National Park Volunteer Program
Volunteer & Stay in a National Park for Free
Do you want to immerse yourself in nature and help support our National Park System, all for free? The United States National Park Service is looking for people to volunteer in Parks nationwide. Perfect for people of all ages, from college students to retirees, read on to find out how you can make your travel matter.
The United States has over 400 beautiful National Park Sites just waiting to be explored. But for some people, the high cost of accommodations and admissions can make them seem out of reach. And many people want a deeper experience than the drive-in and drive-out day or weekend. This is where the VIP, or Volunteer in Parks Program with the United States National Park Service comes in. In exchange for volunteering in a Park Site, you receive benefits ranging from an annual park pass (after 250 hours of service) to free accommodation at many parks for a week, a month, or a season!
With sites all over the United States, Caribbean, and the Pacific, there is something for everyone. History lovers can dress up in historical clothing and work on Ellis Island or Maryland’s C&O National Historical Park. Passionate hikers can lead groups through native ruins at the Navajo National Monument in Arizona. If living on an island beach is more up your alley, volunteers can serve at the Buck Island Reef in St.Croix or the San Juan National Historic site in Puerto Rico. Glacier National Park, California’s Mojave Desert, the Teton Wilderness, and the Ozarks are just a few other beautiful parks that you could make your home. The VIP program is an amazing one that enables you to travel and stay for free, and to make your trip matter by helping to preserve our national treasures and share their history, nature and wildlife with others.
And, a note from all of us at She Travels Well: if you have ever considered volunteering at a National Park, 2019 is the year to do it. Budget cuts and environmental problems have escalated, and fewer funds for park rangers, staff and programming have created a desperate need for volunteers in our National Parks. If you cannot find a position among the hundreds available, feel free to make your own! The National Parks Service welcomes volunteers to use their interests and skills to design their own volunteer program, making it easy for everyone to #findyourpark. Check out the following resources to find your park in 2019.