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Volunteer Info

The success of many of our recreation and environmental programs depends on the volunteer efforts of the members of our community. If you're looking for a way to make a difference, meet new people or expand a hobby, there are many different ways you can participate to match your skills or areas of interest.

How to Volunteer

View the volunteer opportunity descriptions to see what suits you best. Maybe you have an interest in helping others, want to learn more about the community or meet other friendly, helpful people. We welcome: 

  • Students age 16 and up with parent or guardian signature, ages 13-16 with parent or guardian supervision.  Volunteer hours may apply to service learning project hours for high school or college credit. 
  • Adults age 18 and up
  • Seniors
  • Groups – Corporations, non-profits, service organizations, etc.

To volunteer as an individual, print and complete the Volunteer Application or Golf Volunteer Application and return it to volunteer@oakgov.com or:

Oakland County Parks
Volunteer Coordinator
2800 Watkins Lake Road
Waterford, MI 48328

Once received, we will contact you to discuss the potential of a volunteer placement. If an appropriate placement cannot be arranged at that time, we will keep your application on file up to one year. As opportunities become available, we will notify you.

To speak to a volunteer coordinator or schedule a group volunteer event, call 248-975-9717 or email volunteer@oakgov.com.

Current Volunteers: Monthly Volunteer Time Sheet.  (Please upgrade to latest version of Acrobat Reader to utilize this form.)

Volunteers Needed for These Events:

Wed, June 4, July 2, Aug. 6, Sept. 3, Oct. 1, and Nov. 5
Natural Area Land Management Workday
Multiple Parks
9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Join Oakland County Parks in a unique opportunity to be a steward for the Parks natural area through all four seasons.  Efforts include pre and post prescribed burn surveys, invasive species mapping and management.  These workdays are educational and manual labor.  The workdays are scheduled for the first Wednesday of each month.  Locations change each month so you’ll get to become familiar with many of our different Parks.  The first workday will be held June 4 at highland Oaks-South.  Register for one, multiple or all available dates.  Space is limited so call 248-975-9717 or e-mail volunteer@oakgov.com for more information or to reserve your spot for this unique volunteer opportunity.  This activity qualifies for school community service hours.

Friday – Sunday July 25-27
BMX National Races
Waterford Oaks
Friday 11 a.m.–9 p.m.  Sat. 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.  Sunday 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday 5 a.m. – 8 a.m.
Oakland County Parks is excited to host the BMX Nationals Bike Races. We are in need of 16 volunteers for Friday; 20 volunteers each Saturday and Sunday. Volunteers will assist as parking attendants and concession stand. Saturday and Sunday 5 a.m. 8a.m. shifts will assist with food preparation. Volunteers will sign up for shifts. Friday  11 a.m. – 3 p.m., 2:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.. Saturday 8 a.m.-noon, 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., 3 p.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. – noon, 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.. This event qualifies for school community service hours, and our General Awards program.. Register for one or both dates. Contact Volunteer Services at 248-975-9717 or e-mail volunteer@oakgov.com for more information on shift times, and to reserve your spot for this unique volunteer opportunity.

Saturday, August 2, 2014
Wheel Chair Daze
Independence Oaks
9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Adaptive Recreation is having a fun Carnival Day for individuals in wheelchairs. We are in need of up to 20 volunteers to be greeters and carnival game assistants. Greeters will assist patrons from the drop off area and push them to a seat under the event tent. Carnival.game.e assistants will run the games area. A t-shirt and lunch is provided. Volunteers must be adults or can be teens with adult supervision. This event qualifies for school community service hours, and our General Awards program. Space is limited so call 248-975-9717 or e-mail volunteer@oakgov.com for more information or to reserve your spot for this fun volunteer opportunity.

Saturday, August 9
Air Fair
Groveland Oaks Campground
9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Keep your eye on the sky for hot air balloons, kite flying, hang glider display, turtle toys booth, balloon crafts, kite-making, birds of prey program, inflatable bouncers, climbing tower, team games, hayrides, DJ dance, and a rockin’ variety band. We are in need of 5 volunteers to assist with the craft area. This event qualifies for school community service hours, and our General Awards program. Register for this fun event by contacting Volunteer Services at 248-975-9717 or e-mail volunteer@oakgov.com for more information.

After Dark Series:  Glow In One-Glow in the Dark Disc Golf
Red Oaks Golf Course
29600 John R Rd, Madison Heights
Thursday, Aug. 14  6:30 -10:30 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 15  5:30 -11:30 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 16  5:30 -11:30 p.m.

