Get Involved

Long-Term Volunteering

Want to make a difference in your community and discover meaningful connections with others?

Or are you interested in working independently to keep parks the beautiful neighborhood resource that they are now? We have a spot for you. It only takes a few steps to become a volunteer for Great Parks. Click below to see how you can get started.

Upcoming Events

  • Let’s Get Started

    Volunteer orientations are now over for 2019. Check back in February for 2020 orientation dates.

    Interested in outdoor recreation, nature education or improving wildlife habitats? Complete a teen volunteer application or an adult volunteer application for future long-term volunteering opportunities. Or, sign up for a One-Day Volunteer event.

  • Volunteer Opportunities

    With opportunities to volunteer at golf courses, Parky’s Farm, on the trails and more, you’re bound to find something that you love doing while giving back. Click on the link below to discover a wide variety of volunteer opportunities currently available throughout Great Parks’ 21 parks and preserves.

  • Volunteer Benefits

    • Up to two Motor Vehicle Permits annually
    • 10 percent discount on most items at Nature’s Niche gift shops
    • Monthly Volunteer Newsletter
    • Great Parks of Hamilton County volunteer shirt and baseball cap
    • Bimonthly volunteer meetings, featuring special guest speakers and refreshments
    • Invitation to Annual Volunteer Appreciation Event at special venues such as the Cincinnati Zoo, Cincinnati Museum Center and Coney Island
    • 100+ volunteer hours in a calendar year: Receive a recreation pass, good for up 25 free or discounted uses on activities such as golf, bicycling, boating, fishing and more
    • Learn new skills and build your resume.
    • Making several great friends!
  • FAQs

    Do I have to know exactly where I want to volunteer before I apply? 
    Although it helps to know which parks you are interested in, you don’t have to know what you want to do.

    How much time is expected of me as a volunteer? 
    We appreciate any of the volunteer time that you can give us, but we ask that our long-term volunteers can commit to approximately 40 hours in the span of a calendar year. This assures you that you will receive the annual volunteer packet, which includes your annual Motor Vehicle Permit 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 three- to four-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 700 volunteers, 21 parks and preserves, and more than 17,600 acres, so it is important that we have a system in place. Orientation provides volunteers with park background and policies, as well as guidelines for volunteering alongside sensitive populations. It is also a great way to meet other new volunteers and get started on the right foot.

    What do I wear? 
    All Great Parks’ volunteers 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 may wear. You will receive these items during volunteer orientation.

    Do I need to track my time? 
    Yes, volunteers must record their hours electronically or complete a paper time sheet and send to the volunteer office. Having these hours helps Great Parks secure grants and other community funding, and can also help you 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 Winton Woods Riding center.

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