Volunteering during COVID-19

March 19, 2020

Yes! It is absolutely possible to volunteer your time to improve our Sand Creek Greenway during this time of social isolation. We’ve come up with three ways to help us!

1) Sign survey
2) Thistle watch
3) City Nature Challenge and natural resource data collection with eBird and iNaturalist apps

We selected these projects with a few things in mind–first, we want to limit any impact on city workers who will likely be taxed with new responsibilities related to COVID 19 response. For that reason, we’re not suggesting trash pick up.

Second, we wanted to enlist your help in long-range efforts to improve our trail and natural habitats and our restoration efforts. When you’re out on your walks or bike rides, collecting data helps us plan future projects.

THANK YOU! Please do let us know if you have questions or run into challenges as you work on these projects by emailing: SCRGPstaff@sandcreekgreenway.org


As you walk or run or ride your bike on the Greenway, take photos and notes on the location of signs that need to be repaired or replaced. Please feel free to tell us which locations might benefit from directional or interpretive signage, too!

Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) will replace their signs free of charge, and we have funds to replace or repair our own Greenway signs.

Email your photos and location notes to:


Though they’re pretty, thistles are an invasive and undesirable species on our Greenway that limit the ability of native species to thrive in their place. 

We’ve created a worksheet to help you identify the “rosettes” of three thistle species that pop up this time of year. You can download the worksheet here, so you can take note of the species and location (and we like your photos, too) as you explore the Greenway.  Download the worksheet here.

Flowers aren’t visible this early in the spring; only rosettes will be visible at this time. Please don’t pull them; it won’t help their removal from the Greenway. Just let us know which varieties you’re finding and where they’re located.

Email your completed worksheet to:


The City Nature Challenge (CNC) is an ongoing project to document urban biodiversity and engage city residents in the nature around them. Click HERE to hear Mo, our Education Director, talk a little more about the City Nature Challenge.

The City Nature Challenge takes place in April and May every year. The official dates of the 2022 City Nature Challenge will be posted here soon.


There is nature all around us, even in our cities! Knowing what species are here and where they are helps us study and protect them, but the ONLY way to effectively do that is by working together (scientists, land managers, community members, you name it) to find and document nature in our area.

Sand Creek Greenway is participating in the City Nature Challenge through our membership in MetroDNA, a consortium of nature-based organizations. Download the “Denver-Boulder City Nature Challenge 2020” document to learn important COVID-19 adjustments that have been made to this year’s program.


eBird App: Download the eBird app and start collecting data for science on your trips to the Greenway. The app is a product of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and your sightings will contribute to science (and be available to researchers) and will strengthen our understanding of the species visiting the Greenway. Create an account here.

iNaturalist App: A resource for all types of wildlife, iNaturalist lets you photograph and record your observations, share them with others, ask for assistance with identification, and contribute to science! Your observations on the Greenway will help us understand the diversity of our great urban wildlife resource. Download the iNaturalist app and get started!  iNaturalist is a joint initiative of the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society.

Take Action!

Sand Creek Regional Greenway Partnership

About the Greenway

The Sand Creek Regional Greenway is a jewel in the necklace of trails that has made Denver a national model for linked trail systems.

This 14-mile public greenway connects the High Line Canal in Aurora, Colorado with the South Platte River Greenway in Commerce City. Along the way, it passes through northeast Denver and the new Stapleton community.

The Sand Creek Regional Greenway is open every day from dawn until dusk. Runners, walkers, nature viewers, horseback riders, and leashed dogs are encouraged to enjoy the trail. We invite you to become acquainted with our wilderness in the city.


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