Come be a part of a great night time experience!  Join in the fun with our new night time 9-hole “glow disk” golf event at Red Oaks Golf Course. No experience necessary. This event needs 5 – 10 volunteers to assist with Registration/check-In, Competitions/Activities, Course Monitors, and Set-up/Teardown activities. 

Volunteers will assist with the following areas:

Pass out player’s packs and t-shirts. Review time line of nights events. Direct players to the posted signs with the posted events.

Help with measuring and marking the longest drive, and closest to the pin contests. Hand out putters, and golf balls at cosmic putt putt. Gather up mini discs at the Go Golf! Unit.

Course Monitors
Direct players through the course to the next hole, and keep players from causing a backup on the course.

Help with set-up and teardown of course and putt putt area.  Set-up and teardown black lights on course.

Please contact Volunteer Services at volunteer@oakgov.com com or 248-975-9717 to reserve your volunteer day and time.

Volunteer Opportunities throughout the parks system:

Adaptive Recreation
Assist in hosting special, sport and social events for individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities, seniors and veterans.  Activities include special events, socials, tours, teaching and adapting sports skills for individuals with disabilities.

Bicycle Motocross (BMX @ Waterford Oaks)
Track maintenance begins in April. Assist in the weekly operation of BMX by providing technical assistance at practices and races. Duties include bike inspection, registration, scoring, staging, corner marshaling, and concessions.

Campground Hosts and Labor
Assist campers by answering questions, explaining the rules in a pleasant and helpful manner, providing directions and assisting with check-in.  Volunteers may also help with maintaining flower beds and monitoring restrooms for cleanliness.

Campground Recreation 
Memorial Day to Labor Day
Assist with activities including arts and crafts, DJ dances, face painting, games, etc. for campers at Addison and Groveland Oaks. Theme weekends include carnival, comedy fun day, July 4th festivities, blues bash and boo bash. Also volunteer to help set up, implement and clean up one-day special events. 

Dog Park Ambassadors (Lyon Oaks, Orion Oaks & Red Oaks)
Become and ambassador and answer visitors’ general questions, distribute park materials, and report concerns or comments to park management.  Gatekeepers sign up for shifts to support customer service and park security.  Other opportunities include assisting with one-day special events and annual clean-up days at three dog parks.

Golf Courses and Programs
Starters, rangers, cart attendants and pro shop/phones assist at five golf courses. Assist with tournaments, leagues, and special events.    Please complete the Golf Volunteer Application. 

Nature Centers
Assist in supporting the efforts of nature center staff by greeting Nature Center guests, caring for captive animals, assisting with nature education programs, scout days and trail walks, preparing program and craft supplies, or maintaining outdoor gardens.

Natural Resources Stewardship
Assist natural area management by participating in annual cleanup days, invasive plant control activities, monitoring bluebird nestboxes, or conducting Citizen Science Surveys on seasonal wildlife activities, including frog counts, grassland bird counts, and butterfly counts. 

Be the eyes and ears of the Parks trails by using a formal reporting and tracking process while you enjoy the outdoors as you patrol park trails on foot.  Promote safe and proper use of the trails by providing information to visitors on Park rules and policies. 

Special Events
Assist with one-day events throughout the year including Fire & Ice winter festival, the springtime Marshmallow Drop at Catalpa Oaks, mountain bike races, fishing events, County Market events, or Boo Bash and Haunted Hallows events in the fall.

Other Volunteer Opportunities

Water Resources Commissioner's Office
Assist with Adopt-a-Stream (stream monitoring and clean-ups), and cooperative lakes monitoring. Details:  248-858-0958.

Master Gardener Volunteer Program

The Michigan Master Gardener Volunteer Program is a horticulture education and volunteer leader training program offered by Michigan State University Extension in Oakland County.  An interest in plants, a personal commitment to volunteerism and an enthusiasm for sharing knowledge with others are the only prerequisites for application. Applicants attend classes learning basic horticultural principles and environmentally sound gardening practices.  They then provide a minimum of 40 hours of volunteer service to their community.
Oakland County offers a daytime session in the fall (August-November) or an evening session in the winter (January-April).  Each session is 13 weeks and held in Waterford. Contact Linda Smith at 248-858-0887 for an application or information.

Volunteer Podcast
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