Barbara Borkan, Class of 2003: I enjoy being out at Roxborough. It is beautiful and has natural scenery that I and visitors appreciate. I like to talk to visitors' on the trails and give tours at the historic Persse Place. When I am not at the park, I can be found walking/hiking, playing tennis, listening to all types of music, or reading the NY Times. You'd be surprised to learn that I am learning to play a Fender electric guitar!
Dave Broste, Class of 2007: I enjoy the beauty of the park in all seasons and enjoy the people I meet there. I like leading school group hikes and being a roving ranger. My favorite past time is birding. For 14 years I conducted criminal investigations for the U.S. Department of Labor. I also worked for the Environmental Protection Agency in Superfund enforcement.
Julie Brown, Class of 1991: I’m such a nature lover that it’s no wonder I’ve enjoyed being a volunteer for the past 20 years. It’s a great escape from the real world and when I’m here I feel a sense of peacefulness even when the VC is bustling with people.
I enjoy working in the VC because it enables me to interact with visitors and help out with some office duties. I also like roving the trails so I can talk to visitors as well as experience all the wonders of the wildlife and beauty of the park. Helping with occasional special projects is another activity I enjoy.
In my free time I go for walks, dance, go to dinner with friends and catch up on projects at home. Hiking and road trips are also high on my list as well as music.
I’m not as reserved outside the park as I appear to be when I’m there and at one time in my life I wanted to be a fashion designer in New York City. How far removed from that could I be?!!!
Kathy Brown, Class of 2011: Volunteering at Roxbrough is a special privilege. I love hiking the trails, working with the school kids , and participating in the Puppet Show. I love learning about the park and look forward to learning more every year. I want to be able to do the Rox Ride and learn more about the flowers, animals, history and geology of the park. My favortite activity is the puppet show, but that may change as I learn about other new interesting activities. Also, I am a great grandmother. I have a great granddaughter and my grandson.
Gary Burton, Class of 2007: Prior to turning in my volunteer application for the spring class of 2007, I had never visited Roxborough. I like the pristine and hidden nature of the Park and its conservation/preservation mission. Talking with visitors and teaching kids about the nature and ecology of the Park is interesting for them, enjoyable for me and helps keep my former biological knowledge nearer the surface. Some of the things I enjoy about volunteering is talking with visitors about the Park and learning their interests and firefly monitoring. When not at the park I fly-fish a lot; I never seem to get any better, but I still catch my share. One of my first professional jobs was an assignment to the Snail Darter recovery and research project working for the Tennessee Valley Authority in Alabama and Tennessee. The closing of Ft. Loudon Dam and the possible risk to the Snail Darter species was the first real test of the Endangered Species Act.
Kevin Corwin, Class of 1998: Roxborough provides a wide variety of natural beauty in a small and tranquil space. I most enjoy taking little tykes on hikes; they are spontaneous and full of wonder and curiosity. I enjoy a wide variety of activities outside of Roxborough, my favorite one is usually the thing I'm doing at the time.
Class of 2011: I was involved with Roxborough State Park for over 6 years prior to attending the volunteer training. As a volunteer I enjoy meeting people and interacting with them to enhance their experiences at the Park. I especially enjoy doing the puppet shows where I can share Roxborough nature tales with small children; they are our future guests and a single special experience at a young age can make them part of Roxborough's future.
My favorite pass time is designing and printing toys and interesting items for my grandchildren on my 3D printer. I also enjoy "making things". You'd be surprised to learn that I design and code computer programs and I collect old military firearms.
, Class of 1982: In the early spring of l982 I answered a small ad in the paper requesting volunteers to help get a new state park open. I was teaching school and it sounded like an interesting way to spend the summer. Little did I know it would be a life changing experience continuing on these 30 years later.
Volunteering at Roxborough has introduced me to some wonderful people, to adventures in the out-of-doors, to great opportunities for life-long learning, and it has enriched my life in countless other ways. It would be hard to imagine not volunteering at this magical park.
I most enjoy leading hikes and teaching about birding. It is always a thrill for me when a visitor or a new volunteer "discovers" a bird they have never seen before. And sometimes at Roxborough, I find a new bird for my life list.
Besides spending time at Roxborough, I enjoy travel, writing, rug braiding, reading, playing bridge, and gardening. I volunteer at South Platte Park in Littleton, at Audubon Society of Greater Denver, Denver Field Ornithologists, and at my church.
Something surprising about me? I love spending time in France and Switzerland every year visiting family members.
Rosie Detwiler, Class of 2001: I was raised in Phoenix, Arizona. I met her future husband, Jerry, in1953 at the University of Southern California. We raised our family in Torrance, California, and have been married for 55 years! I taught art in high school, but resigned to start a family. After having two boys and a girl, I went with my husband to live in Germany and France while he taught graduate classes for the military. We came home with a “souvenir” 4th child, (a boy) who was born a short time after returning home.
