To meet the needs of 1 million visitors annually and assist with the protection of 244,000-acres of mixed-grass prairie, badlands formations, and fossil resources, Badlands National Park relies on the skills and dedication of 100 volunteers annually to augment its paid staff. Volunteers accomplish a wide array of vital projects and activities throughout the year, including:
-Staffing the visitor center information desk
-Presenting educational programs that highlight the park’s natural and cultural resources
-Patrolling the backcountry, assisting visitors and providing park information
-Serving as campground hosts
-Assisting with emergency medical and search and rescue incidents
-Building boardwalks and completing a variety of maintenance projects
The Badlands National Park Volunteer Program operates under the National Park Service Volunteers-In-Parks Program. Authorized by the Volunteers in the Parks Act of 1969, the National Park Service can accept and use voluntary assistance from the public, in a way that is mutually beneficial to the Service and the volunteer. Each year more than 120,000 volunteers donate over 4 million hours of service at National Park Service sites nationwide. At Badlands alone, volunteers contribute 10,000 service hours annually, valued at $195,000.
Badlands National Park advertises its most pressing volunteer opportunities on Volunteer.gov, a multi-agency website that provides one-stop “shopping” for volunteer opportunities. Potential volunteers can easily search for volunteer positions by state, zip code, federal agency, and type of position, and then apply online. Youth groups searching for service projects can contact the park’s Volunteer Program Coordinator.
Feel free to contact the Volunteer Program Coordinator for more information about the park’s volunteer program, general park information, or details about specific volunteer positions as shown below.