Do I have to know exactly where I want to volunteer before I apply?
Although it helps to know which parks that you are interested in, you don’t have to know what you want to do. That’s a big reason that we hold volunteer interviews with each individual – to get to know you and what you are interested in!
How much time is expected of me as a volunteer?
We appreciate any of the volunteer time that you can give us, but ask that our long-term volunteers can commit to approximately 40 hours in the span of the calendar year. This assures you that you will receive the annual volunteer packet, which includes your annual Motor Vehicle pass and other important information.
I can’t commit to that much time – is there anything else I can do?
Yes! We always need help for our 3-4 hour weekend projects throughout the spring, summer and fall. You can view a list and sign up for one here
Why do I need to attend orientation?
Great Parks is a large public entity with 17,500 acres, 21 parks and 700 volunteers, so it is important that we have a system in place! Orientation provides volunteers with park background and policies, as well as guidelines to volunteering alongside sensitive populations. It is also a great way to meet other new volunteers and to get started on the right foot!
What do I wear?
All Great Parks’ volunteers and are required to wear a Great Parks shirt and name tag (supplied by Great Parks) with khaki pants or shorts. We also have an optional Great Parks’ ball cap you can wear. You will receive these at your volunteer interview.
Do I need to track my time?
Yes! Volunteers must log their hours online in the Volunteer Information Center or fill in the timesheets and send to our offices. Having these hours helps the park to secure grants and other community funding, and can also help you to earn extra benefits!
Can I volunteer with a friend?
Sure. As long as both of you are park volunteers you can request to volunteer at the same location. Schedules depend on the needs of the location in which you volunteer, so although there may be many times that you are able to volunteer together, it is not always guaranteed.
If I volunteer at the Riding Center, will I be able to ride the horses?
Although it has been described as rewarding and relaxing, volunteering at the riding center is hard work and does not involve riding the horses. Opportunities include caring for the horses, taking care of the stables where they live, assisting with horse shows and helping with the Special Riders Program. If you are interested in learning to ride horses we welcome you to sign up for upcoming lessons at the riding center.