I began teaching at a church preschool. In 1986, Jerry became an Associate Dean at the University of Denver. We settled into a patio home in what has become Centennial. I resumed preschool teaching until I retired in 2000. Every year I brought my students to Roxborough to hike, for I love nature. After retiring, I joined the 2001 class for volunteer naturalists and have been active ever since, mostly hiking or telling stories to young children. Most of my children and 13 grandchildren, have hiked at Roxborough with me. My husband and I enjoy traveling and have explored all over the world!
Roger Dowell, Class of 2003: I came to a meeting for potential new volunteers in January 2003. When I drove into the park and saw the magnificent beauty of Roxborough State Park, I knew I wanted to be a volunteer at the park.
The staff and volunteers are wonderful to work with and they are always willing to assist anyone to further enjoy the park. It is especially enjoyable to watch people experience the beauty of Roxborough State Park for the first time. My favorite activities at the park include school programs, Rox-Ride and Rox-Revealed programs. I especially enjoy talking about the geology that can be seen at the park.
My favorite past time when I am not at the park is spending time with my wife, our daughters and granddaughters. In 1964 my wife and I moved to Midland, Texas where I started a 35-year career with Texaco Inc. as a petroleum geologist. I retired from Texaco Inc. in 1999 and can’t think of a better volunteer opportunity than volunteering at Roxborough State Park.
Susan Dunn, Class of 1997: Completing the 1997 Volunteer Training class began the
Roxborough adventure story for me. Soon
the chapters were daily as I started working as the Winter Weekend Visitor
Center Supervisor. With grand support from
my husband, I also worked full time at an elementary school. After 35 years in the school setting, I took
the opportunity to work in the Visitor Center full time November to April
making my drive to work less than 5 miles one way. I left spring and summer open to camp, travel
and visit with family. I have the best of all seasons! Raptors, Mountain Bluebirds, native plants,
bears, bats, volunteers and park guests have enriched my connection to all
nature has to offer. Through my 13+
years on staff, I have seen many changes, but the landscape of Roxborough,
fragile as it is, keeps me refreshed.
Kathy Falbo, Class of 2009: I love the outdoors and Roxborough Park is a place to be connected with nature; being able to view the wildlife up close is wonderful. Volunteering at Roxborough gives me lots of pleasure. I love interacting with park visitors, especially the children. My favorites activities are working on the monthly puppet show and moonlight hikes. Also, I'm very focused on health information, particularly nutrition and diet.
Bob Fullerton, Class of 2011: I have enjoyed hiking and cross-country skiing at Roxborough for many years. I enjoy volunteering because of the spectacular scenery and the chance to learn more about wildlife, plants and flowers. There are so many things I enjoy about volunteering at the park, however I enjoy volunteering in the Visitor Center the most. It's an opportunity to meet people and explain the different activities at the park. Besides volunteering at the Park, I enjoy hiking, backpacking, gardening and playing golf. In the winter, I enjoy cross-country skiing and catching up on reading. I also sing as a tenor in my church choir.
Mike Gartland, Class
of 2013: I enjoy volunteering at Roxborough for several reasons. I love hiking
in the part, surrounded by its wildlife and natural beauty. I very much enjoy
working with park visitors, teaching them about the natural environment and the
need to preserve it for future generations. I enjoy leading school groups and
scout groups, especially using the park’s outcrops to teach about the geology
of Colorado and geologic processes in general. And I enjoy the opportunity to
interact with other volunteers who continue to teach me about the park, its
wildlife, wild flowers and geology. The volunteer activity I enjoy most is
leading interpretive hikes on nearly any subject.
My favorite past time depends upon the season; skiing in
winter, sailing in summer, and hiking in Roxborough in all seasons. Although I
generally speak of myself as a geologist, my first love and first two college
degrees were in physics.
Suzanne Hattery, Class of 2007: I have enjoyed hiking in Roxborough State Park for more than 10 years. I enjoy volunteering at Roxborough because of the exceptional beauty and serenity of this park. I have learned so much from the observations and shared knowledge of my fellow volunteers as well as the visitors that I have been privileged to assist. Scout & school group hikes, puppet shows, and kids hours are among my favorite activities. Seeing the natural beauty of the park through the eyes of children is always a thrill. Besides hiking, I often golf, play tennis, ski, and snowshoe. I look forward to adding to my list of fourteeners that I have climbed.
Betsy Healey, Class of 2011: Avid hikers, my husband, John, and I discovered Roxborough State Park within weeks of our move from Houston to Denver. We both graduated as volunteer naturalists in July 2011. I am fascinated with the archeology of the Rocky Mountain foothills and have updated the volunteer reference materials related to paleo-history and Native Americans in the park as well as organized a fair in honor of National Archeology Day. Other volunteer activities include: setting up a web site, leading moonlight hikes, learning about the homesteads, and the occasional puppet show.
