Volunteer in a national park

Volunteer.gov screenshot

The US government has created a portal they call "America's Natural and Cultural Resources Volunteer Portal". This allows you to search by state for opportunities to work in national and state parks. Although these aren't paid opportunities, they provide ways to combine travel and work, and give you a viewpoint regular visitors may not get. In addition, it may help to volunteer first in order to later qualify for a paid position.

Individuals can search for volunteer opportunities by: volunteer activity, location of opportunity, effective date of the opportunity, the sponsoring partner and by keyword.

The agencies that post volunteer opportunities include the following federal agencies, as well as agencies that manage several state parks:

  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Bureau of Reclamation
  • Department of the Interior
  • Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Fish & Wildlife Service
  • Forest Service
  • National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
  • National Park Service
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Tennessee Valley Authority
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Note that as a general rule, volunteers are responsible for their own living expenses and travel to and from the location of the volunteer assignment. If funds or accommodations are available, they may be provided. Documentation of any reimbursement or arrangement for accommodations will be specified on the volunteer agreement.