Come help us preserve the Big Thicket! Every year, thousands of individuals and groups explore and support the national parks as Volunteers-in-Parks, or VIPs. Volunteering has always been a strong part of the American spirit, and has an especially proud tradition in the national parks as we work together to shape and preserve our cherished landscapes and history. VIPs help scientific studies, guide and educate visitors, care for the national parks' exceptional natural scenery, serve as community ambassadors, protect wildlife, and gain a one-of-a-kind perspective on America’s Best Idea.

Here at Big Thicket National Preserve, volunteers are active in a wide variety of projects. Come out and explore as a group or individual, at a special event or at your own time. Volunteers at Big Thicket support the preserve through beautification efforts, maintenance projects, education programs, and visitor interactions.They can delve into the natural resources of the preserve, helping with our resource specialists’ work in the office and afield. Volunteers can also become stewards of the thicket by participating in the Adopt Your Thicket program, selecting one or more of the preserve’s many trails and waterways as an area of responsibility. All of these efforts ensure that all visitors can experience the Big Thicket in its natural condition, and that we leave the preserve in even better condition for future generations to enjoy. To learn more about the Adopt Your Thicket program and sign up, call our visitor center at 409-951-6700. To find more volunteer opportunities, search volunteer.gov.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can volunteer?
Everyone! There are opportunities for volunteers of all ages, interests, and abilities, though some do have certain required qualifications. Individuals, families, and organized groups can volunteer. Check the information on volunteer.gov, or call the Big Thicket visitor center at (409) 951-6700.

What kind of work do volunteers do?
Volunteers can support the preserve in a wide variety of ways. Past projects have included the Centennial Forest tree planting program and Village Creek clean-up canoe trips. Volunteers also help Big Thicket’s resource management program with field and office work, assist visitors in the visitor center, clean and maintain day use areas and many miles of trails, and even contribute photos and videos for the preserve’s website and social media.

How do I find out about volunteer opportunities?
You can find volunteering opportunities by going to volunteer.gov, and searching “Big Thicket” to find a list of current opportunities. You can also talk to a ranger at the visitor center near Kountze, or call our visitor center at (409) 951-6700.

Is there a time commitment for volunteering?
Volunteering at the Big Thicket has many forms, and the hours will depend on the particular project and personal preference. A volunteer opportunity may mean participating in a day long event, or spending a few hours monthly or weekly in the office or on the trails.

How do I sign up?
To apply to volunteer at Big Thicket, go to volunteer.gov and search “Big Thicket” in the keyword search box. You can also search by state. Find the opportunity that best fits you, and complete the quick online application. After the paperwork is complete, a ranger will contact you to finish the process.

Is housing available for volunteers?
Generally, Big Thicket is not able to provide visitors with housing, except for certain long-term projects. There are no RV hookups or campsites within the preserve, but there are private RV campgrounds nearby. Backcountry camping is allowed with a permit.

Last updated: September 15, 2016

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

6044 FM 420
Kountze, TX 77625


(409) 951-6800

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