fbpx Skip to the content
The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission

VSO – Volunteer Types

Join Us

If you enjoy parks and have some skills, time, and enthusiasm to share, you’ll make a great Parks Volunteer!

Click on each link to learn more about each type of volunteering:

Individual Volunteer

In General:

  • Explore our many volunteer opportunities – take note of the commitment and other requirements.
  • To get more information for a specific opportunity:
    • Click on Job Details, then
    • The tabs for the DescriptionDuties & Responsibilities and Contact Info.
    • If interested, click on Apply to fill out the on-line application.
    • For certain events, you will need to click on the Schedule tab to select a time slot to get to the application.
  • On the application, you will be asked to create a User ID and Password. When finished you have created a Volunteer Record within our system. Remember your User ID and Password, and you can “apply” to any volunteer job or event in the future without having to fill out another application.
  • Filling out an application automatically sends your information and interest in a volunteer job to the staff person recruiting for that job.
  • Once you have completed your application, the next steps are:
    • For Special Events and Projects, the process is pretty simple – you will receive confirmation information with any additional instructions from the organizer.
    • For longer term volunteer positions, you will be asked to meet with staff for an interview, given instructions on how to complete a background screening (depending on the volunteer position), commit to a schedule of volunteer shifts, and register for any required training for the volunteer position.


Back to top

Family volunteering is a great way to spend time together and give back to the community. In Montgomery Parks, our Family Volunteer program seeks to get work done while allowing younger family members to help to the best of their ability. One example of a popular Family Volunteer job is our Blue Bird Monitor position; weekly visits to assigned boxes to collect simple data can involve many family members – even those who need to be lifted up to peer in and count the number of eggs in a nest. Babies, toddlers and young children can come along, older children can help more substantially but an adult is registered and responsible for the completion of all tasks and for others in the family. Make sure you discuss your particular situation with the supervisor in advance; their decision about the suitability of a given assignment for family volunteering is made on a case-by-case basis. Click here to search for opportunities for children and families.


Back to top

There are many types of student volunteers – the key is to make sure you understand the parameters of your requirement and communicate that with us.

  • Montgomery County Public School Students
    • High School
      Look for volunteer jobs or event that are noted as “SSL approved”.
      If you would like to propose some other service or project for credit, make sure your idea is approved by park staff and your school’s SSL Coordinator.
      Click here to search for SSL-approved listings
    • Middle School
      We receive many inquiries for service opportunities for middle school students – especially relating to science classes. We can assist students in developing a service project that can meet their requirement. An adult supervisor will need to be identified and it is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the school approves the project.
  • Private School
    Let us know how your requirement works and we will work with you to see if there’s a match in parks. With such a wide variety of school programs it is difficult to make generalizations. School staff seeking service projects for groups of students should see our “Groups” section. Individual students can search our existing needs and apply to those that are of interest and meet the service guidelines for your school. We will be happy to help you see if we have a match. Click here to search for SSL-approved listings
  • College Students
    Students from a wide variety of disciplines can find meaningful service and enrichment opportunities in parks. Groups of students seeking a project should see the “Groups” section. Individual students should explore our existing volunteer jobs and apply for any of interest to you. If you do not find what you are looking for – let us know. We are often able to develop a volunteer position for well-qualified and enthusiastic college students.
  • DAY OFF of School SSL Workdays
    Montgomery Parks often has Student Service Learning Volunteer Events for students on weekdays when Montgomery County Public Schools are not in session. These events will provide students with the opportunity to get outside, help with interesting projects in the parks, and earn SSL Hours. Projects will include stream & park cleanups, natural surface trail workdays, and others. Volunteers under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.

Eagle projects

Back to top

Eagle Projects and Montgomery Parks are a natural fit! We are fortunate to get dozens of requests for Eagle Projects each year. Unfortunately due to the sheer number of applicants, we are not able to accommodate all who apply.  Demonstrating maturity, excellent planning skills, and having a well-considered and worthy project will increase the odds that a Scout’s project will be approved.  The Volunteer Services Office (VSO) often acts as a go-between Park Staff and Scouts, and our primary objective is to make sure that communication between the Scout and our Staff is as effective as possible.

Before contacting staff or applying for the Eagle Scout Volunteer Job opportunity, please follow the link below to see the guidelines we want Scouts to follow to guarantee a successful Eagle Project!  Eagle Scout Guidelines.

Court-ordered or Pre-Court Community Service

Back to top

Do you have a mandated service requirement to fulfill due to a court order; or are you coming to us on the advice of an attorney?  Many of our volunteer opportunities cannot use applicants with this type of requirement due to a conflict with mandates of Montgomery County Public Schools.

There are occasions when we can use volunteers through the Alternative Community Service (ACS) office managed by the Montgomery County’s Dept. of Correction and Rehabilitation. An ACS participant must have their volunteer service arranged through their ACS counselor. If you are interested in ACS, call 240-777-5409. ACS volunteers typically work during the week with our Park Maintenance crews outdoors. If you have any questions, contact our office at 301-495-2474 or at parksvolunteers@mongomeryparks.org to discuss further.

You can also go to Montgomery County’s Volunteer Center’s website at Montgomery Serves. Click on All Opportunities, then use the icon for Court Ordered to narrow down those opportunities that accept court-ordered volunteers.

Group Volunteers

Back to top

There are many different kinds of volunteer groups and each is unique. The make-up of your group, date range and location preference influence the types of opportunities that may be available for your group. Most groups participate in short term service projects – like park clean ups, trail workdays or non-native invasive plant removal. Others develop a long-term relationship with parks and organize many volunteer projects and services over several years. The key to a quality experience for your group and our organization is advance planning and a sincere desire to help. We do have some opportunities available to groups, but often times we work with groups to customize a project that meets both the Park’s needs and the organizations needs, be it team building, a desire to clean up the environment or several other possibilities.

Youth organizations (scouts, schools, etc.)

Many youth organizations perform service projects as part of a learning or enrichment experience and Parks are wonderful places for that! Youth groups must have an adult contact and appropriate adult supervision while working in parks.

Community groups (corporate, civic, synagogues/churches, etc.)

Join the hundreds of community organizations that help out in parks each year. We will need a contact person who will be responsible for working out details and communicating between Parks staff and group members.

Let us know what you’re interested in by completing an online application. Or if you prefer, contact the staff person listed with each opportunity to get more details before applying.

The Volunteer Services Office is always happy to assist you in this process, so if you’re having difficulty, please don’t hesitate to contact us at parksvolunteers@montgomeryparks.org or at 301-495-2474.