BRIGHTON, Colo. (KDVR) — There are people who love the outdoors. There are people who work in the outdoors.

And then there are people who love to work in the outdoors — for free. Those are the folks who keep Colorado state parks running. They are the volunteers.

Pull up to the entrance at Barr Lake State Park and volunteer Linda Reitz will greet you with a smile. She is just one of over a hundred volunteers that you might say has the right stuff.

They play a major role in keeping the park just about perfect. Volunteers lead school groups, work at the entrance station, check boats, teach hunter education and teach archery classes, to name just a few of the things that volunteers perform every week.

And, yes, they even clean the toilets. The one thing volunteers do not do is perform law-enforcement duties.

A large lake with trees in the back and snow-capped mountains in the distance
Barr Lake State Park in Brighton, Colorado (Getty Images)

‘We could not do it without volunteers’

Michelle Seubert, manager at Barr Lake, is one of only three full-time employees here and said if not for the volunteers, Barr Lake would have to bar visitors.

“We could not do it without volunteers. You know, many times, you’ll have a big event like our harvest festival, and it’ll take 30 volunteers just to make it happen that day,” Seubert said.

Volunteer Linda Reitz speaks to a driver out of her office window at Barr Lake State Park
Volunteer Linda Reitz at Barr Lake State Park (KDVR)

Barr Lake is one of 43 Colorado state parks with 1,200 land acres and 19 water acres. It is the blood, sweat and tears of the volunteers that make this place possible.

“They have the heart and the passion and the knowledge, and they just love to be outside. They love to teach people about something they’re passionate about,” Seubert said.

Thank you, volunteers, for this beautiful slice of outdoor Colorado.