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NMVFO plans 25-30 volunteer work projects each year. Click here for an overview of the 2014 season, then check back often for additional information posted as it becomes available. To receive updates and detailed information about upcoming projects and events, be sure to sign up for the NMVFO newsletter on the Home page. Public land agencies that are interested in proposing a joint project should contact for more information and our easy-to-complete proposal form.  


If you're new to NMVFO, be sure to visit our FAQ page to learn more about what to expect on a project. Project leaders are always happy to answer your questions about specific projects. Have a non-project related question? Send us a message from our Contact page. Pets are not allowed on any NMVFO projects. Minors must be accompanied by a parent or other legal guardian.

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This is going to be a rather non-traditional NMVFO project in that we'll be deconstructing three houses.  Standard trail maintenance tools and some hand tools better suited to the task will be available, however your favorite cordless drill, sawzall, pry bar and/or hammer are welcome to join us.  Salvageable fixtures (doors, sinks, toilets, cabinets, etc) will be donated to ReStore (Habitat for Humanity).  All other material from buildings and the grounds will be sorted on site as either recyclable material or trash and put into roll offs/bins.  Any proceeds from sale of the recyclable material will be put back into developing and sustaining the refuge.


We intend to rendezvous with Jennifer Owen-White, the Refuge Manager, no later than 8:00 AM both Saturday and Sunday, and begin work shortly thereafter.  This is a two day project.  Volunteers should wear long pants, long sleeves, sturdy boots (absolutely no sandals or tennis/athletic shoes), work gloves; helmets and eye protection are highly recommended.  Also, bring sun and rain protection (just in case), plenty of drinking water and snacks.  Lunch will be provided by the Friends of Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge (  Registration for this project is required for planning purposes; please sign up through the project leader (info below) no later than 12:00 PM on Tuesday, October 7th.


If you come by I-25 get off on the Rio Bravo exit and go west, when you come to 2nd Street head south on 2nd Street.  When the road turns do not follow it - continue on the straight, older road.  VDONWR is located at 7851 2nd Street SW, look for the black mail box on right hand side of the road.

If this is your first NMVFO project, you can find more information about what to expect at or email or call me (Chris), the project leader,, (505) 504-3768.

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There are lots of Dog Canyons in New Mexico and the Southwest, but this one really barks and growls. Beginning south of Alamogordo at Oliver Lee State Park, the trail leaves the lowland Chihuahuan Desert and climbs over 3,000 feet to Joplin Ridge on the Sacramento Escarpment in the national forest. Needless to say, the views are spectacular and in mid-October the weather is the best of the year in southern New Mexico with pleasant days and cool evenings. Fortunately for our legs and lungs, we will be working on the lower section to improve tread and drainage. The trail is exposed and rocky so you will need to bring all of the usual protection, especially sturdy boots and plenty of sun protection.


Thanks to the state park staff we will be staying the Group Site of Oliver Lee. Another plus is that Saturday and Sunday breakfasts and Saturday dinner will be provided by the NMVFO and its 2013 Cook of the Year, Gary Holcomb. Who could ask for more?


DIRECTIONS. To get to Oliver Lee from the north you can take I-40 east and exit onto Hwy 285 at Clines Corner (those coming from north of Albuquerque can take 285 from Espanola and Sana Fe). Continue south on 285 and, to save time and mileage, turn south at Encino onto state Hwy 3 and travel 15 miles to Duran which is the junction of Hwy 54. Turn right on 54 and drive south through Corona, Carrizozo and Tularosa to Alamogordo. Asyou enter Alamogordo you can take the bypass around town an then link up again with 54 at the south end of town. From there drive 8 or 9 miles and turn left at the sign to Oliver Lee State Park. If you see the Border Patrol inspection station on your left, you've gone too far. The park is 4 miles east from Hwy 54. Look for our green NMVFO signs.


You have another choice, especially if you are hungry and want a green chile cheeseburger. Take I-25 south to San Antonio and the Hwy 380 exit. Drive east for about 65 miles to Carrizozo. There turn south or right onto Hwy 54 and follow te previous directions. Those coming from the west can take Hwy 70 from Las Cruces to Alamgordo.


To sign up fo the project or to get more information, contact project leader Jim Scanlon at or (55) 385-0517. The sign-up deadlin is Monday, October 13.

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Please, join us for the last project of the season and our annual maintenance of the Pino Trail, the NMVFO’s Adopt-A-Trail in the Sandia Wilderness.  This year, we move a little further up the trail from where we left off last year.  Work continues on building and repairing stone steps, repairing and improving drainage and narrowing the corridor on one of Albuquerque’s most popular and heavily travelled trails.


Group size is currently limited to a total of 10 people.  Please, continue to sign up for the waitlist; someone already on the participant list may need to drop, requirements may change in favor of a larger group, etc.  As our intention is to have maximum allowable participation, please sign up and/or confirm by September 21st so that waitlisted folks can be informed as soon as possible prior to the project date.


We’ll assemble at the Pino Trailhead in the Elena Gallegos Open Space at 8:30 AM.  From I-40, take Exit 167 and travel north 6.2 miles on Tramway Blvd (NM 556) to Simms Park Rd, turn right (east) on Simms Park Rd and travel 1.4 miles to the Elena Gallegos park entrance.  Parking permits will be provided when you arrive, so just turn right at the entrance and follow the VFO signs about 0.4 miles to the parking lot.  From I-25, take Exit 234 and travel east on Tramway Rd for 7.1 miles before turning left (east) onto on Simms Park Rd.  From there, follow the directions above.


Volunteers will need to bring water, snacks, and their own lunch.  Long pants, long sleeves, appropriate sturdy footwear with slip-resistant soles (no sandals, flip-flops, etc), work gloves and hard hats (provided) are REQUIRED per USFS regulations.


If this is your first NMVFO project, you can find more information about what to expect at or email or call me (Chris), the project leader,, (505) 504-3768.

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