Volunteer Program

We are always looking for like-minded lovers of the parks and what they offer the community. If you are looking to volunteer some of your time to help others enjoy our beautiful parks, we would love to have you on board.

If you are interested in the volunteer program, please call 330-409-8993 for more information or submit an application.

View our current Volunteer Spotlight features and find out how and why these volunteers enjoy giving back through Stark Parks.  

Opportunities for Individuals

Whether you’re interested in hiking, biking, gardening, helping at special events, working with school children, clearing and maintaining trails, or supporting our wildlife rehabilitation program, fun awaits you as a Stark Parks volunteer. Flexibility is a key component of our volunteer program, with short-term and long-term opportunities available during weekdays and weekends.

Long-term Volunteers

  • Volunteer at least 10 hours on an annual basis
  • Go through the Volunteer onboarding process
    • Submit an application
    • Complete a phone interview with the Volunteer Coordinator
    • Sign a long-term waiver form and pass a background check
    • Attend an orientation with the Volunteer Coordinator
  • Receive volunteer opportunities via email on a regular basis
  • Invited to the annual Volunteer Recognition Dinner (after volunteering 10 hours)
  • Receive a Stark Parks Volunteer t-shirt and nametag
  • Please refer to the Volunteer Handbook for information on the different volunteer positions

Volunteer at Information DeskEnjoy working behind the scenes? Support Stark Parks with data entry, clerical duties, office filing, and computer work utilizing MS Office on an as needed basis or special project.


Education Program Assistant and Docents

Volunteer in Canal Boat Captain CostumeBelieve you can learn something and have fun in the process? Help our naturalists and education programmers with signing in guests and program presentations for children and adults. Docents are trained volunteers that conduct guided tours and programs through the Congressman Ralph Regula Canalway Center and around the Magnolia Flouring Mills.


Enterprise and Pontoon Boat Captains

Pontoon Boat on Sippo LakeHave a desire to work with the public in retail sales or guide lake tours? Join other volunteers providing customer service in the concession trailer at park events, the Lily Pad Gift Shop at the Exploration Gateway, or at the marinas.  Obtain specialized training and captain the pontoon boat at Sippo Lake or Walborn Reservoir! Pontoon boat captains must be 21 years of age.


FeLeap/FeLeap’s Assistant

FeLeap the Frog, Stark Parks mascotLove being in the center of all activities? Meet and greet park patrons while portraying the park’s official mascot “FeLeap.” Volunteers will portray FeLeap during park district events, parades or events sponsored by other organizations where an appearance of FeLeap is requested. FeLeap does not talk, but shares hugs, high-fives, and handshakes with the young and old while distributing park information. The FeLeap Assistant accompanies FeLeap at events.


Natural Resources and Operations

Volunteers Digging Holes for PlantsLike being outside and helping the environment? Assist park staff with litter control efforts, landscaping, and invasive species control.


Naturalists and Historians

Volunteer at eagle nesting siteSpend time in the parks or trails? Provide park visitors the opportunity to connect and appreciate the wonders found in Stark County. Through informal interpretation in areas like the Ohio & Erie Canal, wetlands, and birding hotspots, volunteers will facilitate opportunities for visitors to make intellectual and emotional connections. Natural history and informal interpretation training will be provided.


Quail Hollow Park Unique Opportunities

Volunteer at eagle nesting siteVisitor Center Greeter – greet people as they enter the building, respond to questions, answer the telephone (Sat./Sun. 1-4p), Manor House Tour Guide/Docent – learn the history of the house and park, give tours on weekends during the summer months (2p), Gift Shop Attendant – staff the gift shop on the weekend day of your choice. Must be able to make change, greet visitors, learn about the park history to answer visitor questions (weekends, 1-4p), Cross-Country Ski Rental – must be able to come to the park on weekends during the winter months. Assist visitors with fitting ski equipment (we will train) (Sat. 10a-4p; Sun noon-4p)  Gardening – there are many areas around the buildings that require on-going maintenance throughout the growing season. Special Events – the volunteers plan and hold two fundraising events during the year: Art, Craft & Herb Fair in May and Christmas at the Hollow in December. Help is needed in all aspects of these events to make them successful. For additional information please visit https://www.qhva.org/

Trail Patrol

Voluteer with TAILblazer dog patrolWant to keep the park and trails a safe place for visitors? Become a "Trailblazer" and combine your love of the outdoors through walking/hiking, biking, or horseback riding. Stark Parks provides training in park history, First Aid, and customer service.

TAILblazers are teams of trained volunteers and Canine Good Citizen certified dogs who provide a presence in Stark Parks and along the trails.

Applications for Trail/TAILblazers are accepted throughout the year with an annual spring training. Trail/TAILblazers must be at least 18 years old.


Special Event and Marketing

Volunteers Selling Raffle TicketsLove talking to people about the park? Provide information to visitors at public events, assist with crafts/games/activities at special events (e.g. Family Fall Fest, Summer Splash); assist staff with conducting visitor surveys or fundraising.


Wildlife Conservation Center

cutting up food for wildlifeVolunteer applications can be submitted from Sept.  through or until the maximum number of volunteers is reached.  

Volunteers are the backbone of the Wildlife Conservation Center at Sippo Lake Park. They help complete household and minor husbandry tasks so staff are able to spend valuable time giving supportive care to wildlife patients. The patients rely on volunteer help throughout the year. Through observation and training, volunteers will learn cleaning and housekeeping protocols, species specific diet preparation, hygiene and safety protocols, and species identification and facts.

Caring for wildlife is hard work, but very rewarding. Expect to be in all types of weather and physical activity like walking, bending, lifting, and kneeling. 

                                           WCC Handbook 

Short-term Volunteers

  • Volunteer on an as-needed basis
  • Sign a short-term waiver form
  • Receive volunteer opportunities via email on an as-needed basis

Opportunities for Groups and Organizations

Searching for an ongoing volunteer project or single day of service? Stark Parks has options for community and civic organizations, school groups, scouts, and church groups. We will work to match your group interests and skills with your desired location. Contact should be made at least six weeks in advance of the project.

Rotary Club Adopt a Trail Sign
Mulching Playground at Stark Parks
Eagle Scout Trail Project

Adopt a Trail Groups

Volunteers can assist in the removal of small debris along the trail including sticks, rocks, limbs, pet waste, and litter and report any safety problems or hazards. They also maintain flowerbeds and native garden areas at respective trailheads, parking areas, and facilities.

Group Day of Service

Volunteer projects typically include, general clean-up, painting, staining, gardening/pruning, staffing special events, and trail work.

Scout Projects

As an organization, our visitors have greatly benefited from scout’s contributions over the years. We encourage you to submit a proposal.