Volunteering with BC Parks and Parks Canada
Is volunteering with BC Parks or Parks Canada for you?
The snow is melting and the snowbirds are making their way home in anticipation of seeing friends and family. Now is the time to apply for a volunteer park host position with BC Parks, become an Ecological Reserve Warden or look at what’s available through Parks Canada.
What is a park host?
The park host’s role is to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere and greet park visitors while providing information on things to do in the park and surrounding area. They work closely with the Park Facility Operators and their staff and quite often develop strong friendships with the regular campers. If you enjoy being part of a team providing guest services and can communicate well, you probably qualify and have the necessary skills.
Although park hosts are volunteers, they are provided with a complimentary campsite for the time they are hosting. Most parks require their host volunteers to stay a minimum of two weeks and each has a maximum time allowance, depending on which park you are volunteering for. Not all have hook-ups and some are more rustic than others.
What are some of the duties of a park host?
The duties will vary depending on the size of the park and the number of other staff available. A park host may be expected to:
- Be on site and available between the hours of 4:00 and 8:00 p.m.
- Provide direction to campsites and park facilities
- Provide information on the local area
- Provide information on park rules and regulations
- Provide information on extra services available within the park such as firewood sales, canoe rentals or the boat launch
- Assist with opening and closing campground gates in the morning and evening
- Help keep day use areas tidy
Volunteering as an Ecological Reserve Warden
If you're interested in making a significant contribution to protected areas in B.C., then joining the team of Ecological Reserve Wardens may be for you. Wardens work on invasive plant control, take inventory of flora and fauna and perform a variety of other duties. BC Parks provides an application process and a handbook for volunteers. ER Wardens are invaluable in the long-term protection of ecological reserves.
Parks Canada volunteer opportunities
There are many opportunities for getting involved volunteer work at national parks. Each park has different needs and Parks Canada recommended that volunteers research where they would like to be and what’s available. It’s a wonderful opportunity to get involved, learn new skills and make life-long friends.
Volunteer wherever you are
There are many opportunities for volunteering and they don’t have to involve campgrounds. Every city or community has the need for help with animal shelters, youth programs, senior assist programs or special events. There’s always a call for fundraising help, administration assistance, drivers, mentors or instructors.
RVers who enjoy meeting people will appreciate having the opportunity of being a park host in one of the many parks throughout the province. It is even possible to host at a variety of parks throughout the season by careful planning and applying in advance.