Volunteer
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Volunteer

Explore the upside of outside with us and volunteer!

Our award-winning park system features 154 facilities across 56,000 acres of land, including parks, camping parks, sports parks, community and teen centers, open-space preserves, and historic sites. Some 380 miles of trails take visitors through multiple climates and habitats - from the coast to the desert and the valleys to the mountains.

That is a lot of outside! To maintain, operate, and enjoy these incredible locations, we engage local community members who volunteer their time so everyone can experience “the upside of outside” throughout San Diego County!

Becoming a volunteer is as easy as 1, 2, 3!

1.   Look at some of the amazing volunteer opportunities below.

2.   Complete and submit the Volunteer Application.

3.   Meet with Volunteer Services, complete any screening, and volunteer!

Volunteer Application

Volunteer Opportunities:

Campground or Park Host - Hosts provide services in partnership with staff by providing visitors with information, assistance, and services. This is accomplished by encouraging compliance with park rules and regulations, acting as a contact if emergencies occur when a ranger or site supervisor is off duty, and, when trained and authorized, collecting fees. Campground Hosts support a regional campground and Park hosts support other parks facilities that may include staffing a nature center or camp store, supporting a community center, or interpreting resources. General additional duties for all hosts include maintaining facilities and/or landscaping, removing litter, making simple repairs, and performing light housekeeping and janitorial duties or other work as assigned to support park operations. Hosts provide a minimum of 20 hours per week of scheduled duties in exchange for a site and hook-ups for a motor home or trailer. (Please note, selected hosts need to have weekday, weekend, and holiday availability and we are not able to accommodate all hours completed in two days)

Park Docent/Naturalist – Docents and Naturalists may lead hikes, tours, and/or provide interpretive programs at the parks, historic sites, and open-space reserves. In some cases, they may be involved in presentations or ongoing research and development. The most common places where people volunteer their time are Rancho de los Peñasquitos Adobe and Rancho Guajome Adobe. Docents lead tours of the historic adobes, create public presentations and brochures, work with school children, and help coordinate special events. Ongoing training is provided. 

Community and Teen Center Assistant – Just like our community, there is so much happening at the community and teen centers. Some ways to help are through administrative support, maintenance, gardening, coaching, and special event work.  Choose the center that works best for you from Fallbrook Community Center, Lakeside Community and Teen Center, Spring Valley Community and Teen Center, and Valley Center Community Hall and Park!

Park Assistant - Provide services in partnership with staff by providing visitors with information, assistance, and services. This is accomplished by encouraging compliance with park rules and regulations, acting as a contact if emergencies occur when a ranger or site supervisor is off duty, and, when trained and authorized, collecting fees, maintaining facilities and/or landscaping, removing litter, making simple repairs, and performing light housekeeping and janitorial duties or other work as assigned to support park operations. Take a look at all of our parks and find the sites that best fit you!

Park Patrol – Open-space areas and park preserves are often patrolled by individuals hiking, cycling (on your own bike), and on horseback (sorry, you must supply your own horse, but equestrians are welcome!) Patrol members assist the public by encouraging compliance with park rules and regulations, ensuring visitor safety, reviewing the status of newly planted trees, and aiding in the maintenance of trails and open areas.

Historical Interpreters and Archivists – Help to preserve our local history you are assisting in the management and research of park information, preserving documents and artifacts archives, delivering historical outreach, and developing our historical programs.

Student, Youth, and Service Learning - We love working with the next generation of park ambassadors! Students, Scouts, and other individuals under the age of 18 are welcome to apply to complete community service, plan and implement a service project, or just volunteer to learn. There are many opportunities which may include but are not limited to trash and debris pick-up to protect native species, planting trees, and trail maintenance.

Group and Corporate Events - We provide great team-building volunteer opportunities for organizations, corporations, and civic groups. Park clean-ups, trail building, planting native vegetation and trees, special events, and more! There is no limit to what you can do to experience “the upside of outside.” We encourage groups to consider a donation to the San Diego County Parks Society to support their project. For more information, email us at ParksVolunteer@sdcounty.ca.gov.

Volunteer Requirements:

  • A background check is required for most County Parks and Recreation volunteer positions
  • A medical screening is required for most County Parks and Recreation volunteer positions
  • Training is provided for all volunteer positions, and work records are maintained
  • Some positions require extensive training

Having trouble identifying the volunteer opportunity for you? Have more questions? Contact me!

Tony Richardson
Volunteer Coordinator
858-966-1335
ParksVolunteer@sdcounty.ca.gov

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