When not volunteering at the Park, I enjoy writing fiction, poetry, or non-fiction. Just give me a keyboard and I’ll start pounding on it. I joined a writer’s workshop in Denver and have begun the networking required to get a foot the publication door. Who knows – this might become my next career! My other passion is music. John and I both play guitar and enjoy arranging rock and folk songs with two-part harmony. This is a great cold weather hobby and our neighbors don’t seem to mind.
John Healey, Class of 2011: I fell in love with the geology of Roxborough State Park on my first visit in the fall of 2010. I wanted to contribute to the park’s mission to preserve these resources for future generations, so became a volunteer naturalist in the spring of 2011. At the Park I enjoy leading hikes and teaching visitors about geology, ecosystems, flora, fauna, and history; it is my favorite part of being a volunteer naturalist. It is quite a challenge to assess a visitor’s experience level and to tailor what I share to their level of interest and comprehension. Apparently first graders don’t care much about plate tectonics.
Outside of volunteering at the Park, I am an avid golfer. After a twenty year hiatus, I’m getting my game back in shape and have begun competing again. Along with golf, watching the Rockies and sports in general, I spend my spare time on music. I play guitar - rock, folk, classical, and jazz - and Betsy and I do a lot of singing in the cold months.
Jill Holden, Class of 2009: I discovered Roxborough State Park after moving to Colorado in 2000. To me Roxborough is such an unspoiled gem it is just a pleasure to be a part of it. I enjoyed the resource monitoring programs the most. In doing bluebird and firefly monitoring I am able to get out and enjoy the birds along with the wildflowers, mammals, butterflies and the many other things that you notice during monitoring. Monitoring helps in the understanding and protection of nature. My favorite time at Roxborough was the excitement of seeing the white fuzzy back of a baby eagle poking up above the top of a nest a few years back when it was thought that maybe the eagles would not end up successfully nesting there that year. Surprisingly, I love birds and also love cats.
Karen Hurley, Class of 1997: I really enjoyed the volunteer classes I tool for my training in 1997. Our volunteer coordinator was Mary Bonnell, and she got us very excited about leading hikes for school children. I was fortunate to have Sue Wareck, one of our most experienced volunteers, take me under her wing during my training; I continue to enjoy taking school children on hikes around Roxborough. The young children are the most enjoyable. They seem to get excited about the simplest things in nature and they always make me laugh.
The last couple years I have helped with the moonlight hikes and really like seeing the park at night. Moonlight hikes give visitors a chance to see more wildlife. We have had some very interesting bear encounters on our evening hikes.
One of my favorite past times is hiking in our Colorado mountains. I also lead hikes for the Colorado Mountain Club and enjoy exploring all the beautiful places our state has to offer. I have been fortunate enough to have climbed almost 40 of the 54 fourteeners. I have also been successful in climbing Mt Kilimanjaro in Africa and some high peaks in the Andes in Peru. I hope to continue to travel to other high points around the world.
Many people might be surprised to learn that I am a pretty good golfer. I play in 2 leagues in the summer and enjoy playing different courses around the country and in Colorado. Playing a sport that takes you outdoors to beautiful places ties in nicely with my other interests in nature.
Kirk Inderbitzen, Class of 2015: I was a Seasonal Ranger at the Park for 4 years. I've worked as a trail coordinator, in facilities repair and maintenance, and in wildlife management. I enjoy the natural beauty, geology, remote location, and community involvement of the Park. My favorite activity is working on trail maintenance. When not volunteering I love back country travel with my family and friends. Also, I've been able to travel around the world.
Jim Ives, Class of 2007: I began volunteering following a diverse career spanning more than 37 years in environmental management. There are a couple of reasons why I enjoy volunteering at Roxborough. One is the fulfillment of a childhood dream of being a park ranger. The other is being able to introduce children to the joys and excitement of the natural environment. I enjoy leading school and scout hikes as well as roving the trails and meeting park visitors. I love spending time with my 10 grandchildren, fly fishing, and turning wood bowls on a lathe. My wife, Marta, and I live in Centennial. I spent 10 years in Alaska, where I was able to observe and enjoy the exciting wildlife of the “Last Frontier”.
Del Kelley, Class of 1991: I have been a volunteer for over 25 years. I enjoy volunteering at the park because I learn new things and it is fun. Most favorite volunteering opportunities are those that help protect our wildlife habitat. When I am not volunteering you can find me in the water; I like to sail, paddle, and snorkel. My other interests are in art. I enjoy painting, creating collages, and visiting museums.
