Park Monitor Program
With the addition of new athletic fields, off-leash dog areas, and an expanded network of trails, the Park Operations Division introduces the Park Monitor Volunteer Program to aid in maintaining a high quality of service and safe operation of our parks.
The success of our Adopt-a-Field and Adopt-a-Park volunteer programs, now in their 14th year, has shown us the exceptional value of the volunteer efforts of the citizens of our county. The addition of the Park Monitor Volunteer Program will assist in making our operations more effective by achieving greater protection of our facilities and providing improved park conditions for the users.
All Park Monitor volunteers will receive training by a Park Operations staff member. This is to ensure that monitors are familiar with the "Park Rules and Regulations" as well as the specific rules that apply to their position. Park staff will provide the training and information for each Park Monitor. One aspect of the training will involve demonstrating how the Park Monitor will tactfully and diplomatically carry out these functions while interacting with citizens.
All Park Monitors are required to be at least 18 years of age. Monitors will need to be familiar with the Park Rules and Regulations and be able to effectively communicate the need to follow these rules to park users. The individual position descriptions are detailed below:
- Dog Park Monitor: A Dog Park Monitor will be responsible for the safe operation of an Off Leash Dog Area and will need to be familiar with the Dog Park Rules to provide assistance when needed to encourage compliance of these rules. The Dog Park Monitor will need to use tact and diplomacy while carrying out duties related to the dog park operation. The Dog Park Monitor will report any unsafe conditions or maintenance needs to park staff. A Dog Park Monitor is required to be associated with the sponsoring group at the dog park they wish to work. Apply Online
- Athletic Field Monitor: An Athletic Field Monitor will be responsible for making decisions on whether assigned athletic fields will be playable or not and adjust the athletic field sign to the open or closed position according to the playability determination. These signs will be required on all fields where Athletic Field Monitors are assigned. If a field is determined to be unplayable, the Athletic Field Monitor will close that particular field based upon the "Determining Field Playability" criteria and report actions taken to park staff. The Athletic Field Monitor will also need to be aware and ensure the compliance of the Athletic Field Rules. Should the Park Authority close a field on a particular day, an Athletic Field Monitor may not reopen the field for play on that day. An Athletic Field Monitor is required to be associated with the sponsoring group at the athletic field that they wish to volunteer. Apply Online
- Trail Monitor: A Trail Monitor will be assigned to a particular trail(s) and will make observations of that trail(s) and convey them back to park staff for appropriate action. The Trail Monitor will need to be familiar with the Trail Rules and be able to recognize tree hazards, and other maintenance needs such as: creek and culvert blockages, trail surface damage, vandalism, graffiti and sign damage. The Trail Monitor will report any unsafe conditions or maintenance needs to park staff. Apply Online
Park Monitor Actions and Behavior
In dealing with the public, we want the Park Monitors to:
- Be informative and educate the public regarding the use of our facilities
- Be diplomatic and tactful in handling situations
- Encourage compliance of the park rules
- Avoid confrontation, call non-emergency police (703-691-2131) only when enforcement is necessary
Identification, such as a picture identification card and a park shirt with an agency logo, will help the Park Monitors stand out in the public as an official volunteer representative of the Park Authority. This visibility will help volunteers be recognized as someone with authority which will aid them in carrying out their responsibilities. The park shirt and identification cards will be issued to all Park Monitors by Park Operations staff. Identification cards and shirts shall be returned to the Park Authority when an individual drops out of the program.