If you enjoy being in the country and around country folk, you might enjoy volunteering with the Colorado Agricultural Leadership Foundation (CALF). CALF, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, operates the 133-acre Lowell Ranch on Plum Creek just south of Castle Rock and offers a wide variety of volunteer opportunities ranging from working with kids, planting and caring for gardens, helping with special events and working with livestock. CALF's mission is connecting people to agriculture through authentic educational programs, community projects and special events.
One of the favorite volunteer opportunities at CALF is to take a weekly slot to help take care of the livestock. This is a perfect opportunity for families with young children and who are interested in teaching them about responsibility and caring for animals. Families will learn how to care for a variety of livestock including goats, chickens, ducks and Cowboy, our miniature pony. Children learn about realities of having to feed animals every day even if you don't want to, the seasons of life and many other important lessons.
CALF also seeks former teachers and others interested in education. Our Connecting Kids to Agriculture educational programs (with current programming ranging from Kindergarten thru six grades) are conducted from April through June and then in the fall. Volunteers help conduct learning stations and provide program assistance in an outdoor learning environment. Our hands on activities are designed to provide students with a much greater understanding of importance of agriculture in everyday life and where food comes from.
If gardening is your thing, CALF has a burgeoning garden complex including the Where Food Comes FromTM School Garden (garden used for educational programs), Edible Landscape Demonstration Garden, Pumpkin Patch, Research Orchard, Bea Lowell's Heirloom Garden and a large produce garden. CALF seeks volunteers to help plant and maintain these wonderful educational and income earning gardens. CALF also conducts on site "Fresh Harvest on the Ranch" which is its take on a farm stand.
Don't have much time, perhaps you would like to be a one-day volunteer at one of CALF's agricultural festivals at the Lowell Ranch. CALF will be hosting its annual May Day event in conjunction with the Front Range Sheepdog Trials over Memorial Day weekend. Harvest Day is planned for Saturday, October 13, 2012. These events are meant to be both enjoyable and enlightening with a lot of family oriented activities including carriage and hayrides, livestock, historic tours, plant and pumpkin sales and much more.
If you are interested in becoming a CALF volunteer or more information on CALF, please call Carolyn Hayes, CALF Volunteer Coordinator (303-663-8024) or visit www.theCALF.org. CALF is located at 2330 I-25, three miles south of Castle Rock on the east frontage road of I-25.