Tina Kingery, Class of 2009: As a former competitive marathoner, I had the honor of competing in the first ever USA Women's Olympic Marathon Trials in 1984. An outdoor enthusiast my entire life, I still enjoy running, hiking, biking, camping, and snowshoeing. Several years ago, I moved from Boulder to Centennial and a Park Ranger at Eldorado State Park recommended I look into the volunteer program at Roxborough. I followed his advice and graduated with the volunteer class of 2009.
My volunteer activities at Roxborough have included school groups, homestead and moonlight hikes, weed warriors, front gate, Archaeology Fair, and other special events. My favorite park activity is the Roxy Puppet Theatre. I look forward to retiring in a few years so I will have more time for travel and volunteering at Roxborough.
Sue Klinke, Class of 2009: I visited Roxborough State Park and thought it was one of the most beautiful places I've ever been to and I wanted to help out in any way I could. So after an excellent training programming in 2009, I started volunteering. I enjoy sharing the history of Roxborough by leading hikes and helping scouts obtain their badges. No matter what the season, I never tire of the beauty offered at the park.
I work as a Youth Services Librarian in Douglas County. I thoroughly enjoy going to work and assisting all who come to visit the library. In my free time, I am out hiking or traveling around the US or world. Also, I have many fun hobbies; reading, knitting, pottery, stained glass and much more.
Hank Lacey, Class of 2015: I enjoy volunteering at Roxborough because I like educating kids about nature. There are many interesting things in the park for them to see and learn about. When not volunteering I like to read. Also, I have been to the top of the Eiffel Tower.
Bev Lascody, Class of 2007: I value Roxborough State Park so much that I want to do whatever I can to ensure its continued existence. I especially enjoy helping with the moonlight hikes, trail roving and special events. My favorite pastimes include snow skiing and hiking. Also, I have a elderly friend who I am a patient advocate for.
Tony Lazzari, Class of 2015: I enjoying volunteering because of the interaction with the people who come out to experience the beauty of our Park. I most enjoy giving visitors tours on Rox-Ride and helping with the Raptor Monitoring. When not volunteering I take nature photographs in beautiful Colorado. Also, I am a die-hard Chicago Cubs fan.
Christine Liptak, Class of 2013: I love being out in the beautiful park and learning about the plants, animals, geography, and archeology that are in my backyard. My favorite volunteering activity is doing the Roxie Puppet Show. When I'm not at the park I like to hike and commune with nature. Also, I love visiting sacred sites all over the world.
Cindy Livingston, Class of 2003: After an absence of 35 years, my husband and I returned to Colorado in 2002; we're natives. We discovered the sanctuary of Roxborough even before we closed on our home. Roxborough provides tranquility within me that is hard to duplicate anywhere else. As a former teacher, I find it very satisfying to coordinate the school groups and make sure that things run as smoothly as possible. It is also fun to make sure that each and every one of the volunteers gets credit for all of the time that they so willingly donate. When not volunteering I enjoy including reading, volunteering for my community, hiking, Tai Chi and skiing. Lastly, I am a certified Ikebana (Japanese flower arranging) instructor. Many years ago my husband’s company transferred us to Japan where I earned my certification. I continue to take classes even now.
Barbara MacRae, Class of 2009. I have been enjoying the beauty and wonders of the park since the mid-1980's. I enjoy volunteering at Roxborough for many reasons. Part of it is selfish, since I just enjoy spending time at the park. But I also enjoy sharing what is special about Roxborough with visitors as well as the feeling that I am giving back to a park that has given so much to me.
Over the past two summers, a large portion of my volunteer hours has been towards maintenance of the Memorial Garden. I also volunteer at the Persse Place open houses as often as I can and occasionally on Moonlight Hikes. I also enjoy participating in the volunteer meetings and enrichment programs. My favorite pastimes are hiking and camping and just being outdoors.
I was the first woman to get a Bachelor's of Science degree in meteorology at the University of Utah. That may not sound so unusual now, but in the early 1970's, there were very few woman who wanted to become a meteorologist!
Susan Majeski, Class of 2009: I was born into an avid “outdoor family” and have lived in
Colorado all my life. I thought I knew
it all when I enrolled in the Naturalist Training Class in 2009. Was I ever wrong! I worked hard to absorb all the new
information and was delighted when I learned enough to start sharing it with
our park visitors.
I enjoy giving outreach programs to social and school groups
in the surrounding area. During the fall and spring seasons I assist with the
many school groups that tour the park. I
also work with volunteers who are studying evening wildlife in Roxborough.
Once I escorted a group of children from Denver’s inner city. These children had never been out of the city
and none of them spoke English. Furthermore,
I didn’t speak Spanish. And it was pouring
rain. These kids donned their
trash-bag-ponchos and we ventured out. With translators helping, the kids were amazed
at our gorgeous scenery. They were
thrilled to see our wildlife and I even learned a few Spanish words. At the end
of our planned walk they begged to go farther and see more. Sharing my love of the park with these
children is a memory I will always treasure.
