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

  • Adult Volunteers

    Are you looking for opportunities to get outside, learn something new and have a positive impact on the environment?

    The Great Parks volunteer program offers a diversity of service opportunities that connect you to the outdoors and accommodate a busy schedule. From animal care and environmental education to gardening and golf courses, whatever your passions might be, you can find your home at Great Parks!


    Requirements

    • Submit an Adult Volunteer Application
    • Register for and attend an in-person orientation
    • Successfully pass a background check (Great Parks covers costs associated)
    • Complete online training modules
    • Record all volunteer hours
    • Support the Great Parks’ mission and vision

    Join our team and apply today. Questions about our volunteer program? Contact us via email.


    Adult Orientation Dates

    After submitting your application, please register for an in-person orientation. Attending an orientation is the first step to getting started as a volunteer.

  • Teen Volunteers

    Are you someone who is passionate about the outdoors and wants to make a difference in your community? The Great Parks teen volunteer program is perfect for teenagers who are looking to give back, gain valuable skills and have some fun while doing so!

    Great Parks offers a variety of opportunities for teens (ages 14–18) to make a positive difference in their community while building lifelong friendships along the way. From animal care and environmental education to gardening and golf courses, whatever your interests might be, you can find your home at Great Parks!


    Requirements

    • Submit a Teen Volunteer Application
    • Register for and attend an in-person orientation
    • Complete online training modules
    • Honor all time commitments (Time commitments will vary based on volunteer role)
    • Record all volunteer hours
    • Support the Great Parks’ mission and vision

    Join our team of passionate young leaders and apply today. Questions about our volunteer program? Contact us via email.


    Teen Orientation Dates

    After submitting your application, please register for an in-person orientation. Attending an orientation is the first step to getting started as a volunteer.

  • Nature Center at The Summit Volunteers

    Help Great Parks spread the joy of nature to all! Located within the Summit Center in Roselawn, Nature Center at The Summit provides opportunities to connect our urban communities to nature through hands-on crafts, nature-themed activities and live animal experiences.

    If you are passionate about environmental education and increasing accessibility to all, Nature Center at The Summit is the perfect place for you.


    Requirements

    • Submit an Adult (18+) or Teen Volunteer (ages 14–18) Application
    • Register for and attend an in-person orientation
    • Successfully pass a background check (Only for volunteers ages 18 or older. Great Parks covers costs associated.)
    • Complete all online trainings
    • Record all volunteer hours
    • Support the Great Parks’ mission and vision

    Join our team and apply today. Questions about our volunteer program? Contact us via email.


    Nature Center at The Summit Orientation Dates 

    After submitting your application, please register for an in-person orientation. Attending an orientation is the first step to getting started as a volunteer.

  • 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.

    2020 Volunteer Opportunities

  • 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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