Dale Dufour of Lolo was one of 1,700 Montana volunteers that donated over 46,000 hours of volunteer service last year to assist Montana State Parks with a variety of projects and programs. With summer in full swing, volunteering in state parks is a great way to experience Montana’s cultural, natural and recreational resources while giving back to your local community.
“We’re fortunate to have so many dedicated Montanans who are willing to donate their energy, their time, and their talents” said Chas Van Genderen, State Parks Administrator. “We’re extremely grateful for the work they do. Many of our projects would not be possible without their help.”
Volunteer positions cover a wide range of skill and experience levels and are matched to the interests of individuals. Some volunteers may work only a few hours, while others dedicate their time year round.
Dufour began his volunteer duties at Travelers’ Rest State Park in 2004 after a career with the U.S. Forest Service. On any given day, you may find him with a camera in hand capturing photos of park events and wildlife, greeting visitors, or helping with an education program.
There are a variety of volunteer opportunities currently available in state parks as campground hosts, park naturalists, visitor center greeters, and special projects specific to the needs of the park. Volunteers work individually and in groups, with staff providing training and supervision.
Special events offer great volunteer experiences, too. Some 16,000 park visitors participated in special events last year; without the help of hundreds of volunteers those events would not have been possible.
For more information about current volunteer opportunities, contact your local FWP office, visit fwp.mt.gov/parks, or call the State Parks Volunteer Coordinator at (406) 444-3750.