Volunteer with the State of Colorado

The State of Colorado offers many volunteer opportunities in a variety of agencies and fields.  Some of these opportunities include:
  • Adopt-A-Highway.  The Colorado Department of Transportation says that control of roadside litter costs millions of dollars each year.  You can help by volunteering to pick up litter alongside Colorado's highways.  This program allows groups of volunteers to "adopt a highway" with a sign recognizing the groups' efforts.  CDOT takes care of supplying trash bags and hauling away the collected litter. 
  • Colorado Judicial Learning Center.  Those with an interest in the courts can volunteer to help both kids and adults learn about the Colorado justice system.
  • Colorado Mental Health Institute at Ft. Logan.  The Colorado Department of Human Services needs volunteers to help at this hospital in a range of occupations including working with clients, fundraising, or helping in the gift shop.
  • Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Volunteers are essential to many natural resource programs, including wildlife habitat programs and State Parks.  If you enjoy being outdoors, there are many great opportunities.
  • Colorado State Capitol.  The home of our state government also attracts many visitors, and volunteers are needed to guide tours, answer phones, and otherwise help visitors learn about the Capitol, including as a Capitol Ambassador.
  • Colorado Volunteer Mobilizer.  Here you can sign up to volunteer during hazards and emergencies.  Those with experience as physicians, paramedics, nurses, therapists, and veterinarians are especially needed.
  • Environmental Leadership Program.  This program of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment matches volunteers with environmentally-focused projects.
  • History Colorado and the Colorado State Archives.  These agencies offer numerous volunteer opportunities for those interested in the history of our state.
  • Serve Colorado.  Overseen by Lt. Governor Garcia's office, this program coordinates several annual Days of Service.


Camping in Colorado

If you enjoy camping, our state offers some terrific options from the mountains to the plains.  Right now is an especially good time to head up to the mountains, as the wildflowers are in bloom.  The Colorado Tourism Office has recently put together a list of "10 Amazing Colorado Campsites."  Colorado Parks and Wildlife also has a helpful Camping website.  Here you can find out about camping in State Parks and reserve your campsite online. 


State Capitol Dome

The Capitol Dome is again being revealed as the scaffolding has been slowly removed over the past several months.  So what was this project all about, and what will be the final result?  The Colorado Department of Personnel and Administration, who is overseeing the restoration, has issued this Fact Sheet, which includes a brief description of the project and information on the color of the cast iron, which may look a little bluish for now, but will eventually patina to match the rest of the building.

The Colorado State Capitol Dome undergoing restoration. 
Photo courtesy Colorado Department of Personnel & Administration.
The dome is also being re-gilded.  According to The Colorado State Capitol:  Pride of Our People (1992; available for checkout from our library), the dome has been re-gilded several times, including in 1949, 1980, and again in 1991 following hail damage that caused the gold leaf to flake.  The dome was first gilded in 1908 at a cost of $14,680.  Prior to that date, it had been covered in copper.  For the current restoration, gold from the mining areas of Cripple Creek and Victor was donated for the project and first went to Italy to be formed into gold leaf (see this blog post from the Share in the Care Campaign, which raised money for the dome restoration).

The gold dome.  Photo courtesy Colorado Legislative Council.
Today visitors can tour the Capitol dome, which is no longer in danger of injuring tourists, as it was prior to the renovation.  Visitors can view Mr. Brown's Attic, an exhibit on the history and construction of the Capitol.  Click here for information about the free tour.  A virtual tour can also be accessed for those unable to visit in person.


Starting a Business in Colorado

The State of Colorado offers many resources for Colorado entrepreneurs.  One of the most helpful resources is an online tutorial from the Colorado Secretary of State's Office, Starting a Business in ColoradoThis tutorial takes you step-by-step through the business registration process, starting with selecting and registering your business name.  You can also use the Secretary of State's website to check and make sure the name you have chosen is not already in use.  To do this, go to the Business Database.  The tutorial also includes a link to this database.  Continuing with the tutorial, you will find out how to secure your business record; then it outlines the next steps you need to take.

The State of Colorado has also set up another website to assist in the registration process.  This is the Colorado Business Express.  Although it is more complicated to use than the Secretary of State's tutorial, this website is useful by allowing users to customize their registration to their individual needs.  The site also offers links to various resources on starting a business.

Finally, be sure and check the Colorado Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) website.  Part of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, the SBDC offers locations around the state where entrepreneurs can access consulting services, attend training workshops and other events, and find helpful resources such as the Colorado Business Resource Book.


Fishing Guides

Planning on doing some fishing this summer?  If so, Colorado State University just made it easier to identify the fish you catch.  They have created the eField Guide to Western Fishes -- Colorado and Wyoming.  You can use the e-field guide on your phone or tablet as they are caught, or search on your computer to find out various fish facts, such as the difference between spiny rayed fish or soft rayed fish.  In addition to color photos of all fish species, the guide includes a glossary, checklist, family groupings, and more.

The Colorado Division of Wildlife (now Colorado Parks & Wildlife) has also published numerous fishing guidebooks and other resources for anglers of all skill levels.  Their annual Fishing Guide, a supplement to Colorado Outdoors Magazine, has just been released -- check out a copy from our library.  Other helpful resources available for checkout include: 
The Arkansas Darter, a Colorado fish.  Photo by John Woodling, courtesy Colorado Parks & Wildlife.