I am also a certified therapy dog handler. My dog, Cooper and I enjoy reading activities
with children. We also tutor at-risk children
at an inner-city after-school program. When not volunteering, I enjoy reading, crafts and water color painting. In the summer I love to garden.
Janet Mays-Carpenter, Class of 2015: I enjoy nature very much and I like sharing information about it with others. My favorite volunteering activity is doing the Roxy Puppet Show. When not volunteering I like road biking. As a matter of fact, I road biked sections of the Tour de France route in the Pyrenees Mountains during the Tour de France Tour.
Bruce McCrea, Class
of 2015: I enjoy volunteering at the Park because it gives me the opportunity
to be outdoors in beautiful surroundings, to learn about & enjoy the flora,
fauna and unusual geological features, to meet like-minded people, and to share
my knowledge of the park with visitors. I most enjoy leading school age
children groups around the park and watching their excitement, enthusiasm, and
smiles grow as they take in and learn about all the park has to offer.
When not at the park my favorite pastimes are hiking,
biking, skiing, and traveling. I became interested in hiking as a Boy Scout and
always looked forward to the “high adventure” treks at summer camp in
the Rocky Mountains.
Mary McEnany, Class
of 1993: I started hiking in the Park in 1991; I like birding. I learned about
volunteering opportunities and took the training. To me Roxborough is the most
spot in Colorado. I volunteer because I enjoy other people enjoying the Park,
love the Moonlight hikes, and I like giving back to my native state,
Colorado. My favorite volunteering activities are being a Weed Warrior and
leading Moonlight Hikes. When not volunteering I like watching CU win football
games; I am a 48 year season ticket holder.
John Meeker, Class of 2009: Being in the beautiful outdoors where there is a lot of animal and bird activity is just the best part of my day. It is fun to meet people on the trail and in the visitor's Center and being able to help these people increase their enjoyment of Roxborough is rewarding.
When I am not volunteering, I enjoy discovering how our ancestors, here and around the world, coped with the world. I like to travel to places where I am forced to grow and learn in order to make the adventure worthwhile. I have paddled part of the Inland Passage north of Vancouver, trekked to the base of mountains near Mt Everest in Nepal, and many other trips.Susan Meeker,
Class of 2009: I love the outdoors and being in nature so being a volunteer at Roxborough is a perfect fit for me. I enjoy the park all year round. My favorite activities include the Roxy Puppet Shows and Moonlight Hikes. One of my favorite pastimes is spending time with my grandchildren and instilling in them the importance of being a good steward to our land.
Paul Mimless, Class of 2015: I enjoy volunteering at the park because it is fun meeting new people and showing them the beauty of the Park. My favorite activity is volunteering with children; especially for those children who have never visiting.
When I'm not volunteering, I enjoy hiking the many state and national parks in the US. I also really like talking with people.
Gary Morgan, Class of 1997: I have be a volunteer for 20 years. I enjoy volunteering because I love the outdoors and wilderness areas. My favorite volunteering activity is wandering the trails. When I am not volunteering I make hiking sticks and canes.
Class of 2015: The area is so beautiful and diverse; when I come around the last corner toward the visitor center, the view takes my breath away. I want to be able to share some of the joy and feeling I have for the park with park visitors. I enjoy helping at the visitor center and helping the staff.
When I am not volunteering, I like being active. My most consistent activity is walking my dogs. You'd be surprised to learn that I have a pilot's license; although, I haven't used it in 30 years.
Suzanne Peterson, Class
of 2013: I enjoy sharing this beautiful park with visitors; especially with
children, some of whom do not get outside to enjoy nature. I like taking
students on hikes and teaching them about the importance of keeping places like
Roxborough pristine for our future visitors. I find it very gratifying to take
people who have limited mobility on the Rox -Ride so they too can enjoy this
When not volunteering, I enjoy hiking and reading. Also, I love
and bond with animals easily. However, I am pleased that Roxborough keeps the
park unspoiled for the native animals. There are many places that one can take
pets, ride bikes, and have fun on motorized transportation. Let’s keep
Roxborough pristine. We will try not to love it to death.Vickie Pettit
, Class of 2007: I enjoying volunteering because of the beauty of the park and I love meeting the people that come to the park. I enjoy doing anything the park needs especially baking and volunteering in the office. You'll be surprised to learn that I was a missionary in Mexico and worked as a missionary in Los Angles working in the homeless shelter.
, Class of 2013: I've led many hikes for school classes, scout groups and adults sharing information on geology, ecosystems, homesteads, animals and plants. In addition, I've written several newsletter articles. I've created interpretive programs to help boy and girl scouts obtain merit badges. I enjoy volunteering at Roxborough because it allows me to spend time outdoors in a wonderful location. I have the opportunity to share experiences, to teach and to learn about the park and its inhabitants. I especially love to share knowledge about our natural world with young visitors.
