Grand Canyon National Park is served by hundreds of volunteers each year.
To find out about current volunteer opportunities
in Grand Canyon National Park, log on to https://www.volunteer.gov/
To find out about volunteer opportunities in other National Parks and/or other government agencies, visit https://www.volunteer.gov/
Alternative Break Citizenship SchoolGrand Canyon's Volunteer Progam wrapped up a week-long experiential training session for college studetns with the Alternative Break Citizenship School. Approximately 75 students from over 40 colleges participated in educational sessions and hands on service work at the park July 22 to 26, 2019.
Spend your spring or summer break doing service work at a national park. For more information about Alternative Break visit, https://alternativebreaks.org/.
Victor Unit Volunteer ProgramOur Victor Unit Volunteer Program is is a 6 month volunteer LE, EMS, and SAR oriented program supporting South Rim Patrol at Grand Canyon National Park.
This program is for graduates of an accredited Seasonal Law Enforcement Academy who have attained/or are working to attain a National Registry EMT certification.
Want to learn more about available volunteer opportunities here at Grand Canyon, or at other national park sites? Visit: https://www.volunteer.gov/
Project: Corridor Food Replacement Project
Narrator: Matthew Jenkins, Park Ranger
Document: Final text for video
Narrator: Emma Norton was one of over 44,000 people that camped in Grand Canyon National Park’s “Corridor” campgrounds in 2017. During her stay at Bright Angel Campground, she learned from a ranger that wildlife struggle because food and trash are not properly stored. At the time of her visit, the park service provided military-style ammo-cans for campers to store their food, trash, and scented equipment.
In autumn 2017, Emma reached out to the National Park Service and expressed her desire to help the park better protect wildlife and increase Leave No Trace education. In September 2018, the new boxes were flown by the park helicopter to Cottonwood, Indian Garden, and Bright Angel Campgrounds. They were received by Emma and the backcountry rangers.
What follows is Emma’s story. What can you do to help ensure the long-term preservation and sustainability of Grand Canyon’s irreplaceable resources?
Emma Norton: My name is Emma Norton and I’m from Gilbert, Arizona. I’m a senior in high school and I go to Chandler Preparatory Academy.
So, my first trip to the bottom was September of my Sophomore year. We went down South Kaibab and up Bright Angel. I think we stayed in the bottom for about two nights and we got to be in the creek and see a waterfall and that was a lot of fun. And, I really enjoyed going down because you get to see all of the views. And, then going up sometimes you’re staring at your feet a lot so you get to play that mental game of pushing yourself.
The Girl Scout Gold Award is very similar to an Eagle Scout. My Gold Award Project with the Grand Canyon started the last time that I came to visit. The Ranger came through to do the night checks in the campgrounds and he was talking to our group about the state of the wildlife and the vegetation in the park
… What tells you what you can do to help protect the park is very old is those big ammo cans with the stickers on them and it is really hard to read them. They are very … The have a lot of holes in them. So what I wanted to do was replace them, get new stickers, have a fresher look. We got to even bring in new bigger boxes and we also did a series of social media on Facebook about the principals of Leave No Trace.
My favorite Leave No Trace post would probably be the last one because it has that big number of how many people come to the park every year and I just think that is incredible.
I absolutely think visitors have a responsibility to help protect the park. The parks are also theirs and so there is only so much the rangers can do. So if they want to be able to come back to them, if they want their children to be able to come back to them, then they have to do what they can to be able to protect them.
I think I will remember most two things (1) one, being down here, getting to meet all of the rangers, meet everyone who I worked with for a really long time but I only got to talk with them over the phone and then (2) also just those hours that I did spend on the phone in my room by myself looking at the computer, looking at my notebook, and just having those conversations.
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During the fall of 2018, Grand Canyon backcountry rangers collaborated with high school volunteer, Emma Norton, to replace the food storage boxes in Bright Angel, Indian Garden, and Cottonwood Campgrounds. As a result of her contributions to the park, Emma was awarded the Girl Scout Gold Award. This video tells the story of the project and Emma's contributions.
VOLUNTEERS – The Art of Giving, in a Green Shirt
By George Jacobi, park volunteer and author of the Inspiration Point Blog
Count me in the 'retired' category. As the writer of this blog, I usually go around here in disguise, but yesterday I dressed up to play Volunteer Ranger. Green shirt, tan slacks and hat with the logo, backpack with extra water, and the Pocket South Rim Map. Yeah, the map is crucial. "Where are we, Ranger?"
I had a good time despite my affliction: a tendency toward benevolent anarchy (Haven't worn a uniform since Boy Scouts). The people that needed direction were friendly. The people that were playing with the squirrel looked blankly at my efforts to explain what dangerous behavior that was. And I tried, as I do on every walk, not to look at the dozens of snapshot-takers poised on the very edge of the cliff. No thanks, just don't want to actually see it happen. There was a great joy, though, the kind a teacher knows, in explaining something that you are enthusiastic about and having the recipients get it.
"I'm absolutely passionate about the canyon." Our friend Nettie Klingler is a Volunteer here in Interpretation, who loves the job for both its sense of community - and its peace and quiet! The chance to do programs for appreciative people, research the historic figures she portrays, and not least, the opportunity to hike at will in a spectacular place all add up. "I'll stay as long as they have me!"
During the summer season, volunteers are everywhere. You might not see them, though, off to the side chipping brush with a chain saw, driving an ambulance, or in the Clinic. They do trail maintenance or housing rehab. Wildlife monitoring. Invasive species removal. Search and rescue, fire protection, archaeological and geological research. Or work in the Science Building, the Museum, or the Research Library. You'll interact with the volunteers that staff desks and lead guided walks and programs. Younger volunteers learn and grow as students and leaders and are inspired to care for the national parks. I watched this happen, and saw them thanking the Interpretation staff for the opportunity.
The effort to maintain the integrity of the entire resource, and to make it available and interesting to visitors without compromising it, goes on all the time.
Those volunteers last year put in 86,577 hours and were worth over 2 million dollars to this park alone! And I'm not even adding in the contributions made by paid interns. In a world where the National Parks function with fewer employees than they had in 2002, well, don't be afraid to thank a volunteer, whether you need help or not. The Grand Canyon would not be so enjoyable and functional without them. Got some time? Maybe YOU want to join in –it's special here.
Why Are You Wearing a Green Shirt?
By former Volunteer in Park, Sara Officer
Do you work here? How did you get this job? We are volunteers.
Canyon Sketches Vol 02 - April 2008Volunteers Help Control Invasive Plants
Invasive plants such as Sahara mustard pose a serious ecological threat to Grand Canyon. Volunteers have made important contributions towards controlling this aggressive invader over the last few years. Volunteer trips with Science and Resource Management’s vegetation program are fun and educational and give people who love Grand Canyon the opportunity to help preserve park resources.
Last updated: August 7, 2019