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Info on Volunteering at Arches and/or Everglades NPs

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#1 Kevin H

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 04:03 PM

I'm investigating possible volunteer spots for this coming Fall and Winter.  Considering Arches NP in Oct-Nov '17 and Everglades NP in Feb.- Apr. '18.

Anyone ever volunteered at either, or both?  What were your responsibilities and hours?  How did you like the areas?
Looking for pros and cons for each park.  Any and all info appreciated.

Edited by Kevin H, 08 January 2017 - 04:05 PM.

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#2 Kirk


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Posted 08 January 2017 - 04:09 PM

We have volunteered for Everglades NP and they usually want their volunteers from about Dec. 1 through at least March. We had a great experience but we also felt that the required hours of work were a bit excessive since we each worked 8 hours/day for 4 days per week for our site, while the seasonal staff paid $250/month for the same sites and received $15+/hour for a 5 day week. But the other side of this was that we got some great training and education and has a very interesting winter. We don't regret having done this but we would not consider going back. I have a page about it on our website. 

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#3 nana25k


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Posted 08 January 2017 - 06:58 PM

Our research shows that most National Parks are as described above from Kirk.

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#4 avan


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Posted 08 January 2017 - 08:28 PM

i've never volunteered at any park, national or otherwise, so I can't help you on those specific issues, but...


I now am off the full time road and my property actually shares a border with the west side of Everglades NP, Great Cypress Nat'l Preserve (also accepts volunteers and provides fhu campsites), 10,000 Islands Nat'l Wildlife Preserve and Collier Seminole State Park.  Some years ago met and had lunch with a FTing couple from CA that were volunteers at Great Cypress, as docents for the school tours, and they loved it and the camping facility.  They even treated my wife and I to a shortened walking tour in the swamp - not at all what we expected - the bottom is not muddy etc but firm fine sand - and showed us the nature type experiments they conduct with students (water quality/organisms etc.).  It was quite fascinating.  I believe they had a week or so of training.


Anyway I write to offer, if you wish, to visit any particular area or volunteer campground etc and take some honest pics for you and give you an unbiased assessment of what I see.  Just be specific as to what you'd like. Also about 10 miles north is the Florida Panther  Wildlife Preserve and I know they also look for camper volunteers from time to time.  As I recall from looking for someone else they have 2 sites either behind the caretaker's house or office (not sure which it was)/  The down side I saw to that location was a 20 mile ride to any comm'l facilities and that being via I 75 *Alligator Alley" and that would require paying a toll for one direction each time.


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#5 Kevin H

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 09:41 PM

Thanks for the responses, folks.  I am asking because my multiple volunteer stints have all come about by stopping in at each facility (COE, NPS, TX Parks & Wildlife) and asking if they could use some help.  I have not done an "official" application via Volunteer.Gov or any other method.  Those visits have all ended with a "when can you start?" :).  With the unusual introduction to each stint, none seemed to follow conventional time periods or commitments.  But, now I am looking down the road for when we finish my seasonal position at Yellowstone this fall.


avan - Thanks a lot for your offer to visit and share info.  I will look on the web for each proffered park and get back to you if I have specific questions.  Working as a docent/interp is right up my alley.  I prefer those types of positions over maintenance or camp host slots.  Thanks again for your generous offer.

The richest are not those who have the most, but those who need the least.

#6 2gypsies


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Posted 09 January 2017 - 07:11 PM

We have also been in the parks when we've asked if they could use a volunteer and were 'hired' on the spot or sometimes asking us to start in a month or two.  I think many would prefer to see and talk to you in person.  Anyway, when we applied at Rocky Mtn. NP they requested a 3-month commitment and (4) 8-hour days.  We asked if we could find another experienced volunteer to share the time, would they consider it.  They did and we did. It worked out great.  So it doesn't hurt to suggest something else rather than their norm.  Good luck!

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#7 Kevin H

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 10:28 PM

Talked to FL Panther National Wildlife Refuge today.  Looks promising.  Great suggestion, avan.  :)

The richest are not those who have the most, but those who need the least.