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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:

Wednesdays: 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 involve manual labor. Locations change each month Register for one, multiple or all available dates; space is limited. This activity qualifies for school community service hours.
Details & registration: 248.975.9717 or volunteer@oakgov.com.

Saturday, Sept. 20 
Haunted Hallows
Groveland Oaks Campground
6 - 10 p.m.
Volunteers needed: 15
During this campground event, Paradise Island is transformed into a Haunted Island. You can come in costume or we can provide a costume. You'll then spook the campers and provide treats when they exit. Volunteers need to be 18 years or older. Snacks and water provided.
Details and registration: 248.975.9717 or volunteer@oakgov.com.

Saturday, Sept. 20
Clean up Clinton River - Stewardship for Bio-swales
Waterford Oaks Administration Office
9:30 a.m. – Noon
Volunteers needed: Unlimited
Volunteers receive a tour of the storm water management system at the park which includes bio-swales and a rain garden. These features help filter rain water before it enters the Clinton River Watershed. After the program, volunteers will walk to nearby bio-swales to remove unwanted plants. Bring work gloves and dress appropriately.
Details and registration: 248.975.9717 or volunteer@oakgov.com.

Wednesday, Sept. 24
Farm to Fork
County Farmer's Market
5:30 - 9:30 p.m.
Volunteers needed: 5
This event will provide a "taste" of local Michigan farmers, partnered with local restaurants and topped off with select Michigan wines. Volunteers are needed to assist with set-up, tear-down and assisting the restaurants with serving guests. Details and registration: 248.975.9717 or volunteer@oakgov.com.

Friday & Saturday, Sept. 26 & 27
Brooksie Health Expo
Oakland University Recreation Center
Friday 2 - 8 p.m./Saturday 9 a.m.- 8 p.m. (broken down in 4 hour shifts)
Volunteers needed: 3 per shift
The Brooksie Way Health Expo supports the Brooksie Way Half Marathon, 10k and 5/k walk or run event. Volunteers will work out of information booth distributing giveaways and brochures.
Details and registration: 248.975.9717 or volunteer@oakgov.com.

Friday, Oct. 3
Harvest Happening
Royal Oak Senior Center
6:30 – 9 p.m.
Volunteers needed: 5
This fun event is a fall festival dance for adults with developmental disabilities. Volunteers will assist with serving soft drinks and snacks, then dance the night away with our guests. 
Details and registration: 248.975.9717 or volunteer@oakgov.com.

Saturday, Oct. 4
Autumn Festival/Picnic for Disabled Veterans
Independence Oaks
12:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Volunteers needed: 10
Join us for this new picnic event honoring our disabled veterans. Volunteers will assist with Registration, making and serving popcorn and snow cones, setup and cleanup.
Details and registration: 248.975.9717 or volunteer@oakgov.com.

Saturday, Oct. 11
Howl-o-ween Bash Dog Festival
Lyon Oaks Dog Park
9 a.m. – 1 p.m. & 1 – 5 p.m.
Volunteers needed: 6
Halloween pet-themed expo with activities and games for dogs and their owners. Informative pet demonstrations; pet adoptions; Halloween costume contests for dogs and their owners -- best doggie costume, including most original, scariest, funniest, and best dog and owner combo.  Dog agility and a special keepsake photo. Costume contests begin at 2 p.m. Volunteers will assist with setup, games, photo area, dog contests, and information booth.
Details and registration: 248.975.9717 or volunteer@oakgov.com.

Sunday, Oct. 12
Hidden Forest Trail Run
Independence Oaks
7:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Volunteers needed:  8
This race cuts through hardwood forests on wood chip trails making it a challenging and great place to race. Volunteers will provide maps, pass out water at the water stations, assist with food tent at end of race, be trail monitors, help runners on trail with directions, and set up and teardown. Details and registration: 248.975.9717 or volunteer@oakgov.com.

Wednesday, Oct. 28
Halloween Happiness
Southfield Civic Center
6:30 – 9 p.m.
Volunteers needed: 15
This is an awesome fun event for our adult community with developmental disabilities.  Our  guests and volunteers come dressed for Halloween.  Volunteers will assist with serving dinner, passing out candy for trick or treating, then dance the night away.
Details and registration: 248.975.9717 or volunteer@oakgov.com.

Wednesday, Nov. 5
StarLite Dinner Dance
White Lake Oaks Golf Course Banquet Center
6:30 – 9 p.m.
Volunteers needed: 5
Come join us for this All Dressed Up dinner dance for adults with developmental disabilities. Guests and volunteers can be All Dressed Up for this event. Our volunteers will serve dinner then dance the night away.
Details and registration: 248.975.9717 or volunteer@oakgov.com.

Friday, Nov. 21
Novi Hoedown Dinner Dance
Novi Civic Center
6:30 – 9 p.m.
Volunteers needed: 5
Ye Ha come ride um cowboy. Our guests and volunteers can come dressed for a real Hoedown cowboy experience. Come join us for this dinner dance for adults with developmental disabilities. Volunteers will serve dinner then dance the night away.
Details and registration: 248.975.9717 or volunteer@oakgov.com.

Wednesday, Dec. 10
Jingle Bell Ball
Waterford CAI Recreation Center
6:30 – 9 p.m.
Volunteers needed: 10
Come join us for this All Dressed Up dinner dance for adults with developmental disabilities. Guests and volunteers can be All Dressed Up for this event. Our volunteers will serve dinner then dance the night away.
Details and registration: 248.975.9717 or volunteer@oakgov.com.

Monday, Dec. 29
Almost New Years – North
Waterford Oaks Activity Center
6:30 – 9 p.m.
Volunteers needed: 5
Come celebrate Ringing in the New Year at this dinner dance for adults with developmental disabilities. Guests and Volunteers can be All Dressed Up for this event.  Volunteers will serve dinner then dance the night away. 
Details and registration: 248.975.9717 or volunteer@oakgov.com.

Tuesday, Dec. 30
Almost New Years – South
Royal Oak Senior Center
6:30 - 9 p.m.
Volunteers needed: 5
Come celebrate Ringing in the New Year at this dinner dance for adults with developmental disabilities. Guests and Volunteers can be All Dressed Up for this event. Volunteers will serve dinner then dance the night away. 
Details and registration: 248.975.9717 or volunteer@oakgov.com.

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. 

Trails
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.


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