I enjoy almost all outdoor activities; sky diving, hiking, climbing, skiing, snow shoeing, canoeing, diving, and rafting. I've spent thousands of hours observing plants and animals in the wild including two months spent living with Indians in South American. I was very impressed by their skill and knowledge of their environment. I hope I can pass some of that knowledge on to others.
Jim Remley, Class
of 2011: Volunteering has become an important part of my
life since I retired in 2010 and Roxborough State Park was my first volunteer
job. I also volunteer with Highlands Ranch Metro District, VA Hospital and CO
Parks and Wildlife.
The volunteer training program was fantastic; it was like
going back to college and studying stuff I knew nothing about. I am on the Bear
Aware Team and use that training to do bear educational sessions at the Park. I
also enjoy working the annual archeology day and doing wildlife educational
programs in the community.
Working in the Visitor Center provides me the opportunity to
meet people from all over the US and from many foreign nations. I want Colorado
Parks and Wildlife to be successful in fulfilling its mission and hope that I
can play a small part in support.
I have worked on two research projects aimed at lowering the
rate of the poaching of rhinos. One project was primarily a habitat study in
Kenya and the other was in South Africa and designed to recognize behavioral
changes in rhinos that had their horns removed to make them less attractive to
poachers. At the current rate of loss to poaching, rhinos will be extinct in
the wild in about 17 years.Alma Rounds,
Class of 1997: In 1987 I read a newspaper article about the opening of Roxborough State Park to the public. Since hiking was our favorite activity, we loaded up our dogs and headed out for the day. The attendant at the gate explained that Roxborough was a natural area and that dogs were not permitted. However, this only piqued our curiosity about this beautiful area and we soon returned. After hiking the trails for years I decided it would be fun to become a volunteer naturalist. I was immediately interested in learning all about Roxborough's history. For many years, I have enjoyed sharing this knowledge with park visitors at the Persse Place Open Houses and on the trails. Recently, I worked with other volunteers in updating Roxborough's history photo album and PowerPoint presentation.
The excellent training and experience from Roxborough eventually lead to my volunteering at Rocky Mountain National Park as part of the Elk Bugle Corp and Big Horn Sheep Brigade.
Mike Rounds, Class of 1997: I discovered Roxborough in the late 1980's and it was a spot of beauty and tranquility in the fast growing Denver area. Having grown up in Denver, it was refreshing to know that areas like Roxborough were being preserved. I hiked the trails for years before becoming a volunteer naturalist. It is a pleasure to talk to visitors who are just as enthralled with the park as I am at Persse Place and on the trails. With a background in journalism, I have fun telling stories to kids on the patio while showing them pelts and skulls. When not volunteering at Roxborough, I volunteer at Rocky Mountain National Park with the Elk Bugle Corp was another opportunity to share experiences with park visitors.
Carl Sandberg, Class of 2003: I've been involved with the Park since 1989 and I went through the formal training in 2003; I really like the history I learned. I enjoy sharing the Park with others. I take pleasure in roving trails, leading moonlight hikes, and interacting with the visitors. When not volunteering I take photographs and chase down Colorado and western history. Also, I lived overseas for 15 years which allowed me to pick up a lot of language skills.
Ann Sarg, Class of 2007: I like to work with the school tours, Scouts and Jr. Naturalist programs. A favorite highlight to being a Roxborough volunteer is the continuing education offered by Roxborough volunteers and outside groups. I love sharing nature with all ages and I especially like to see the wonder expressed when something new and awesome is discovered. My favorite pastimes are hiking, especially in the high country and cross country skiing. You may be surprised to know that I have reached the summits of nine 14ers and hope to climb more
Kevin Schaal, Class of 2013: The first time I applied for Roxborough State Park's Volunteer Naturalist Program was in 2013 while I was still working full time. The advice I received at that time was to wait and reapply after I had retired since the training program requires a significant amount of time and dedication to complete. When I retired on 12/31/2014 after working 30 years at Johns Manville in Littleton, I reapplied and was accepted. I graduated from the 2015 Volunteer Naturalist class last year in May and truly enjoy the camaraderie developed with fellow 2015 class mates. Since I am still one of the newbies in the program, I am focusing on learning the ins and outs of the role as a Volunteer Naturalist and concentrating on expanding on the knowledge learned during training. I am particularly interested in the geology and archaeology of Roxborough State Park and enjoy working with the school groups and scout groups who visit the park. One of my short term goals is to complete my training as a Rox Ride Driver which allows people who have mobility challenges to also enjoy the wonders of Roxborough State Park. You may also find me working at the counter in the Visitor's Center where I enjoy assisting people who come in with questions.
