Volunteer

The special people that make it all happen...

Bookstore/Office Volunteers
Bookstore volunteers help by answering the phone, taking messages, answering questions, and guiding visitors around Gorman Nature Center to explain the educational animals, grounds, and building. Additional tasks can include feeding/watering animals and assisting staff with programs, but these will not be the primary responsibility of the volunteer.  

There are no necessary qualifications for this position other than the ability to converse with the public and a love of learning. There will be a day of training at the beginning of volunteering that will include a tour of the building and explanations of how to complete responsibilities. After the first day of there will almost always be a staff member present to answer any questions a volunteer may have. 

Bookstore volunteers will be scheduled at the beginning of the month by the Director of Volunteer Resources for all the days they want to volunteer during that month. Volunteers are needed primarily on weekdays but can also be useful on weekends for keeping the building open to greet visitors who cannot come during the week. Daily shifts are scheduled from 9am-12pm or 12pm-3pm. Volunteers will report to the Director of Volunteer Resources for training and scheduling. Contact the Nature Center with questions.

Questions? Contact Karen Pryor, Director of Volunteer Resources at kpryor@richlandcountyoh.gov or 419-884-3764.

Outreach Volunteers
Outreach Volunteers assist RCPD staff in communicating with the public regarding RCPD news and events. This may include creating Facebook posts, emails, newsletters, and website updates to be submitted to RCPD staff for approval.


Qualifications include the ability to write well and a facility with some or all of the above platforms. Training and oversight will be provided by Karen Pryor, Director of Volunteer Resources, and Jason Larson, Executive Director. Outreach Volunteers may sign up to assist in one or more areas, depending on their interests, and may work from home.

Questions? Contact Karen Pryor, Director of Volunteer Resources at kpryor@richlandcountyoh.us or 419-884-3764.

Educational Program Volunteers

Educational Program Volunteers are adults who are interested in teaching others about nature by assisting with or leading educational programs through Richland County Park District (RCPD). Programs may be held on RCPD properties, including Gorman Nature Center, or out in the community as part of our nature education outreach efforts.

To become an Educational Program Volunteer, you must be of sound moral character. You will be required to complete a BCI background check. Other qualifications for this position include having a general knowledge of or a willingness to learn about nature and the ability to interpret and translate nature knowledge and concepts for the general public. Training and mentoring will be provided for volunteers serving in existing programs. Volunteers always have the support of the RCPD professional staff.

Examples of existing programs include:
Animal talks at local schools

  • Nature Outdoor Education program at Malabar Intermediate School
  • School field trips to Gorman Nature Center or other properties
  • Walk-and-talks
  • Buds Preschool Program
  • ***Other Programs****
NOTE: RCPD is also interested in new nature program proposals from qualified individuals.

For existing programs, Educational Program Volunteers will be notified of upcoming volunteer opportunities at the beginning of the month by the Director of Volunteer Resources. Volunteers may choose which events they would like to attend for the month. Volunteers will report to the Director of Volunteer Resources for training and scheduling.

Questions? Contact Karen Pryor, Director of Volunteer Resources at kpryor@richlandcountyoh.gov or call 419-884-3764.

 

 

  Work-Crew-1-of-1-COLLAGERCPD Maintenance Volunteers
Maintenance volunteers are vital to the success of the RCPD family. The maintenance volunteer team works primarily outdoors tending to ground maintenance needs that include but are not limited to mowing, trimming, trail maintenance, infrastructure repair/updates, litter pick-up, handing out trail maps, and interacting with the public.

There are no qualifications necessary to become a RCPD maintenance volunteer aside from possessing a great attitude and being a hard worker that enjoys working outdoors. There are opportunities for routine indoor maintenance that is available for volunteers with the necessary required skillset to help with infrastructure repairs/updates, cleaning, and other necessary projects. RCPD maintenance volunteer needs are highest during fall, summer, and late spring months.

Orientation will be provided upon completion of the volunteer interest form and will include a tour of RCPD grounds and facilities as well as an explanation of expectations and responsibilities. Volunteers should expect to work with hand tools, power tools, and heavy machinery. Volunteers will report to the Director of Natural Resource Management  for training and scheduling to familiarize themselves with RCPD protocol and equipment.

Contact Larry Smith, Director of Natural Resource Management with questions or concerns at lsmith@richlandcountyoh.gov or call 419-884-3764.

RCPD Natural Resource Volunteers
Natural Resource volunteers are integral in working with Natural Resource staff in restoring and maintaining ecological integrity of RCPD properties. Volunteers assist with Stewardship Projects involving invasive species removal, restoration, and enhancement, which could involve the use of hand clippers, pruners, hand saws, chain saws, chipper/shredder, herbicides, tractors, and other heavy machinery. Other volunteer opportunities include surveying, monitoring, inventorying, and mapping the biotic community in RCPD parks.

There are no qualifications to become a Natural Resource Volunteer. Knowledge of native versus non-native invasive species is preferable, but not required. A willingness to learn about native and non-native flora, management strategies, and other natural history related topics and the ability to interpret and translate knowledge and concepts to the general public is encouraged.

New volunteer orientation will be required and provided following the completion of the volunteer interest form and will include a tour of the grounds and facilities as well an explanation of expectations. Volunteers in training will work side by side with Resource Management staff until staff feel comfortable allowing volunteers to work independently. Even following training, staff members will always be present to answer questions or concerns.

Volunteers will be notified at the beginning of the month by the Director of Natural Resources of upcoming projects. Volunteers may select which events they wish to attend. Volunteers will report to the Director of Natural Resource Management for training and scheduling.

**Natural Resource and Maintenance volunteers are required to provide their own health insurance as RCPD does not offer liability insurance for volunteer accidents.

Contact Larry Smith, Director of Natural Resources with questions or concerns at lsmith@richlandcountyoh.gov or call 419-884-3764.

B & O Bike Trail Maintenance Volunteers
Maintenance volunteers work mostly outdoors doing mowing, trimming, trail maintenance, and litter pick-up. The Bike Trail needs maintenance volunteers the most during fall, summer, and late spring. 

There are no qualifications to become a Maintenance volunteer. However, these volunteers are required to provide their own health insurance as the Richland County Park District does not offer liability insurance for volunteer accidents. There will be a training period during which the volunteer will shadow a staff member or other volunteers until the individual is confident enough to take over. 

Maintenance volunteers will generally notify the RCPD B&O Bike Trail Manager, Larry Smith, of the days they wish to volunteer at the beginning of the month. Volunteers will report to Larry for training and scheduling.

Contact Larry at rcpd@richlandcountyoh.us or call 419-884-3764 with questions.
  
For full volunteer position descriptions click here!