Oregon Parks and Recreation has come to the conclusion that superheroes do, in fact, exist. More commonly known as volunteers, these incredible folk harness their powers for good, in service to their communities. Every year, Oregon Parks and Recreation has engaged about 8,000 superheroes disguised as Park Hosts, Park Adopters, Friends Groups volunteers and individual project volunteers of all ages. Collectively, these good Samaritans volunteer an average of 600,000 hours of their time every year in service to Oregon’s beloved parks. That has to rival Superman!
At Oregon Parks and Recreation, we are proud of the fact that our parks attract visitors from around the world, which is an accomplishment that is due in large part to you- our superhero volunteers. This National Volunteer week, we would like to thank our superheroes, from the bottom of our hearts, for helping to keep our parks beautiful, engaging and dynamic.
Help us continue our legacy by sharing your experiences with friends, family and other community members. We are eager to meet the superheroes of tomorrow and beyond!
Come join our team!
If you enjoy planning special events, engaging volunteers in meaningful service, and working on a team to help provide World Class Service at Oregon State Parks – please consider applying. Visitor Experience Services has an opening for a 6 month temporary employee. This position will offer the ideal candidate the opportunity to do some traveling, screen and place volunteers in service in parks around the state, and help the Visitor Experience Services staff with a variety of operational tasks. Learn more…
Did you know that Oregon State Parks partners with 16 different nonprofit organizations around the state to help us create the great experiences for park visitors, volunteers and staff? These Cooperative Associations, more commonly referred to as Friends Groups, provide a network of support for State Parks and a great opportunity for you!
So what do Friends Groups Do?
- Raise funds through direct asks, capital campaigns, grants and many other creative and inspiring ways
- Raise friends and build relationships with folks in their community and others that visit the park and want to help keep it special.
- Engage volunteers in meaningful service doing everything from A to Z.
- Deliver programs at the parks. Whether it is dressing up in period costumes, working with the young or the old, or taking a hike and telling a story along the way, Friends groups volunteers deliver!
- Promote special places. Friends Groups love Oregon State Parks! Each group supports a specific park property…and some even support more than one. Friends groups are telling people about the parks through social media, the Internet, and print publications.
- Operate interpretive stores in 13 of State Parks around the state. Helping to provide you everything you need for a great experience in the park, interpretive stores will give you an opportunity to purchase something to keep the story going well after you have left the park. Hopefully it reminds to come on back as well
- Host special events such as Holiday Lights, Mother’s Day Wildflower Day, Living History Days, Reenactments, and many other great events. These folks know how to have a good time and provide a great event for park visitors
How do I become a Friend?
Learn more about our partners and the State Parks they support by visiting on the links below or giving them a call. Become a Friend of Oregon State Parks today!
Cape Blanco Heritage Society* | (541) 332-2352
Friends of Bates State Park | (541) 820-3642
Friends of Cape Meares* | (503) 842-5270
Friends of Collier Memorial Park Logging Museum* | (541) 783-2387
Friends of Historic Champoeg* | (503) 678-1649
Friends of Honeyman Memorial State Park | (541) 997-3641
Friends of Kam Wah Chung* | (541) 575-2721
Friends of Old Fort Stevens* | (503) 861-2000
Friends of Shore Acres* | (541) 888-3778
Friends of Silver Falls* | (503) 873-8735
Friends of Stub Stewart SP and Banks Vernonia Rails to Trails* (503) 693-9096
Friends of the Sumpter Dredge* | (541) 894-2472
Friends of Tryon Creek State Park* | (503) 636-4398
Friends of Vista House* | (503) 695-3471
Friends of Yaquina Lighthouses* | (541) 574-3129
It is during the holiday season and as each New Year comes upon us that we reflect on the past and prepare for the future. It is during this time that we assess what matters most to us on a personal and professional level.
Oregon State Parks is very proud and humbled to be the place of choice for so many volunteers. Volunteer engagement is a critical component of our success, and it shows.
I would like to express my appreciation for your generous giving of time, talent and resources. Your dedication and commitment continues to enable and empower this Department to provide outstanding customer service, maintain our parks to the highest of standards and realize our mission. Oregon State Parks staff is honored to have the support of such an amazing cadre of volunteers and volunteer partners.
