Volunteer

Volunteers at Saguaro National Park perform many of the functions that allow visitors to enjoy the park as well as many behind-the-scenes functions that are essential to maintaining the long-term health of the park's resources.

Volunteer duties have included staffing the visitor centers, leading nature hikes, presenting environmental education programs to school and community groups, conducting "Junior Ranger" programs and day camps, assisting biologists with research projects, pulling non-native weeds, day-to-day maintenance functions, trail building and maintenance, and patrolling trails on foot and horseback.

Saguaro National Park does not have RV or trailer site campgrounds. Volunteer hours can not be exchanged as payment for overnight backcountry passes.

 
Bike Patrol
Bike Patrol Volunteers

NPS Photo

 
 

Click here to download the VIP (Volunteers in Parks) application and send to the appropriate contact listed in the table at the bottom of this page.

 

Currently Available Volunteer Positions

 

Resource Management Volunteers

Download the Volunteer Service Agreement and Application Form

Invasive Plants:
We are seeking short-term and long-term volunteers, both individuals and groups. The volunteers for Saturday events from November - April work as part of a team to remove buffelgrass or fountain grass. They must enjoy hiking, be strong enough to hike a mile or two and work for at least 4 hours in the desert sun digging up invasive plants. We also accept volunteers to work independently through our Weed-Free Trails program to kill weeds such as buffelgrass, fountain grass, Sahara mustard, and Malta star-thistle. We train these volunteers in plant identification and park safety protocols, and they work on their own schedules. If you are a group that enjoys working outdoors, we can also set up a special volunteer event.

For more information, please contact the invasive plant team at SAGU_invasive@nps.gov.

Fencing:
Fence removal and repair volunteers will work as part of a team with park staff on Saturdays or weekdays during the cooler months of November - April. Volunteers must love to work hard in the outdoors, including hiking several miles, handling barbed wire, and working during the desert heat.

For further information, please contact Don_Swann@nps.gov or (520) 733-5177.

Environmental Education Volunteers

Volunteers are needed to assist with environmental education programs primarily at the Tucson Mountain (West) District of Saguaro National Park. Volunteers work with local school groups leading field trips at the park and presenting programs in the classroom. Typical time commitment is 4 - 5 hours per week, October - April. Formal training is provided in the fall each year and job shadowing takes place during the first few weeks as a new volunteer.

Contact SAGU_Education@nps.gov

Visitor Center Volunteers

Are you excited about our amazing Sonoran Desert? Do you like talking to people? Become a volunteer at Saguaro National Park. The both districts of the park is looking for some folks to help at the visitor center. Work in a beautiful area and meet interesting visitors. Gain the satisfaction of helping others to enjoy and understand this amazing area and what they can see and do at the park. For those interested in more opportunities to share your enthusiasm about the natural history of the area, you can give short talks, garden walks, and theater presentations as well.

Time Commitment: 4.5 hours per week. Year-round residents preferred. The Rincon Mountain District, east, onboards volunteers two times per year in the spring and fall; please reach out any time for your name to be added to the "interested" list!

Knowledge and Skills Desired: Ability to acquire basic knowledge of desert natural and cultural history. Training provided. Ability to work as part of a diversified team. A desire to learn. The volunteer will be required to wear a volunteer uniform.

If interested contact:
Spencer Burke
spencer_burke@nps.gov (Tucson Mountain District, west)

Perri Spreiser
perri_spreiser@nps.gov (Rincon Mountain District, east)

 

Volunteer Opportunities at Saguaro National Park

*Please note that all positions may not be available at all times; contact the appropriate supervisor for further volunteer position inquires.

Division

Volunteer Positions

Duties

Contact

Trails

1) Group Events

1) Brush the trail corridor and adhere to the park's trail standards*
*Requires ability to hike, use of and care or hand tools, and ability to work safely and in a group

Ben Darnell

Maintenance

1) Trash Collection
2) Maintenance

1) Help clean up litter on the highly-traveled roads along the park borders during pick-up events
2) Aid in day-to-day maintenance duties around the park

John Teeter


Paul Dudus

Environmental Education

1) Curriculum-based Program
2) Experiental-based Program
3) Other School-based Programs

1) Prepare and facilitate K-12 environmental ed. activities for park field trips and at schools
2) Plan and lead hikes (day/night), family picnics, 3-day Wilderness Camps, Jr. Ranger Camps, camping trips (in/out of the park), and backpacking trips
3) Lead STEM/Science night activities, participate in Love of Reading Week events, judge science fairs, and other enrichment programs

Melanie Rawlins

Interpretation

1) Visitor Center
2) Guide Walks & Talks

1) Greet and provide information to visitors at the visitor center.
2) Provide interactive learning opportunities while guiding walks or giving short talks.

Spencer Burke (West District)


Perri Spreiser (East District)

Resource Management

1) Invasive Plants
2) Citizen Science
3) Weed-Free Trails
4) Fence Removal and Repair

1) Help us just about every Saturday from November-April by removing invasive grasses in both park districts. For more information please email: sagu_invasive@nps.gov or see schedule link.
2) Help us with citizen science projects; work with park staff to help collect data, especially on saguaros, in both park districts. For more information please email: sagu_invasive@nps.gov or see schedule link.
3) Independent work; help keep the park's trail network free of various invasive plants or adopt parts of the park to protect from invasive plants; BOTH park districts
4) Work with park staff to make fences wildlife-friendly and to remove old fences; both park districts but primarily in east district. For more information please email Don Swann at don_swann@nps.gov

For buffelgrass pulls, fountain grass pulls, independent weed-free trails work, to adopt an area of the park, or for special group volunteer events: Invasive Plant Team

Saguaro Arms Citizen Science Project

For fencing: Don Swann

For more information on volunteering with our resource management team, check out our monthly Volunteer Event Schedule.

Outreach

1) Outreach

i. Raise awareness of Saguaro National Park within the local community through non-curriculum-based school programs, table at community events and thorugh various partnerships by bringing the park to the public
ii. Help with "In-Park" events and programs

Cam Juarez

Fees/Admin

1) Fee Booth

Unfortunately, this volunteer position is not currently available.

1) Sell park entrance fee/passes and receipts, give visitors needed information and answer basic park questions from visitors, verify and process shift reports for deposit, and provide relief for booth staff as needed in both districts

Dave Williams

Law Enforcement

1) Hiking Patrol
2) Bike Patrol

1) Be a courteous and friendly point of contact for visitors while promoting safe and respectful use of park resources
2) Provide assistance to Protection Rangers in response to visitors needs (i.e. giving out park information, providing basic first aid, advising visttors of regulatuions, etc.)

Steve Bolyard

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Last updated: May 16, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

3693 S Old Spanish Trail
Tucson, AZ 85730

Phone:

520 733-5153
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