My wife, Cheryl, is also retired so it's not unusual to find us outdoors hiking or snowshoeing with an 'Over the Hill Group' of the Colorado Mountain Club, or skiing at Copper Mountain or Mary Jane. I also enjoy biking, home improvement projects and working out at the local gym which I belong to. Pam Schmidt,
of 2013: I love spending time at Roxborough State Park because it offers such a
variety of “things”. Whether I am watching for raptors, leading school groups,
participating in a special event like Archaeology Day, cross country skiing on
Fountain Valley, or just enjoying a hike with family and friends, every visit
is different with new opportunities for connecting with nature.
After a 26-year career of teaching I am grateful to have
time and energy in my retirement to hike, play tennis, birdwatch, garden and
travel. I love frogs and enjoy
monitoring a frog pond for activity every spring. I also have a pet frog which I hatched in my
classroom many years ago; he is now 21 years old!Ronnie Seagren,
Class of 2013: Volunteering gets me out of the house and into nature. And I get to take photos and hike. One of my favorite activities is leading the moonrise hikes; a more relaxed hike where my talk can be spontaneous based on what we see. My life is crowded with "past times" from needlework to photography to writing science fiction and fantasy. I once aspired to be an astronaut, and I plan to be in Grand Teton for the upcoming solar eclipse.
Judy Sears, Class
of 2015: I like volunteering because I enjoy the outdoors and being with people
who also enjoy the outdoors. My favorite activity is leading school hikes. When
not volunteering I like walking in the long shadows of the day chasing sunsets.
Also, I grew up in Saigon.
Sharyl, Class of 2003: I discovered the Park a few years before I became a volunteer and found it to be a beautiful display of God's creation. I enjoy a variety of volunteer activities, including roving, helping get rid of noxious weeds, assisting with younger kids school groups, and working in the Visitor Center. Talking to visitors about the Park is a lot of fun; especially ones who are discovering it for the first time. My favorite Volunteer activity is working with groups of individuals who have special needs and disabilities. I love to see their excitement and joy in the small things; like seeing a deer, or touching a flower.
When not volunteering, I love to hike the Colorado mountains, as well as snowshoe, and spend time with my family and friends.Tom Smithwick
, Class of 2009: When I entered Roxborough Park in in the Spring of 2009 for the informational meeting about volunteering, it was my first time in the park. There are multiple reasons I enjoy volunteering; visitors, fellow volunteer's, staff and the park. The park is a hidden gem in the Front Range. I enjoy leading school tours. I taught high school for close to thirty years and enjoyed my entire career. Now I'm leading groups of elementary age children on educationally focused trips into the park during my retirement. When not volunteering I enjoy fly fishing lakes, particularly lakes that are in mountain settings.
Mary Taylor, Class of 2011: I'd been bringing out-of-town guests to see the park for many years, so when a volunteer friend sent me a notice about the 2011 volunteer training class, I decided to look into it. I was intrigued by the possibilities of working as a naturalist in such an amazing open air classroom. I knew volunteering would get me out into the park on a regular basis and motivate me to learn more about the natural world. I have fun interacting with school groups and visitors of all ages and backgrounds. I've meet all kinds of interesting people while doing 'Rox Talk' conversations on the patio and working with other volunteers and staff. And I feel more connected to nature just by being at the park on a regular basis.
Dave Thomas, Class of 2007: When my wife and I moved into a development next to Roxborough State Park, I knew that I was going to spend a great deal of time hiking and exploring the park. When I learned that I could become a Volunteer Naturalist and that the park would teach me the interstices of the park, I was hooked and I've been a volunteer since 2007.
I get a big kick leading grade school kids and scouts through the park. Often the young people have never been to Roxborough and they really light up when they see the natural beauty of the park. I’m always amazed at their fascination with the scat that we find along the trail. With 3rd and 4th graders, anything to do with bodily functions is really “cool”.
I’m retired from a career in high tech sales and marketing. I lead hikes for the Colorado Mountain Club, bike, fly fish and chase after a couple grandchildren. I’m currently on the Board of Directors for the Roxborough Water and Sanitation District.
Mike Thomas, Class of 2015: While I only recently graduated from the 2015 Volunteer Naturalist training program, I have been visiting Roxborough since 1994. I brought two of my kids to Roxborough on Christmas Eve. It snowed on us and the hike to Carpenter Peak has since turned into a Christmas Eve tradition for the Thomas clan. It is one of our favorite places in the state, or anywhere for that matter. Since becoming a volunteer naturalist, I have tried to get involved in as many of the programs and activities as I can to learn more about the park, and believe me, I learn with every activity. I really enjoy the Homestead Hike, Archaeology Day, helping with the Christmas Bird Count and just helping visitors find their best experience at Roxborough State Park. I especially love being out on the trails and talking to visitors.
