Flagstaff Open Space Stewards
McMillan Mesa Natural Area.JPG

Protected Natural Areas

Flagstaff Open Space Program is responsible for managing over 3,000 acres of legally-designated open space properties, including Picture Canyon Natural and Cultural Preserve, Observatory Mesa Natural Area, McMillan Mesa Natural Area, and the Schultz Creek Natural Area.

To many Flagstaff area residents, open space is the defining feature of Flagstaff's character and attraction. Flagstaff Open Space defines the region's quality of life, protects the region's ecological health, supports existing and future economic development, and preserves historic and cultural resources

photo credit: City of Flagstaff Staff, McMillan Mesa


Our Stewardship Program

The mission of the Flagstaff Open Space Stewards is to promote the protection and management of legally designated open spaces through environmental stewardship. Stewards provide valuable knowledge and insights about the open spaces they serve.

photo credit: Mike Russell, Picture Canyon

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with Flagstaff Open Space!

Position Description

Volunteer Description Overview

Volunteer Open Space Stewards perform many functions that promote visitors’ enjoyment of protected natural areas, as well as many behind-the-scenes functions that are essential to maintaining the long-term health of Flagstaff’s beautiful natural character. Flagstaff Open Space Stewards will be trained and outfitted to serve as a visual presence at Flagstaff Open Space sites. Volunteers will enhance the experience of trail users by providing information, sharing the wonders of the natural world with visitors, conducting site monitoring, and providing visitor assistance. Volunteers will be trained to respond to questions, monitor trails for safety and resource protection, promote ethical use, and work with Flagstaff Open Space to alert staff of situations that require attention. Open Space Stewards may hike, bike, or ride their own horse provided that all regulations are followed.

Key responsibilities

  • Provide a visible presence along Flagstaff Open Space trails.

  • Focus patrol efforts on most actively visited trails during high use periods.

  • Respond to visitor questions and issues consistent with received training.

  • Record and report visitor comments, recreational trends, and safety issues to Flagstaff Open Space staff.

  • Complete and submit an online patrol log following each assignment.

  • Initiate contact with natural area visitors on issues related to multi-use conflict, safety, and Flagstaff Open Space resource regulations.

  • Encourage ethical use in a manner that provides understanding and builds appreciation of our natural resources.


Flagstaff Open Space Stewards is a volunteer group created to integrate the community in promoting visitor safety and enhancing the enjoyment of the outdoors through peer education.


  • Participate in fun volunteer recognition and social events.

  • Be an integral part of a well-respected volunteer stewardship program that works toward protecting Flagstaff Open Space.

  • Enjoyment of the outdoors and physical activity while representing Flagstaff Open Space.

  • Meet other volunteers with shared interests in the outdoors.

  • Develop a greater understanding of the role and mission of Flagstaff Open Space.

  • Continuing education and volunteer recognition events.


  • Approximately 8 hours of classroom training to cover natural and cultural information, personal outdoor safety, resource protection, conflict management, and emergency assistance are provided. Additional on-site orientation to Flagstaff Open Space areas provided.

  • Opportunities to attend continuing education sessions.

  • Online training documents.


  • Leila Husain, Open Space Events and Outreach VISTA

Leila.husain@flagstaffaz.gov or 928.213.2155

  • Robert Wallace, City of Flagstaff Open Space Specialist

Robert.wallace@flagstaffaz.gov or 928.213.2154

Skills and Qualifications

  • Strong interpersonal skills.

  • Must enjoy working in the outdoors under a variety of weather and trail conditions.

  • Must be able to make the best decisions to ensure personal safety and preservation.

  • Be capable of working independently with little or no supervision while on patrol.

  • Committed to representing Flagstaff Open Space in a professional manner.

  • Must share a commitment to the mission and goals of Flagstaff Open Space and be able to professionally communicate those missions to the public.

  • Must abide by Flagstaff Open Space and City of Flagstaff rules and regulations as well as established volunteer policies and procedures as outlined in the volunteer agreement.

  • Must possess the skill and ability to safely patrol natural areas by choice of permitted means.

  • Volunteers must provide their own transportation, non-uniform outdoor clothing, and gear.

  • Must be at least 18 years of age.


  • Complete 20 hours of volunteer patrol during the calendar year.

  • Work to provide a presence during high use time periods, such as week day evenings and weekends.

  • Assist Flagstaff Open Space staff with at least one volunteer event, which can be included in the 20-hour requirement.

  • Commit to wearing volunteer uniform during patrol; including volunteer shirt.

  • Commit to wearing proper safety equipment when necessary (e.g. safety glasses, visibility vests, gloves, etc.)

Flagstaff Open Space Service Locations


The 2019 application cycle is now closed. All new applications will be considered next year.