Volunteers-in-Parks Program Has Record Year
Cuyahoga Valley National Park News Release
For Immediate Release – Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Mary Pat Doorley, CVNP, (440) 546-5995, cell (440) 343-7355, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Bridget Ambrisco, (330) 657-2364 or email@example.com
Brecksville, Ohio – The National Park Service is pleased to announce the volunteer report for Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2009, which is October 1, 2009 through September 30, 2010. In this year, 4,086 volunteers gave 140,850 hours of service to Cuyahoga Valley National Park. This is a 61% increase in the number of volunteers and a 46% rise in the number of hours given over the previous year. The surge came on the heels of a 22% increase in volunteer hours from 2008 to 2009. CVNP attributes this to several factors, most significantly of which is the implementation of a new model of management for the volunteer program initiated in FY09. The program is now co-managed with the park’s friends group, Cuyahoga Valley National Park Association (CVNPA), leveraging resources and ability, and allowing the volunteer program staff to grow from one to three staff members. The staff has been able to provide more support to volunteers as well as over 40 other staff members that work directly with volunteers. Additionally, the volunteer program staff has fostered a growing corporate and youth group volunteerism program with 1,300 new volunteers who gave 12,647 hours on one-day projects.
CVNP Superintendent Stan Austin commented, "The volunteer engagement and commitment in this park is exceptional. We are fortunate to have a growing body of park stewards who feel a deep passion in the preservation and protection of our national park. We are grateful for the strong partnership with CVNPA who has joined us in the management of this important program. It is a model for other national parks across the country and a great example of how partnerships allow us to do more and to be more for the community."
Adding to the program’s growth is the new CVNP Volunteer Center, which opened in November 2009. Also a project done in partnership with CVNPA, the center consists of four rehabilitated historic structures that now serve as office, meeting, and storage space for both staff and volunteers. CVNPA raised nearly $500,000 for the project. Deb Yandala, CEO of CVNPA stated, "The center is supporting a growing volunteer program. We are very excited that our hard work on the Volunteer Center is paying off and that the success of the new co-management model is evident in the 2010 numbers. Our volunteers not only give of their time but many also give in the form of membership to support the park and also advocate on behalf of the park in the community. Park volunteers are absolutely essential to this national park."
Cuyahoga Valley National Park Volunteer Program is co-managed by the National Park Service and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Association (CVNPA). To learn about volunteer opportunities please visit www.cvnpa.org or (330) 657-2296.