Volunteer Work Description and Field Safety

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General Work Description for Parkwide Volunteer Programs

Assist Indiana Dunes National Park employees in volunteer program opportunities across the park. Volunteers will engage in general park-wide assistance, including but not limited to: Maintenance, Interpretation, Administration, Fire Management and Resource Management. Photos of volunteer activities may be taken during the program and used for park publications. If you require restricted use of your photo, please alert the park volunteer manager. Work is to be accomplished over a maximum of 8 hours on any given day, not to exceed 40 hours in a week, depending on the volunteer position.

 

Field Safety

Park staff will provide you with a safe work environment and will identify any potential hazards in the working area. While we strive to create the safest environment possible, it is impossible to eliminate all potential hazards when working outside in nature. Feel free to ask a park volunteer manager for more information on these or other topics.

  • Be Prepared! Dress Appropriately! Wear clothes that can get dirty, long pants, closed-toe shoes (no flip-flops or sandals), layers for changing weather, and rain gear if necessary. Bring a personal water bottle and sunscreen.
  • Ticks: Volunteers are subject to tick-borne diseases that can adversely affect their health and compromise the mission. Lyme disease and a number of other tick-borne diseases continue to pose a significant health threat to our employees and volunteers. Ticks are common carriers of Lyme disease and other tick borne diseases. Following the Park Tick Repellent System can maximum safe protection from tick bites and the associated diseases. These techniques include the use of protective clothing, repellents, and education.
  • Bees: Bee nests are commonly found in trees and on the ground in natural areas. Bees are often difficult to spot, but if you see one, try to follow it back to a nest and clear the area. If you see multiple yellow jackets flying around an area, warn others about them. They are very protective of their homes and sting repeatedly if aggravated. If you disturb nest, run away quickly in a zigzag pattern. If you know you are allergic, please take precautions for your safety and let your supervisor know.
  • Poison Ivy: The oil in poison oak can cause a severe rash, especially if you are highly allergic to it. Everyone should learn to recognize poison oak and avoid it. To identify poison oak, look for three lobed leaflets, which come in a variety of colors (from green to red) and are sometimes shiny or glossy in appearance. If any part of the plant touches your skin, clothing, or tool, talk to the park volunteer manager for further instructions on decontamination.
  • Heat Exhaustion: Drink plenty of water while working! If you feel tired or lightheaded, sit down and rest in the shade.
  • Sun Exposure: You can get sunburn on a cloudy day. Wear sunscreen and a hat for protection.
  • Tool / Back Safety: Be aware of the tools you are using. Make sure you know the correct way to use and transport them. Keep space between you and other volunteers. To avoid repetitive motion stress, take regular stretch breaks. Use your legs when lifting or pulling heavy objects, and always try to avoid twisting when carrying or loading.
  • Things You Might Find: Indiana Dunes National Park is in an urban area. Be observant and avoid things like broken glass, rusty metal, and hypodermic syringes. Glass, metal, and other trash can be picked up (wear gloves!). Alert the park volunteer manager if you find a needle or something you do not recognize—do not pick it up!
 

Last updated: July 22, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1100 North Mineral Springs Road
Porter, IN 46304

Phone:

(219) 395-1882
Indiana Dunes Visitor Center phone number.

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