Want to meet new people, explore nature, spend time outdoors, and all for a good cause? Look no further than one of the 58 national parks in the US. These parks serve as your greatest resource for all of the above, and continuously need assistance. As parks expand and budgets are exceeded, the facilities will look past full-time employees and seek volunteers to help out. And finding a volunteer opportunity is much easier than finding a job.
What to Do
Each of the 390 units of the National Park System (NPS) use volunteers to help achieve their goals. The centerpiece of the NPS effort to enlist help is the Volunteers in Parks (VIP) Program. You can search online for general information on volunteering, a list of current volunteer opportunities, and a volunteer application form. Additional information on the VIP program is available from local parks or from the National Park Service by calling the Public Inquiries Office at 202-208-4747.
Internships are also available at many parks. If you are searching for one through a specific national park’s website, look for a section titled, “Support Your Park.” If you cannot locate it, visit NPS.gov for information on student educational programs and preservation education.
In addition to the VIP Program, the government maintains Vounteer.gov. This is a rich site that lists volunteer opportunities located throughout the United States. You can search by keyword, region, agency, opportunity type to find the perfect volunteering adventure for you.