two men in volunteer uniforms pull a sheet of canvas to the right.
From helping set up tipis to leading geology programs, volunteers at Badlands National Park assist with a variety of tasks.

NPS Photo

To meet the needs of 1 million annual visitors 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:
a man in sunglasses and a volunteer baseball cap uses a small pick to scrape at rock.
Volunteers work alongside park staff to complete park activities and projects, like fossil excavation.

NPS Photo

  • Presenting educational programs that highlight the park’s natural and cultural resources
  • Staffing the visitor center information desk
  • 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. Contact the park's Volunteer Program Coordinator for more information about volunteering at Badlands National Park.

Last updated: October 20, 2023

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

25216 Ben Reifel Road
Interior, SD 57750


605 433-5361

Contact Us