When not volunteering at the Park, I love hiking, snowshoeing, and cycling. I am an avid runner and am continually training for the 2 – 3 half marathons my family and I do each year. I have many varied interests also including fly fishing, photography, gardening and anything else outdoors. I am a master of none, but enjoy them all. One thing I am proud of is my family history in Colorado. My great, great, great uncle is Edward Berthoud. He was an explorer and railroad engineer for whom Berthoud Pass, the town of Berthoud and Berthoud Hall at the Colorado School of Mines are named. Because of my history in Colorado, since I was a kid I've had a strong desire to live in Colorado. And I have been lucky enough to live here since 1985.
Vickey Trammell, Class of 1977: I was a volunteer at the
Park when it opened. I feel like it is a part of me. I most enjoy discussing
the flowers that are in the park and performing ecological
investigations. I have many hobbies; I like writing stories and poems,
painting, seeing what is around me in the natural world, and I listening to
music. You'd be surprised to learn that I shook John F. Kennedy's hand.
Phyllis Vandhaar, Class of 1997: Roxborough State Park has been my "volunteer home" for the past 15 years; ever since I took an early retirement from teaching art at Arapahoe High School in Littleton. Knowing I wanted to spend my volunteer hours out of doors, I specifically chose Roxborough. This park holds a very special place in my heart. It is peaceful and beautiful and restores my equilibrium and perspective. I think of this place as a natural preserve which is the home of fauna and flora, and we humans are merely visitors in their habitat. It is the outdoor museum of geology, and our responsibility is to keep it that way. Probably, my most enjoyable activity here is teaching the art programs where I share the pleasure of interpreting the artistic wonders of the park. But, equally important is the joy I receive in driving the Rox Ride where I assist those who are unable to walk comfortably to see and hear the stories of the park. I truly love interacting with people and making their lives just a little richer.
My own personal favorite pastime is a little more difficult to nail down; nearly everything is my "favorite." I wouldn't have missed living for anything! I'll narrow my list of favorites to downhill skiing, painting (watercolors), hiking and golf. While people might not be surprised to learn that I love to hear the Colorado Symphony (live), they might be very surprised that I, also, am very fond of Rock Music which I play in the car and at home. The joy of life is everywhere for the looking, and, I like to think of myself as a "woman for all seasons."
John Walters, Class of 2009: Roxborough State Park is my favorite mountain place, bar none. Its variety of ecosystems, geology, wildlife, archaeology and history, not to mention unparalleled beauty, make it one-of-a-kind and top of the list. As a Roxborough volunteer, I enjoy the excellent training we receive and the variety of opportunities to serve. I have led nature hikes, monitored trails, manned the entrance station, chopped weeds, maintained trails, and monitored bluebirds and raptors. I also lead a Roxborough team on the annual Audubon Christmas Bird count.
My passions include wilderness adventures and observing wildlife. Each year I lead or co-lead about 100 backcountry treks for the Colorado Mountain Club (CMC.org). To help celebrate Rocky Mountain National Park's (Rocky's) centennial anniversary, in 2015, I hiked all of Rocky's 80 trails. One of the greatest rewards of pursuing natural history is making friends with some of the brightest, most knowledgeable and generous people anywhere.JulieAnn Watterson
Class of 2009: I love driving into the park; the beauty and serenity changes my
entire focus for the day. I enjoy talking with visitors and I am constantly
learning things through the conversations. I mainly work in the visitor center;
my background as an office manager is easily used in the park setting. I hike
frequently and meet many visitors along the way; it is interesting to see the
diverse group of people who travel through the park on any given day.
When I am not volunteering, I like to cycle or read. Also, I
am a snowboarder...sometimes I am sure I am the oldest one on the hill. Please
do not confuse me with the boarders flying upside down through the terrain
park. I have been known to take air, but only to save my life!
Roger White, Class
of 2013: As soon as I finished my training I started working with school
groups. My favorite thing about school groups is seeing kids get excited;
especially those who have limited exposure to parks and outdoor life. I like to
do many things at the park; work in the visitor center, participate on the
Archaeology Day Committee, represent the park at the Dinosaur Ridge Scout Day,
participate in Geology Day, and share the park’s colorful history at the Persse
Place open houses. One of the highlights of the volunteer experience is working
with the park staff and volunteers. When I’m not volunteering, I enjoy
traveling, golfing, fishing and hiking.
Deb Wright, Class of 2009: I've been hiking Roxborough State Park since Christmas Eve 1994. As a volunteer, it is such a joy to meet new people and show them around our beautiful park. I've also made lifelong friends with other volunteers. My favorite activity is my Nature & Knitting program; it is so much fun. I get to be outside on the trails and then spend time knitting hats, gloves, scarves and more with visitors.
When I'm not at the park I am out with my husband and spending time with our 3 youngest grand-kids. We frequently explore the Denver area.
You'd be surprised to learn that I only started playing outside when I found Roxborough. Prior to that I was unable to due to my asthma.