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.
Let’s Get Started
1. Fill out application
We’ll need some information about you to get started. You’ll need to provide an active email address for communication.
- High school students (ages 14-18): Fill out the teen online application.
- Adults (ages 18 and older): Fill out the adult online application.
2. Sign up for an in-person orientation
Volunteer orientation is your introduction to Great Parks of Hamilton County and all the ways that you can be involved as a park volunteer. It’s also a great time to meet other volunteers and Great Parks staff. Orientations are held at Parky’s Farm for teen volunteers and Winton Centre for adult volunteers. Sign up for a teen or adult orientation below.
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.
- 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!
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 17,500 acres, 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 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 timesheet and send to the volunteer office. Having these hours helps the park 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.