Volunteer opportunities are a great way to obtain marketable skills and expand one’s network reach in today’s ever-evolving society. It is also a great avenue to explore possible jobs that you hold an interest in and learn more about that position as well as the organization that you’re working for. Not only will you be gaining some experience, but you also gain a multitude of benefits, such as skills that can be used even after you stop volunteering.
In this sense, your state parks offer numerous volunteer opportunities. The opportunities are diverse and can range from acting as a public contact to becoming a part of the Cultural Resource Protection team to being an interpreter. The opportunities also offer a nice incentive, such as the possibility of earning a free campsite or a free park pass after a certain number of volunteer hours have been fulfilled. Check below for possible volunteer options that you can do in your local state parks!
Natural Resource ProtectionThe California State Parks offer their volunteers the opportunity to assist in critical resource protection for various aspects of their state parks. These can range from trail construction and maintenance to native plant enhancement and nurturing to habitat restoration and beach cleanup.
Adopt-A-Trail ProgramThe Wisconsin State Parks system has a program called Adopt-A-Trail. What does that entail, you ask? It’s simple! You essentially “adopt” a trail and become a crucial member with a group of people who take care of the trails to ensure that they are clean and properly maintained for the thousands of visitors in the area annually. Your job responsibilities can be as simple as reporting any trail obstructions and hazards to acting as a handyman and providing assistance in trail reconstruction and renovation.
Group Volunteer OpportunitiesDon’t want to volunteer by yourself? Don’t worry! Florida State Parks has an option for friends, families, or you with other members of your community to do group volunteering in nearby state parks. Simply contact a park’s Coordinator of Volunteer Services for more information to begin organizing your own group today.
Youth VolunteersFor parents with young children or students looking for volunteer/internship opportunities, these are for you. Most state park systems offer internship opportunities for you to be involved in. Simply check with the individual parks for more information regarding their policies, and for those under 18 who are interested in volunteering, be sure to acquire parental permission from your parent(s)/guardian(s) beforehand.
Volunteering is a great way to get involved in your community, particularly with your local state parks. You can gain more knowledge about the importance of preservation within the state park systems and will have memories and skills that are transferrable to other areas in your life, be that now or later. If you wish to volunteer for your local state park, check out the individual park websites, your state’s state park website, or your Pocket Ranger® apps (downloadable in Google Play and Apple Stores) for important information on how to be more involved.