VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

There are a number of volunteer opportunities available at the Whitfield Wildlife Conservation Area.

We are currently looking for volunteer ambassadors to help out on Saturdays at the Visitor’s Center.

Additional opportunities exist to help out during our workdays, and special events. Also, our Outdoor Crew could use more members. Come on over to the Visitor’s Center on a Friday or Saturday, and take a look around! We have a number of public events coming up and encourage everyone who wants to visit to follow us on Facebook for updates to our schedule. Also, we welcome the public to attend our board meetings, held on the second Saturday of each month from 10 am to noon.

Do you share the same interest and want to help? Call (505) 864-8914 to help volunteer

Spring 2022 Volunteer News


It’s been an eventful several months since my last update in February. The Friends of Whitfield have continued to hold regular workshops on the third Saturday of the month from 9:00 – 12:00. During those days volunteers have cleared the trail east of the visitor center, trimmed brush between the parking area and the cactus garden, picked up trash along Highway 47, and spruced up the pollinator and cactus gardens. Volunteers individually contributed hours during the week and tackled projects assigned by Johnny Chavez, Conservation Program Manager. Several volunteers did a wonderful job updating and enhancing the information board the Friends display whenever they have a booth at an event. A couple of volunteers also assisted Allison Martin, Education Manager, and Natalie Duncan, Education Assistant, when a class of elementary school students came for a field visit to Whitfield.


The second annual Friends of Whitfield online auction was volunteer driven and financially successful. Seven dedicated volunteers planned and implemented the event, our largest fund raiser of the year. The total hasn’t been tabulated but we anticipate we’ll exceed the amount we netted from last year’s auction and that was $3380.00.


The Science Fiesta/Earth Day celebration at Whitfield on April 22 – 23 saw an impressive turnout of volunteers who helped with the set up and take down, manned the registration table and Friends booth, greeted the public and directed folks to upcoming events as the time approached, served snacks, and helped the event proceed smoothly.


While much of the conservation area is closed to the public due to the damage done by the recent Big Hole Fire, the good news is that much of the plant life is recovering. Fields are turning green as irrigation water flows. It’s anticipated there will be a need for restoration planting in coming months for trees and plants that didn’t survive. The extent of the damage continues to be assessed and a plan will be created. When the time comes for replanting the call will go out for volunteers.


In the meantime, volunteers can always be used at Whitfield in a wide range of activities, from trail and garden maintenance to computer skills, from board of director membership to interpretive guides. What skills, talents and interests do you have that you’d be willing to share with the Friends of Whitfield and the Whitfield Wildlife Conservation Area?


Frank Mazza, Volunteer Coordinator, 802-772-5320

Spring 2022 Volunteer News

It’s been an eventful several months since my last update in February.  The Friends of Whitfield have continued to hold regular workshops on the third Saturday of the month from 9:00 – 12:00.  During those days volunteers have cleared the trail east of the visitor center, trimmed brush between the parking area and the cactus garden, picked up trash along Highway 47, and spruced up the pollinator and cactus gardens.  Volunteers individually contributed hours during the week and tackled projects assigned by Johnny Chavez, Conservation Program Manager.  Several volunteers did a wonderful job updating and enhancing the information board the Friends display whenever they have a booth at an event.  A couple of volunteers also assisted Allison Martin, Education Manager, and Natalie Duncan, Education Assistant, when a class of elementary school students came for a field visit to Whitfield.

     The second annual Friends of Whitfield online auction was volunteer driven and financially successful.  Seven dedicated volunteers planned and implemented the event, our largest fundraiser of the year.  The total hasn’t been tabulated, but we anticipate we’ll exceed the amount we netted from last year’s auction and that was $3380.00.

     The Science Fiesta/Earth Day celebration at Whitfield on April 22 – 23 saw an impressive turnout of volunteers who helped with the setup and take down, manned the registration table and Friends booth, greeted the public and directed folks to upcoming events as the time approached, served snacks, and helped the event proceed smoothly.

