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.
Volunteers in action
Our volunteers often help with these projects and tasks:
- Serve as receptionists at interpretive centers.
- Help out with program preparation.
- Write grants or brochures.
- Provide graphics and artwork for brochures and exhibits.
- Assist with web site design and maintenance or other computer projects.
- Present programs as guest speakers.
- Offer musical programs for campers and other guests (audition tapes required).
- Assist with school programs (training provided before service).
- Maintain trails.
- Care for the live animals in our interpretive centers.
- Identify and catalog plants, animals or artifacts.
- Monitor bluebird or other wildlife nesting boxes.
- Design and care for interpretive gardens.
- Remove exotic and invasive plants like garlic mustard, honeysuckle and autumn olive.
- Take a look at some specific volunteer projects that our properties can use assistance with.
Want to see what some of our volunteers are doing? Download an issue of our Volunteer Newsletter that is sent to volunteers who commit 50 hours or more each year on a regular basis.
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.
Do you want to volunteer but have limited time? Help out during a volunteer event!
Martin Luther King Day of Service: January 18, 2021 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 19-25, 2020. Virtual programs saluting volunteers will be listed on the DNR Calendar at calendar.dnr.IN.gov. Posts recognizing volunteers will be found on various State Park Property Facebook pages.
- National Public Lands Day: Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020 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 at the DNR calendar.
- Giving Tuesday: Dec. 1, 2020 - This is a great time to support your local state park Friends group. See list of groups at dnr.IN.gov/parklake/2442.htm.
Various Volunteer Events/Activities
Many properties need help with specific programs and projects throughout the year. Please consider helping at a state park near you. View more opportunities on the calendar at the bottom of this page.
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.
Volunteer Application. Download, complete (be sure to indicate the property where you'd like to volunteer) and return to Volunteer Coordinator, Division of State Parks and Reservoirs, 402 W. Washington Room W298, Indianapolis, IN 46204
Volunteer Service Agreement for Parents. If you are a parent or guardian of a Scout or other group member who will be volunteering at a state park or reservoir, complete this form and return it to your child's group leader.
Volunteer Service Agreement for Adults. If you plan to register as a volunteer, complete this form and send it with your application.
What volunteers are doing and saying
It's great to volunteer at Mounds State Park because the unique history of the park area, with the Bronnenberg Home, the old amusement park, the ancient Mounds, the Native Americans and the White River, along with the related interpretive programs, and events makes it interesting and fun to be involved.
– Alan Simpson
Mounds State Park is nature and history rolled into one amazing park! I've enjoyed helping both at the Bronnenburg house and the nature center. Where else can you learn for fun!
- Kim Ousley
I have been volunteering at Potato Creek for about 6 years, it is so rewarding to jump in and make a difference. When you go to the Park and see what you have contributed for others to enjoy for many years, it really makes you feel good. There is a little piece of you out there. It really is true that in giving we receive. I would encourage everyone to volunteer and make the Park you love a better place. Best regards / Mit freundlichen Grüßen
- Kathy Serrat, volunteer
Great way to spend a few hours of time. Great people and you get to share your love of nature.
- Brenda Pickett, volunteer