It is our goal to give you such a great experience volunteering with us that you come back again next year and tell others about it along the way.
I invite all of you to use this Volunteer Voice blog to share a volunteer memory. Tell us why you choose to volunteer with Oregon State Parks and a little bit about your experience. This virtual storyboard will give us the opportunity to share your story with others and become an end of the year greeting card from all of you.
Thank you for being an important part of our parks family and of Oregon’s proud heritage. We look forward to once again providing you with outstanding experiences here at Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.
Volunteer Opportunities at the 2012 Oregon State Fair!
The Oregon State Fair runs, Friday August 24 – Monday, September 3
Do you enjoy the smell of corn dogs, caramel corn, and cotton candy? How about the sounds of the rides, the animals, and the amazing visitors at State Fair time? If you answered YES, then now is your chance to sign up to be a State Fair volunteer. As a State Fair volunteer you too can enjoy being a part of making great things happen!
Get a behind the scenes experience as an Oregon State Fair Volunteer, you get to see what all goes into making this once a year event so much fun! Volunteers will receive a FREE admission ticket for every 4 hours of service with a maximum of 8 tickets! No matter if you are short or tall, younger or older, shy or outgoing; we have a volunteer opportunity that is a perfect fit for you! Shifts are typically in 4 hour increments from 8:00 a.m.- 10:00 p.m. for the entire run of the fair. Pre-fair and Post-fair opportunities are available as well.
Getting involved is as easy as 1-2-3
- Go to Our Website and check out the latest Volunteer Opportunities.
- Complete an application form. You can download the application form and send it in or you can apply online right from the website.
- Complete the criminal background check form (for all fair time volunteer positions)
Someone from our friendly volunteer program team will give you a call and get you scheduled in to a fantastic position, with a behind the scenes view.
Come on down and see what volunteering at the Oregon State Fair is all about!
See YOU there!
For the first time in 15 years, Silver Falls State Park is adding new trail to it’s 40 mile trail system and it’s all being done with the help of volunteers. For the past two years, volunteers have been working diligently creating a trail that will connect the park’s main campground with 25 miles of hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails.
Adopt-a-Park groups, The Chemeketans and The North Face have volunteered over a 150 hours removing vegetation, building over a mile of trail tread, and correcting the cross-slope to allow for proper drainage.
“Our experience left us with a new-found respect for what’s being accomplished in our parks,” said the Chemeketan’s Trails Volunteer Coordinator.
Volunteers with special interest groups have also played their part. The Boy Scouts of America built an 18’ footbridge and an AmeriCorp NCCC team constructed 300 feet of raised trail turnpike and armored the trail surface with rock.
The single track trail will offer opportunities for park visitors looking for an easy alternative to many of the park’s other multi-use trails or for those wanting an introduction to mountain biking. The trail starts in the park’s main campground and quickly enters an undisturbed forest scattered with old growth Western Hemlock and Douglas Fir trees. It continues along the upper reach of the south fork of Silver Creek and eventually connects with the Rackett Ridge trail.
After a grand total of 500 volunteer hours, the trail should be completed by the end of July of this year.
Oregon State Parks joins the nation this week in celebrating National Volunteer Week in recognition of our 7,000 plus volunteers who logged over 520,000 hours of service in 2011!
Although there is certainly no collection of words that could adequately express the difference that volunteers make in securing the legacy of Oregon’s special places, we offer this simple note of thanks in gratitude for the everyday and outstanding difference that you make.
Thank you …
- to those who are in your youth and those who are in your older years
- to those who join us as a family and those who walk the landscape alone
- to those that live in our campgrounds and those that travel the trails daily
- to the educators for bringing the classroom outdoors
- to the employers and the employees who came to work in a state park
- to the scientists, historians, interpreters, writers, photographers, and gardeners
- to those who organize and categorize
- to those who watch whales and tell their tales
- to those who serve from home and those who serve from far away
- to those that labor of mind and those who labor of body
- to the many that raise money and awareness
- to our Commissioners for your leadership
Help us tell OPRD’s Volunteer Story by sharing your experiences in our Parks and inviting others to come on out and play.
The highest reward for a person’s work is not what they get for it, but what they become because of it. ~ John Ruskin