The volunteer opportunities below are longer-term, regularly occurring commitments that require some amount of training (to sign up for a single volunteer event, please check out our calendar of events!). They are available for either individuals or small teams. You may be teamed with one or more other volunteers. Training varies with responsibility and duration of the event or project. Some of these opportunities are only available on a seasonal basis.
Big River Journey
Volunteers on Big River Journey board river boats and assist Park Rangers and our partners in teaching 4th-6th grade students about the Mississippi River. Volunteers commit to a minimum of two dates. Trips generally take place during the first three weeks in May and the last two weeks of September.
Learn more about BRJ…
Journey to the Falls
Help teach students about the history of the Mississippi River's Saint Anthony Falls while aboard a river boat. Students experience the Falls through hands-on learning stations, journaling, land-based lessons, and a simulated archaeological dig. Volunteers commit to a minimum of two dates. Trips generally take place the last week of May, first week of June and the first week of October.
Learn more about JTF...
Urban Wilderness Canoe Adventure
Volunteers assist Rangers and Wilderness Inquiry staff during voyageur canoe programs on the Mississippi River. Volunteers steer 24-foot Voyageur canoes, assist with interpretation, and help fit participants with equipment. Volunteers commit to a minimum of four trips.
Learn more about the UWCA...
Bike with a Ranger
Volunteers work with Rangers leading groups of bicyclists along Mississippi River trails. Trips occur on Saturdays in July through September. Volunteers commit to two rides during the season.
Learn about Bike with a Ranger…
Trails and Rails
Ride Amtrak's Empire Builder train between St. Paul, MN and Columbus, WI and provide river interpretation to fellow travelers. Volunteers commit to 4 train trips between mid-May and mid-September.
Habitat Restoration Events
Volunteers remove invasive plants, plant native vegetation, or assist in river corridor clean-ups along the Mississippi River. Work at your own pace in scenic settings. This is an excellent introduction to the Mississippi River with a flexible schedule. Volunteers sign up for the location and dates that work best for them.
Restoration Crew Leader
Volunteers assist Rangers or work in pairs supervising 15-20 volunteers in habitat restoration projects throughout the summer. Must commit to an average of one weekend or weekday event per month.
Volunteer positions are offered as internships for students and professionals to gain valuable experience with the National Park Service. Most internship positions require a minimum time commitment of one semester or four months, but shorter internships may be negotiated. Call for more information.
Volunteers assist Rangers at special events. Events include the WaterShed Tent, Big River Art Contest, Children's Water Festival and more! Volunteers sign up for events that best fit their schedule. This opportunity is perfect for short-term commitments. Volunteers help interpret the Mississippi River, help with registration, logistics, and more.
Projects for School, Scout Groups, Corporate, or Other Organizations
Custom projects can be arranged for your group of ten or more from April through October. Most habitat restoration projects require a three-hour time commitment and focus on planting native plants and/or removing invasive weeds. Minnesota Academic standards are addressed as part of School Volunteer/Service programs. Our volunteer programs also meet various merit badge requirements for Scout groups.
We may be able to customize a volunteer position for those with special skills or talents not listed above. Call us at the number below!
Kathy Swenson, Volunteer Manager
111 East Kellogg Boulevard
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55101