Our Story


It all started in 1995

RFOV was founded in 1995 by a small group of locals who saw the need for a volunteer organization to work in partnership with the public agencies and municipalities that manage, preserve and protect our public lands. Our goal was to support these land managers, as well as conservation-minded organizations, by providing a foundation of expertise and resources to complete high-quality, tangible projects. Built on the successful model of the Appalachian Trail Club and Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, RFOV uses community involvement and a “hands-on” method to foster a sense of stewardship of our abundant natural areas.

Above: Suzanne Wolff, the second Chair of RFOV’s Board of Directors, with founders David Hamilton, Michael Hutton, and Kevin Flohr at the 10th Anniversary celebration in 2005.

RFOV uses community involvement and a hands-on method to foster a sense of stewardship.”

Our first project, in July of 1995, was to improve the popular Scout Trail in Glenwood Springs. Since then, RFOV has engaged more than 13,750 volunteers on 147 large-scale projects. We have built 29 miles of new trail, helped maintain another 254 miles, and planted more than 11,200 trees and shrubs and 11 acres of wetlands. In total, RFOV has completed projects worth several million dollars in value to our trails, public lands, and regional community from Aspen to Rifle.

Each Year RFOV selects projects that will have long-lasting value to our community, are doable by volunteers, and offer opportunities to educate our trail users about good ethics and land management issues. We provide an opportunity for volunteers to get to know local agency personnel and to learn more about each agency’s responsibilities and capabilities. We know project participants will leave each project with a greater understanding of what it really takes to build or maintain a section of trail, restore a stream bank, or reclaim a road – and often with an entirely new sense of ownership and connection to our public lands.