• Kendall Hills in summer bloom by Jeffrey Gibson

    Cuyahoga Valley

    National Park Ohio

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Volunteers and Hours Increase In FY13

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Date: February 11, 2014
Contact: Mary Pat Doorley, CVNP, 440-546-5995, 440-343-7355 (cell)
Contact: Lisa Meranti, Conservancy for CVNP, 330-657-2364

Cuyahoga Valley National Park Volunteer Program
Building a Community of Park Stewards Brecksville, Ohio –The National Park Service announces the numbers for the Volunteers-in-Parks (VIP) program at Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP). In Fiscal Year (FY) 2013, which is October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013, 6,281 volunteers donated 208,895 hours. This 7% increase in volunteers and a 3% increase of volunteer hours placing the park’s program as third in the country within the National Park Service in terms of the number of volunteer hours provided to the park, only behind Golden Gate National Recreation Area and the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.

"The contribution that volunteers make to the park goes far beyond numbers. The park’s volunteers impact the quality of park resources, protect cultural resources and visitors, enhance visitor experiences, increase appreciation for the environment, and build a community of park stewards," said Acting Superintendent Paul Stoehr.

The park’s VIP program continued to increase in scope and scale in FY13. Overall impacts included 252,400 visitor contacts, 244 trail projects completed, and 24 acres of invasive plants removed or treated.

According to Independent Sector, the leadership network for charities, foundations, and corporate giving programs, volunteer time equates to a monetary value of $22.14 per hour at the national level. The work done by CVNP volunteers is equivalent to $4,624,000.

"We are grateful to each community member that shares their passion for the park, time, and talent to inspire visitors and protect park resources. Volunteers make significant impacts in meeting the park’s mission–and we hear they have fun doing it," said Lisa Meranti, Director of Volunteer Services.

New developments included 68 new Trailblazers that helped expand the group's total outreach in providing information, bike maintenance, and first aid to 2,661 visitors. New interpretive kits allowed Wildlife Watchers to explain water quality to visitors. A unified internship program was developed that placed 41 interns with various park divisions and the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park (the park’s friends group) in summer 2013. Drop-in volunteer projects introduced 92 new volunteers and engaged 207 repeat volunteers throughout May - October in both trail maintenance and habitat restoration.

College students completed major improvements to water drainage and trail surface conditions on a popular trail as well as building a grow table in the CVNP’s plant nursery during the Alternative Spring Break Weekend. Youth groups and Eagle Scouts performed service learning projects such as installing a butterfly garden, performing trail maintenance upgrades, and removing invasive plants. Adult and corporate groups assisted with various projects including trails and facility maintenance, habitat restoration, and Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad cleaning and painting.

About the Volunteers-in-Parks (VIP) Program CVNP’s VIP program is co-managed by the National Park Service and the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Together, they accomplish park goals through mutually beneficial volunteer experiences and engage people in the park, building a community of park stewards. Currently, more than 6,300 VIPs donate more than 209,000 hours to provide the highest level of quality services to park visitors and to help protect America’s heritage. To join these volunteers in making a difference at CVNP, contact the volunteer office at volunteer@forcvnp.org, 330-657-2299, or visit www.conservancyforcvnp.org. Many opportunities are available and training is provided.

About Cuyahoga Valley National Park CVNP encompasses 33,000 acres along the Cuyahoga River between Cleveland and Akron. Managed by the National Park Service, CVNP combines cultural, historical, recreational, and natural activities in one setting. For more information about the park, visit www.nps.gov/cuva or call 330-657-2752.

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Download a pdf of this news release.

Did You Know?

Photo of Bald Eagle taken in Cuyahoga Valley National Park where an eagle pair built their first nest in 2006. Photo by Martin Trimmer.

November is the time to be on the lookout for bald eagles performing aerial courtship displays. Once eagles have selected each other, they plunge through the air in very high dives, locking their talons and breaking apart just when it looks as though they will crash to the ground.