     While much of the conservation area is closed to the public due to the damage done by the recent Big Hole Fire, the good news is that much of the plant life is recovering.  Fields are turning green as irrigation water flows.  It’s anticipated there will be a need for restoration planting in coming months for trees and plants that didn’t survive.  The extent of the damage continues to be assessed and a plan will be created.  When the time comes for replanting the call will go out for volunteers.

In the meantime, volunteers can always be used at Whitfield in a wide range of activities, from trail and garden maintenance to computer skills, from board of director membership to interpretive guides.  What skills, talents and interests do you have that you’d be willing to share with the Friends of Whitfield and the Whitfield Wildlife Conservation Area?

Frank Mazza, Volunteer Coordinator, 802-772-5320

Volunteer News – January/February 2022

Volunteer participation at the Whitfield Wildlife Conservation Area is on the increase.  On Saturday, January 15, ten people showed up for the morning work session.  Nine of us worked on trimming and pruning brush and shrubs to the east and north of the visitor center.  One volunteer completed his monthly water analysis of the numerous wells at the conservation area.  The wells are remnants from the days Whitfield was a dairy farm.  This citizen science study has been in progress for several years and is creating a record of changes in sub-surface water quality.  There are ample opportunities to create your own citizen science project at Whitfield that would enhance your knowledge of the flora and fauna of the Rio Grande basin as well as document the changes that inevitably occur over time.

The Friends of Whitfield Online Auction Committee met on January 12 to discuss this year’s major fundraising event and to assign tasks.  Our goal is to net at least $4000 after expenses.  The funds raised will be used to support the education programs administered by Allison Martin, Education Manager of the Valencia Soil and Water Conservation District (VSWCD), who is housed at Whitfield.  Committee members will soon approach businesses and ask for donations for the auction.  The auction will run from April 1 – 23 with the final two days falling in conjunction with Earth Day and Science Fiesta programs at Whitfield Conservation Area.  This popular spring event is organized by VSWCD and features presentations, activities, and booths that celebrate our planet and provide enjoyable ways to learn about our environment.  We can use volunteers both on the auction committee and at the Earth Day/ Science Fiesta activities.

The next Friends of Whitfield workday will be held on Saturday, February 19, from 9:00 – 12:00.

Frank Mazza, Friends of Whitfield Volunteer Coordinator              

Volunteer News – December 2021​

Regularly scheduled workdays for volunteers have returned to Whitfield.  During a volunteer orientation meeting on November 15, the group decided to schedule the first workday for Saturday, Nov. 27.  Seven volunteers waddled to Whitfield on that day (recall that Thanksgiving was the previous Thursday and all admitted to an excess of calorie intake).  We promptly received our assignment from Conservation Program Manager Johnny Chavez and worked for 3 hours removing invasive Russian Olive plants from the middle basin behind the visitor center and pruning dead limbs from the trees and bushes bordering the parking area.

Seven intrepid volunteers, some of whom were different from those who worked the previous week, again offered their services the day of the Friends of Whitfield annual board meeting and Whitfield birthday celebration.  On this day chairs were arranged and removed for the crowd of 80, roadside trash cleaning was accomplished, the registration and raffle table was manned, the  Friends information table was set up, and the event flowed smoothly in no small measure due to their presence.

The next workdays will be Saturday, December 18, and Saturday, January 15 from 9:00 – 12:00.  If you don’t have the time or endurance to complete 3 hours, any amount of time is greatly appreciated.  While the work to date has been on the physical side there are volunteer opportunities that would be less strenuous.  The visitor center is in need of ambassadors.  The role of this person is to greet the public from the front desk in the visitor center.   They would answer simple questions and in so doing help paid staff from being interrupted from their work.

A volunteer orientation meeting will be held on Saturday, January 8 from 9:00 – 10:00 when we’ll answer questions about volunteering at Whitfield, describe the types of work we do to help the staff maintain the conservation area, and solicit input regarding what folks want their volunteer experience to look like..

Frank Mazza, Friends of Whitfield Volunteer Coordinator

fmazza@live.com