Volunteers in Parks

To our dedicated California State Parks volunteers,

During these turbulent times brought on by a pandemic health emergency, we at State Parks are thinking of you. The department values your abilities, sacrifices and passion for our parks and visitors. We know that State Parks cannot provide our usual excellent visitor experience without your efforts.

However, the health and safety of our volunteers, State Parks employees, our communities and Californians are our top priorities at this time. We know that many volunteers have not been able to serve because visitor centers, museums and other facilities are temporarily closed, and events and dozens of tasks have been postponed indefinitely. We appreciate your patience. Some volunteers are in high-risk groups to contract COVID-19 and opted not to serve at this time to allow for physical distancing. We fully understand and support that decision.

To our future volunteers, we look forward to welcoming you into the largest volunteer corps in the state of California. For now, however, most parks are not taking new applications until the health emergency passes.

To date, State Parks has taken various proactive steps, including the development of the State Parks COVID-19 Resource Center. This online resource (www.parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve) serves as a one-stop center to find park safety and closure information, and messaging and graphics from the department’s new “Flatten the COVID-19 Curve at Parks” social media awareness campaign. Please check the webpage regularly, as it is updated with new information as it becomes available.

As the state continues to prepare and protect Californians from COVID-19, State Parks is actively monitoring the situation and following guidance provided by the Governor’s Office via the California Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Preventionand the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.

State Parks will continue to monitor visitation and physical distancing at all park units, and if the safety measures implemented to date are not sufficient to protect public health and slow down the spread of COVID-19, additional measures may be taken to fully close parks, including trails, bathrooms and other amenities.

Thank you to each and every one of you for your understanding and patience during this challenging time. We may be experiencing an extraordinary situation, but together we are an extraordinary community of volunteers and professionals who not only care for the parks, but care for each other. Together, we will come out of this stronger.  

Stay well. We look forward to welcoming you back to State Parks.


Volunteers in Parks Program

 Volunteer Today and Be the Difference!

Volunteers are vital to California’s State Parks. The first volunteers served over 100 years ago and worked hard to preserve our most treasured places, and teach the public about their value. Today, the program has grown to nearly 45,000 volunteers who donated over one million hours of time in 2018. They assist staff in countless ways, in nearly all of California's State Parks. Please consider volunteering today and be the difference tomorrow! 


A sampling of common volunteer positions existing in our parks are: