Without the dedication of the many volunteers who support our parks, we would be far less successful.
Let’s look at the numbers. In 2008 Virginia State Parks had 4,345 registered volunteers who worked more than 235,000 hours in our park. This is the equivalent of having another 113 full time employees. Since budget cuts have forced us to hold many positions vacant, this is particularly valuable to Virginia State Parks. You can’t make 7 million visitors happy without people available to work in the parks.
Using a volunteer hourly rate provided by the Commonwealth of Virginia, the value of this volunteer service is $4.6 million.
Two years ago we instituted an on line data base for volunteers so people can sign up to be volunteers and sign up for specific volunteer opportunities. This has also allowed us to keep in touch with our volunteers and alert them to new volunteer opportunities.
From our volunteer camp and park hosts who live in our parks in their RVs for one to two months to work in the parks to our Friends groups to groups who come to volunteer in our parks to the loyal core of individual volunteers who support our parks every day, these dedicated folks are truly members of our Virginia State Parks family. Without them we would be unable to comtinue to be succesful with decreasing budgets. They are the basis for our continuing to do more with less.
For more information about the Virginia State Parks volunteer program, see sign up here. Someone from the park of your choice will contact you.