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Volunteering at Indiana State Parks

The Indiana State Parks volunteers and partners mission is to build widespread support of the division’s programs, facilities, and resources (natural, cultural, and human) by individuals, groups, and the business community, and to foster philanthropic traditions through recognition of this support.

Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, discover new things and do something good for Indiana's natural and cultural resources. Volunteers who work with our interpretive naturalists provide valuable assistance in many ways. We make every effort to match your skills and interests with our needs.

Some examples of volunteer opportunities are:

  • Assist with school programs (training provided before service).
  • Care for the live animals in our interpretive centers.
  • Clean and maintain shelters.
  • Design and care for interpretive gardens.
  • Help out with program preparation.
  • Identify and catalog plants, animals, or artifacts.
  • Maintain trails.
  • Monitor bluebird or other wildlife nesting boxes.
  • Offer musical programs for campers and other guests (audition tapes required).
  • Present programs as guest speakers.
  • Repair wooden bridges and boardwalks.
  • Remove exotic and invasive plants like garlic mustard, honeysuckle, and autumn olive.
  • Serve as receptionists at interpretive centers.

Take a look at some specific volunteer projects.

Each property has a volunteer coordinator. For more information about our volunteer program and how to contact the property where you'd like to participate, download our Volunteer Brochure that can provide details.

Volunteer events

Do you want to volunteer but have limited time? Help out during a volunteer event.

  • Martin Luther King Day of Service: January 17, 2022, is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service. This is to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities. Celebrate by helping a DNR property near you.
  • National Volunteer Week: April 17-23, 2022. Virtual programs saluting volunteers will be listed on the DNR Calendar. Posts recognizing volunteers will be found on various State Park Property Facebook pages.
  • National Public Lands Day: Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022, is the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands. DNR properties will be celebrating both Saturday and Sunday with events.  See our list of events on the DNR calendar.
  • Giving Tuesday: Nov. 29, 2022. This is a great time to support your local state park Friends group. See a list of groups.

Various Volunteer Events/Activities

Many properties need help with specific programs and projects throughout the year. View volunteer opportunities by:

Sign up to be a volunteer

  1. Create a Volunteer Profile
  2. Fill out a Volunteer Service Agreement. The agreements are fillable PDFs that can be downloaded, saved, and emailed to dnrvolunteer@dnr.IN.gov when completed. No printing necessary.

Other ways to help

Join a friends group

Friends Groups are another way to help the parks. Friends Groups provide a unique support system for our properties. The people who belong to these groups meet new people, have opportunities to learn and grow and gain the satisfaction of helping support the site. View list of groups.

Become a campground host

Indiana state parks are looking for volunteers to serve as campground hosts in exchange for free camping during their service. Hosts work a minimum of 20 hours per week. Properties are looking for dedicated campers who enjoy working outdoors, with people, and with DNR staff. View a list of site availability and detailed information about hosting duties.

Have questions about volunteering for Indiana State Parks?

We’re happy to help.
Phone: 463-203-6562
Email: jheaston@dnr.IN.gov

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