle here in Colorado. Having my tutor, a unique and kind person, helped me improve my English skills. Now, he is one of my great friends. “- BoulderReads learner
  • “If volunteering is all about giving, then how come I'm getting so much out of it?” – Oral History Volunteer
  • “I loved helping people and all the staff and patrons were so helpful and friendly! It was encouraging to me to see how many people the Summer of Discovery people helped to enjoy their summer reading more!” – Summer of Discovery Volunteer

Climate Initiatives had 5 volunteers in 2021 who contributed a total of 25 hours of service.

In 2021, the City Manager's Office had 13 volunteers who contributed 1,052 hours of service.

Volunteers helped as Emergency Response Connectors and served on the Police Oversight Task Force.

Housing and Human Services had 549 volunteers in 2021 who contributed 5,827 hours.

2021 Impacts:

  • Volunteers serve in over 10 programs including on 6 boards and committees ensuring diverse voices help shape city policy, that individuals are protected from wage theft and discrimination, and that grant money has necessary and meaningful impacts.

  • The Covid Recovery Center has been able to operate at the height of the pandemic due to round-the-clock volunteers, providing safe lodging for covid victims experiencing homelessness and helping prevent the spread of the disease.

  • Volunteer mediators mediated almost 100 disputes helping people stay housed, helping senior citizens navigate age-related problems and easing the burden on the court system.

  • 35 volunteers gave 546 hours providing programs for Older Adult Services in 2021. This total includes one student intern from Denver University (DU) Graduate School of Social Work for 180 hours of service. (These stats are also reported in the Volunteer Participant Numbers and Hours spreadsheet).

  • 4 volunteers gave 42 hours serving on the Age Well Advisory Committee in 2021. (These stats are also reported in the All Boards and Commissions spreadsheet).

  • 1-1 in-person intergenerational technology assistance program served 29 older adults from October to December 2021.

These programs help vulnerable populations in the Boulder Community.


  • “I greatly benefitted from multiple support systems that included mediation.”

  • “You offer an important service to the community.”

  • “I am having tons of fun and have reawakened my passion for learning, teaching and service.” -Pat T., Volunteer Leader for Older Adult Photography Group

The city's Open Space and Mountain Parks had 1,782 volunteers in 2021 who contributed a total of 19,350 hours of service.

2021 Impacts:

  • A small team of volunteers made a big impact on riparian restoration efforts along the bike path on Boulder Creek behind Foothills Community Hospital.
  • Raptor and bat wildlife monitors supported legacy data sets to sustain informed resource management policies and timely recreation closures/lifting of closures.
  • Grassland survey volunteers completed agriculture data sets related to sustainable grazing and accomplished three times the amount of work that staff could have achieved in one season.
  • Popular wellness and yoga programs at Flagstaff Amphitheater supported community resilience and connections.
  • Visitor Ambassadors continued to work at the Chautauqua Trailhead making over 30,000 contacts with the public ensuring their enjoyment and safety as they navigated our busiest trailhead on OSMP lands.
  • Trail Guides were active all year, providing on-trail guidance to visitors. In addition, their reports of downed trees during storms were particularly helpful for the OSMP staff.
  • Bike patrol also served in an ambassador-type function to the public. They also provided invaluable updates about the trail conditions to the staff as they patrolled.


  • “Volunteering as Trail Restoration Crew with OSMP was everything I hoped it would be. We made friends, we made trails, and we made a difference. At the end of the day I was tired, sweaty, and sore, but I was also super proud of the work we did.”

  • ”[Volunteering] was rewarding in three ways for me. First getting to know attending staff and other volunteers better. Secondly, the amount of "thank you' s" and well wishes we got from the general public regarding our efforts. Lastly, actually getting that amount of waste picked up and disposed of properly.”

  • “Volunteering as a naturalist for OSMP has been one of the best things I've ever done in my life. It's a place you can show up with ALL of you -- body, heart, and mind. The OSMP education and outreach team really knows how to nurture and provide training for their volunteers, and this inspires even more contribution. It's a great community for nourishing self, others, and the natural world all at once.” Cherilynn Morrow, Naturalist

  • “It is a true pleasure and privilege to work in the natural world and to offer something of value to those who love it, steward it, promote it, explore it, and revel in it. The opportunity to be of service is sincerely appreciated.” Joe Braidish, Ambassador

  • “If one loves Boulder's spectacular natural environment, and enjoys outdoor activities, there is nothing more satisfying than helping others appreciate and enjoy our open spaces while encouraging their protection for future generations.”

  • “I’m a full-time student, and volunteering for OSMP is one of the most meaningful things that I do with my limited time. I highly recommend it to young folks in Boulder and assure you it is possible to keep up with studies as a trail guide.”

  • “OSMP staff are really great to work with. They are friendly, hardworking, and enthusiastic about their service.”

Parks and Recreation engaged 1,378 volunteers in 2021, and volunteers contributed a total of 10,109 hours of service.

2021 Impacts:

  • The “Tidy Up Boulder” Challenge inspired volunteers to remove and catalog 2,300 pieces of trash that supported the beautification of Boulder’s parks, creeks and public spaces.

  • 75% of the participants in the Park Champ Program are returning volunteers. Park Champ volunteers (which also includes Litter and Flower Bed Champs) are a huge support for our park operations staff whom without their help, would not have increased resources to work on more skilled projects.

  • Birds of Special Concern (BSC) monitors, Prairie-dog survey volunteers, and Natural Lands Outreach educators are integral to the Natural Lands Program of BPR. They provide on-the-ground support and real-time data collection that staff could not accomplish without their assistance. Violations are reduced in the wildlife closures and data collected is utilized to support conservation efforts and inform management decisions.

  • Historical and Cultural Program Volunteers donated over 1500+ hours of service at Columbia Cemetery with volunteers including regularly returning Fraternities, court-ordered community service, Park Partners, and standard annual Columbia Cemetery Conservation Corps (CCCC). Their impact helped maintain over 400 standard grave markers, complete graveside American flag placement for both Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day for 300 veterans, complete over 750 linear feet of road repairs, and offset a variety of park operational work across 10 acres of burial ground at Columbia Cemetery.

  • 5,400 Tulip Bulbs were planted by volunteers on the Pearl Street Mall providing a beautiful sensory experience and well-being to visitors.


  • “I love supporting the litter Champ Program and doing cleanups with my friends.” Litter Champ.
  • “I like the feeling of raising awareness of the litter problem, especially plastic litter, in our parks and trails and to help make it go away.” Litter Champ
  • “I loved getting out with my family and taking care of my neighborhood park.” Park Champ.
  • “Enjoyed interacting with other park patrons and appreciated how much the community appreciates, uses, and respects this park.” Litter Champ
  • “The Parks and Rec staff are always a joy to work with and I enjoy getting to know them better. The opportunities available for volunteering are quite rewarding.” Flower Bed Champ

In 2021, the Boulder Police Department had 51 volunteers who contributed 1,232 hours.

Multiple headshots of people holding letters to say thank you to volunteers