BOULDER, Colo (CBS4) Oftentimes outdoor volunteer work involves long hours and strenuous work, but on Sept. 7, Boulder Wildlands Restoration Volunteers and Xcel Energy are providing a volunteer opportunity that’s as close as you can get to a walk in the park.
Starting at 9 a.m. volunteers will spend three valuable hours walking through one of two possible locations south of Boulder, collecting special native grass and wildflower seeds. Trained crew leaders will take small groups through the open space and guide them through the process. Volunteer Manager Mary Eldred says that it’s incredibly relaxing and easy work.
“You can literally sit down and pick the seeds around you while you talk to friends,” says Eldred.
After collection, the seeds will be put in climate-controlled storage so that they can be dispersed in Boulder lands later on.
“This is really important restoration work that’s really under the radar,” Eldred says.
She says the native seed is invaluable because it’s already adapted to Boulder’s climate and altitude. When planted, it won’t have a negative impact on its environment. The seed is also very hard to come by.
“The seed is more valuable than gold because it’s not available commercially,” says Eldred.
The collection of the native seeds is the first step in the larger restoration process for the Wildlands Restoration Volunteers. The seed can be planted in the burn scar areas of fires like the Four Mile Canyon Fire to stop erosion problems, while helping restore the area to it’s former beauty.
“We are doing the unsung kind of restoration work,” Edred says.
Volunteers will be provided with specially made feather light seed bags to aide their collection, along with snacks to stay fueled. The exact location of the collection is not yet determined, but will be selected three days before and emailed to people who are signed up. Local specialists will study several potential spots and decide the place that has the seeds most ready to be picked.
No experience is necessary for volunteers, but Mary Eldred says focus and an attention to detail will be the most valuable skills for this project.
Sign up to help Boulder Wildland Restoration as part of the Xcel Energy Day of Service. That takes place on Saturday, Sept. 7, from 9 a.m. to noon.
CBS4 has partnered with Xcel Energy to provide nine different wildland restoration projects on the Day of Service.
– Written for cbsdenver.com by Conor McCue