How is a VOCal Project selected? In each project we select, we try to maximize the following characteristics:
Appeal A primary V-O-Cal goal is to provide a high quality volunteer experience, and that means fun projects in beautiful places.
Agency Partner We try to partner with agencies with a good reputation for strong volunteer programs and who have a good volunteer base, either directly or with associated organizations.
Readiness The trail design and permitting must be complete before we can begin work. V-O-Cal works with the agency partner to create detailed construction notes, but the broad design must be complete.
Size 150-200 volunteers are required for the completion of the baseline project. The total project is defined as 130-140% of minimum expected completion, so effective work crews have additional sections to move to upon completion of their higher priority sections.
Location Our projects are scattered throughout the greater Bay Area, and most of them are not more than an hour's drive from a large population center. Each year, the season's projects collectively cover a broad geographic range and a range of terrain. (We are starting to expand that range, with requests from land managers throughout the state to bring our stewardship model to their site!)
Difficulty V-O-Cal aims for projects of overall intermediate difficulty. Installing drainage, steps, and building rock walls can still be part of an intermediate project, depending on how much of the total project they represent. The staging area should be no more than a one mile hike from the first work section.
Type Our projects mostly involve trail work - either construction or maintenance or both, planting, limited mechanized tool usage requirements (short wooden walkways, for example) and habitat restoration.
PR Potential PR is always good! It helps us reach out to new volunteers and new supporters. Collectively, considering location and terrain, our projects demonstrate V-O-Cal's breadth and range. We work with diverse populations and agency partners at the national, state, regional, and local level.