IE 11 Not Supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District Improves Volunteer Engagement

New collaboration portal for docents offers new features and flexibility


The Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (Midpen) — which manages more than 65,000 acres of public land in the San Francisco Bay Area — built an application to support collaboration with its docent volunteers, who provide guided activities to the public at the district’s nature preserves.


Previously, Midpen had used an open source website module to provide collaboration space for docents to submit and discuss ideas for activities. Midpen stopped using the module when its developer discontinued support.

To replace the resource, Midpen opted to create its own collaboration space using Microsoft’s SharePoint platform. The district used the platform’s built-in collaboration and list management features to recreate the website module. Bringing development of the collaboration space in-house also enables the district to make modifications and add additional features to improve the experience for docents and internal staff members.

Leveraging features available in its existing Microsoft 365 environment, Midpen says it created a fully customizable collaboration solution for its volunteer docents with little to no coding — and the district avoided adding another application to its IT environment.


Midpen’s docent solution is built on four components: EventBrite, SharePoint, and Microsoft Power Apps and Power Automate.

  • EventBrite, an event management and ticketing service, tracks events and registrations. Using the platform’s API, registration lists are downloaded and sent to docents who are guiding Midpen activities.
  • SharePoint is the hub for docent collaboration activity. The platform tracks proposed activities, lets docents sign up for activities and provides a library of stored documents for docents. SharePoint also provides user management and security.
  • Microsoft Power Automate run various integration scripts. For example, Midpen has scripts that are triggered whenever an activity changes to notify interested parties. Another script downloads registration lists from EventBrite and creates an Excel spreadsheet in SharePoint. Docents can view the registration list by clicking a link in SharePoint.