Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Volunteer In Parks to become a V.I.P.

For many years, The City of Calgary Parks has benefited from the valuable contribution of enthusiastic volunteers who inspire, engage and motivate thousands of visitors each year with messages of sustainability. The social impacts and values fostered through the volunteers that support the Parks programs are a key ingredient to developing the ecological literacy of citizens.

In 2011, over 8,000 volunteers worked 50,000 hours with The City of Calgary Parks. Their time spent is valued at over $1 million dollars.

Parks has many volunteer opportunities including removing invasive weeds, collecting litter from parks, building community ice rinks for pleasure skating, educating dog park visitors about the impact of coyote scat, and assisting with various gardening.

Parks offers four different types of volunteer opportunities: 
1. Green Initiatives 
Corporate groups and community groups introduce environmental stewardship actions into parks through individually-organized events, parks-planned events and partnership events. 
Example: Pathway and River Clean-up

2. Community Stewards
Volunteers perform environmental stewardship actions in parks on a regular schedule that directly impact the open space and organize their community in larger stewardship actions in parks.
Example: Community leaders organize weeding volunteers for several events throughout the year

3. Citizen Science
Volunteers complete ecological research in parks using Parks research protocol and return data to Parks for analysis, publication and application to Parks management.
Example: Calgary Bird Banders Society

4. Park Interpretive Experience
Volunteers interact with park visitors with engaging, interpretive messages to increase the visitor’s personal experience in the Park.
Example: Volunteers at PUPPY event interpreting dog and coyote interactions

The City of Calgary Parks has recently streamlined volunteer opportunities to better volunteer skills and to provide volunteers with more flexibility to volunteer in more than one capacity. Anybody can apply to be a volunteer and will be trained in skills needed for their roles and the park they work in.

For more information about volunteering in Parks, call 3-1-1 or visit

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