• Image of swamp, bayou, and marsh

    Jean Lafitte

    National Historical Park and Preserve Louisiana

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  • Columbus Day Closures

    All park sites closed Monday, October 13, for Columbus Day. Follow the link for information about park hours and days and about access to the Barataria Preserve and Chalmette Battlefield/Chalmette National Cemetery on holidays. More »


Image of man with insect capture net and students identifying insect
Volunteers at BioBlitz 2013 in May helped students explore their world and contribute to scientific knowledge by identifying Barataria Preserve insects.

It's time for National Public Lands Day! Join park staff to do trail maintenance and pick up trash at the Barataria Preserve and to clean and trim around headstones at Chalmette National Cemetery. National Public Lands Day is Saturday, September 27, this year---let's all get our hands dirty for a good cause. Click here for all the details.

And to those who wonder if these volunteer efforts are really worthwhile---here are the results of last year's National Public Lands Day. In just a few hours, volunteers did the work of a dozen people working a 40-hour week.

  • at the Barataria Preserve, 78 volunteers cut back vegetation along trails, picked up litter, and cruised waterways in boats to pick up trash.
  • at Chalmette Battlefield and Chalmette National Cemetery, 128 volunteers cleaned about 200 national cemetery gravesites and cut back vegetation along the battlefield loop road.


No matter what your skills or interests, there's probably a place for you in the VIP (Volunteer In Parks) program at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. Current Jean Lafitte VIP projects include

  • Helping with programs for children and adults
  • Music and craft demonstrations
  • Teaching Cajun dancing
  • Working behind the scenes or as a living history reenactor during the annual Battle of New Orleans commemoration
  • Carpentry and landscaping projects
  • Working with the park library and museum collections
  • Trail maintenance
  • Assisting with visitor center operations
  • Taking pictures or video of park programs and events

For more information, call the site where you would like to work (see park home page for site list) or e-mail the park. Your volunteer job may require training, which will be provided by the park, and uniforms may be provided for long-term volunteers.

To find out what's new with Jean Lafitte's crew, keep in touch via park social media.

Project days which require little training and a minimum time commitment are regularly scheduled at some Jean Lafitte sites. Volunteers might help staff a park booth at a festival, dig out invasive plants, or take photographs during an event. Group projects can also be arranged (for group project inspiration, read about the summer 2012 volunteer projects by members of the 2012 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Youth Gathering here).

Jean Lafitte volunteers make a difference every day: in 2013, over 1,900 volunteers donated nearly 19,000 hours of work (and had lots of fun doing it!).

Equal Opportunity Policy: Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Park and Preserve is committed to a strong nondiscrimination policy respecting its employees and volunteers. Its policy is to provide equal opportunities for all and to eliminate discrimination based on sex (including sexual harassment and sexual orientation), race, color, national origin, religion, age, and disability.


Current Volunteer Opportunities


Did You Know?

Vultures arrive on land.

Vultures do not have many predators. If an enemy does approach, the vulture will face its enemy and vomit. This inventive bird also has a unique way to stay cool: it urinates on its legs. The urine also helps kill any germs picked up while standing on a carcass.