If you’re an avid adventurer or someone who’s passionate about the outdoors, chances are, you have a favourite wild space; an area of the country that’s important to you. Maybe your favourite space doesn’t have the tallest mountains, or the biggest trees, or the deepest water, but you spent a lot of time in this ‘wild’ as a child. Maybe you just know this slice of the outdoors like the back of your hand, or the trails or campsites feel like a second home for you. If you can identify with what I’m writing about, you’ve likely already felt an urge to contribute or give back to whatever natural environment you particularly admire. What many young Canadians don’t realise is that Parks Canada makes it especially easy to do so.
Photo: Destination Canada
If you like to explore, problem solve, participate in community projects, or share your knowledge about the outdoors, there’s a good chance that Parks Canada has a volunteer opportunity available to you. Whether it’s assisting a scientist, speaking to schoolchildren, or discovering and recording species, there is a unique volunteer position for almost anyone who is interested in contributing their time to preserving and nurturing Parks Canada’s incredible wild spaces.
Photo: Destination Canada
Quick Facts About Volunteering In The Parks:
- What is a volunteer: A Parks Canada National Volunteer is an individual who gives or contributes their time without a salary or wage in return.
- What do you get out of it: Well, the ability to play a part in unique events and education programs, share your discoveries and knowledge with visitors, study, restore, and conserve our heritage, and take care of Canada’s amazing land, species, and history. You also get the opportunity to connect with your natural and cultural heritage, make a difference, have new experiences, and meet new people who have similar interests…to name just a few things that you get out of it. And, finally, as a volunteer, you get to share your ideas, knowledge, talent, and skills with Parks Canada to continue to build a legacy for Canada’s natural and historic landmarks and treasures. Not bad!
- What skills or knowledge do you need: Mostly just enthusiasm, motivation, and passion. The volunteer needs of Parks Canada vary widely, so a few positions may require specific skills, so just tell them in your application form about your special skills or education that you think could be of benefit to Parks Canada.
- How often do I need to volunteer: You can volunteer once, often or year-after-year.
- Where to volunteer: Most National Parks, National Historic Sites, and National Marine Conservation Areas. If you’re interested in a particular location, contact them directly. To see some of the volunteer opportunities available, check out Parks Canada’s volunteer opportunities here.
- Where to stay: Accommodation near parks and historic sites is usually pretty limited. Most of the time, volunteers have to find and secure their own accommodation. But, you can contact the locations you wish to volunteer and ask directly about what options for room and board exist.
- How do I stay safe: All volunteers will be provided with the necessary safety training and equipment.
Have you ever volunteered in the parks? Let us know about your experience in the comments below…