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Windsor Volunteer Experience

Building a Spirit of Community Service

Article by Madeline Cheek

Photography by Charlie Dana, John Ward, Richard Ivey, Madeline Cheek

Originally published in Windsor City Lifestyle

Welcome to the Windsor Volunteer Experience, the Town of Windsor’s volunteer program. Here, Windsor residents are building the community that they want to be a part of. Volunteers are investing their most valuable resource: their time.  In 2023, Town of Windsor volunteers invested over 3,500 hours of their time to make a difference in our community. Join us on a tour of the Windsor that volunteers are creating…The first stop on our tour is Eastman Park, where a splash of color at the skate park will catch your eye. Last year, volunteers joined local artists to paint a new mural. Jose was one of the volunteer Crew Leaders that led this event. He remembers the excited faces of the children as they painted. “I volunteer because it is a way to support my neighbors and give back to the community,” Jose says. “Volunteering is a great way to initiate change and it can involve entire families.” 

Keep wandering through the park along the Poudre Trail and you’ll find yourself enchanted by an acre of garden space nestled just south of the river. This is Treasure Island Demonstration Garden, a testament to the possibilities of gardening in our northern Colorado climate.  Treasure Island has grown into an abundant, award-winning space thanks to the hard work of dedicated volunteers. “It is a great resource for gardeners new to the area, to learn what grows here and get some Colorado gardening experience,” says Cathy, a volunteer of many years. “I love getting outside to garden with people who love it as much as I do.”  New volunteers are always needed to make this special place possible. Ezzat joined last year and quickly became an important part of the team. “As an immigrant, volunteering is my way of giving back to this beautiful country and helping my community grow healthy produce,” said Ezzat. “I feel honored and grateful to be a part of the Windsor community.” Gardeners like Ezzat work hard to provide fresh produce for people in need. Last year, volunteers donated nearly 4,500 pounds of produce to the Windsor-Severance food pantry. 

After some time well spent in the garden, our tour continues along the trail. Some cyclists passing by are volunteer Trail Ambassadors, out to observe trail conditions. Trail Ambassadors are an important part of the magic behind Windsor’s beautifully maintained trail system. With a trained eye, they cover miles of trail each week and make reports to Trails staff when attention is needed.  “The trail experience is always there- to give you a great start on the day or to wrap up the day with fresh air, beautiful views, and sounds of nature,” says Tess, a Trail Ambassador.  “Volunteering is my way of helping to ensure we can continue to revel in the privilege and freedom provided by the vast and varied trail system in Windsor.” 

The next stop on our volunteer tour is the Community Recreation Center. If you visit around lunchtime, you’ll see volunteers handing out meals to Windsor’s senior residents. The Senior Lunch program offers nutritious meals to seniors five days a week, but that’s not all they’re serving. Volunteers are bringing a spirit of community service to the table too.  “What a joy it is to get a smile when handing out food or meals! Everything else that may seem important fades away when you get a smile back from an act of kindness,” says Jeff, a member of the volunteer team. “You’d be surprised after you start volunteering what a warm feeling you get.  There’s no way to know that feeling until you give it a go.” 

A tour of our town would not be complete without a visit to the museum. Here, you’ll find volunteers helping with field trips, prepping supplies for activities, and even working behind the scenes to care for artifacts in our Collections facility.  “Volunteers have helped the Town of Windsor Museums tremendously,” says Laura, Culture Supervisor for the Town of Windsor. “The most amazing part is seeing the community take ownership of their projects and feel proud about the work that they’ve done… it’s great to see volunteers returning to sites with their family and friends to show off their contributions.”  Walter is a volunteer on the Curator’s Crew, working to preserve Windsor’s historic artifacts. He also brings history to life by teaching children who visit the museum on field trips. “I like to interact with students and give them a new understanding of history,” he says. Walter believes that it is important to get involved in your local community. “This is where I live,” he says, “I want to nurture the people around me.”  Walter isn’t alone. He shares inspiration with many volunteers who contribute their time, energy, and talents to our town.

On our tour, you met just a few of more than 400 volunteers who gave their time to the Town of Windsor in 2023.  In an ever-changing, sometimes overwhelming world, where national and global issues are always knocking at your door through the phone in your pocket, it’s hard not to feel powerless at times. Volunteers remind us that it is possible to make a difference in the environment that we see every day. Whether it’s painting a mural, casting a vote, or smiling at a neighbor, this is our Windsor, and we make the difference.

‘Windsor Volunteer Fair -- Saturday, April 27 -- noon-2pm -- Boardwalk Park Pavilion’