There are many good things happening in the Arkansas Valley. Here are a few, organized by subject matter.

Agriculture & Slow Food

  • There are a number of community-supported agriculture (CSA) options available locally. These include Weathervane and Javernick Family Farms. Each (as far as we know) offers volunteer opportunities.
  • Both Salida and Buena Vista host farmers markets on Saturdays during the growing season, at Alpine Park and Turner Farm, respectively.


  • Salida ArtWorks strengthens arts education in the public schools, nurtures resident artists and brings passionate and talented guest artists in all disciplines into the community.

Children & Young Adults

  • Chaffee County Mentors, modeled after Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, provides guidance, support, and friendship to kids through positive mentoring relationships.
  • The Boys and Girls Club of Chaffee County provides a safe place for hundreds of area children to go after school and during the summer.


  • The City of Salida has several important boards and commissions which depend on volunteers. These include the Planning Commission, the Historic Preservation Commission, and the Tree Board. Contact City Hall for more information.

Conservation & Sustainability

  • Opposition to the water extraction proposal by Nestlé Waters has been led by Chaffe County Citizens for Sustainability, which has prioritized “conservation and protection of ranch lands, water and other natural resources, local food production, alternative energies and affordable housing”.
  • Transition Salida promotes the Transition Town movement locally via periodic gatherings, films and hands-on workshops.
  • The Greater Arkansas River Nature Association (GARNA) promotes awareness of the natural, cultural and historical resources of the valley through educational activities, volunteer projects, community involvement and partnerships.


  • Chaffee People’s Clinic provides quality primary health care for people who live or work in Chaffee County, have no health insurance and meet income guidelines. Volunteers are needed for administrative tasks.
  • Chaffee County Public Health’s LiveWell program encourages healthy eating and exercise to prevent obesity.
  • The 2009 Community Health Assessment [pdf] is required reading for anyone interested in local health issues.
  • Wisdom Within is a Salida-based, non profit resource center offering education and programs that support natural and holistic approaches to childbirth and reproductive health.
  • The Alliance Against Domestic Abuse is a not-for-profit corporation providing emergency shelter, crisis intervention, and support to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Chaffee and Western Fremont Counties.  All services are FREE and CONFIDENTIAL.  24-hour crisis line:  539-7347


  • Under executive director Read McCulloch, Chaffee Housing Trust was created in response to the growing affordability gap for most middle-income residents of the county and seeks to provide sustainable and affordable home ownership to qualifying residents.
  • Chaffee County Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing organization which works in partnership with people in need to build and renovate decent, affordable housing.
  • The 2007 Chaffee County Housing Needs Assessment is required reading.


  • Tony Madone and Colorado Farm to Table raise produce for soup kitchens, food pantries and warehouses across Southern Colorado free of charge; volunteer during the growing season to help.
  • Organized by Louella Pizzuti, Stone Soup provides a free hot lunch to those in need at the First Presbyterian Church (across from Safeway) on Mondays. Volunteers are needed to make soup and bread, as well as to serve and clean up.

Peace & Justice

Pets & Animal Welfare

  • The Salida Dog Club has taken the lead on the construction of a dog park adjacent to the soccer fields off Holman Avenue. Contact Laura Pintane at 719-539-2503 for more information.
  • The Ark-Valley Humane Society is a non-profit, no-kill shelter which provides animal adoption and spay/neuter services. They need volunteers to help with fundraising, animal socialization, foster homes, facility management, laundry and more.


  • Salida Mountain Trails is doing great work mapping, planning and building a trail system adjacent to downtown Salida for use by locals and visitors alike; volunteer work days are normally every Saturday, but check with them to confirm.
  • The Union Pacific Trail is an effort to establish a riverside trail on the north side of the Arkansas and safe, legal access from downtown to the trail system on Tenderfoot Mountain. Contact the City of Salida for more information.

Have a non-partisan cause in search of community support and/or volunteers? Corrections to content already on this page? Let us know by email.