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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Outdoor volunteer opportunities at Chimney Rock National Monument

Photo courtesy Chimney Rock Interpretive Association
To help community members learn about volunteer opportunities at Chimney Rock National Monument, the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association will host an open house on Saturday, April 9, at 6:30 p.m. at the Tennyson Event Center.

By Nadia Werby | Chimney Rock Interpretive Association

Are you looking for a fun outdoor volunteer opportunity this summer? Chimney Rock National Monument is an amazing place to spend your time and meet new people. 

Here’s what our volunteers have to say about this off-the-beaten-path archaeological site: 

“Our love is the meeting of people including our knowledgeable and dedicated staff. When I arrive at whatever post I am to handle, I look around, breathe in the beauty of the place and eagerly anticipate the coming of guests from all over the world.” — Jim and Jean Carson.

“One thing that I love about volunteering is meeting and working with visitors. To be more specific, I love their reactions to our site. Most are so surprised when they get the view of the Great House on the ridge. I love to hear: ‘Wow, this is so much better than we had expected,’ or ‘We knew nothing about this place, just saw the sign. So glad we came.’ I hear many such comments all season and it makes me feel so rewarded to have shared the monument with others. I also love learning more about the connection that the present-day Pueblo people have to Chimney Rock. I also love getting to know our staff and volunteers — such a great group of people.” — Susan Yalom.

“This past season, we had several super inquisitive and curious kids come through the mesa host area. I love their smiles and the look of discovery and genuine amazement on their faces. I also love when someone from the local area says: ‘Wow, this place is super cool, I can’t believe that I’ve lived here for five years; why did I wait so long to visit.’” — Dave Bouquet.

If you enjoy getting out into nature, learning new things and interacting with the public, the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association (CRIA) is a great place to volunteer. There are a variety of opportunities with different levels of physical exertion, training and time commitments. The staff are very accommodating and work with you to customize a volunteer role that will meet your desires and interest. 

To help community members learn about the exciting volunteer opportunities at Chimney Rock National Monument, CRIA will host an open house on Saturday, April 9, at 6:30 p.m. at the Tennyson Event Center located at 197 Navajo Trail Drive. A host of CRIA volunteers will be on hand, eager to introduce guests to the variety of roles that support this unique program and the flexibility in level of commitment. Some of the volunteer positions include mesa host, interpretive guide, gift shop retail and special program assistant.

CRIA offers a great, in-depth training program in a fun environment to anyone interested in joining our amazing team of volunteers. This year, volunteer training will take place on April 29 and 30. We are very excited for the upcoming season starting May 15 and want to encourage the community to join us.

CRIA is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that runs the daily operations and interpretive program at Chimney Rock National monument in partnership with the USDA Forest Service and the San Juan National Forest. For more information, see the CRIA website at www.chimneyrockco.org or call (970) 731-7133.

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