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Resource Management Volunteer Program

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer with Resource Management Division Volunteer with Resource Management Division

Over 800 volunteers work throughout Fairfax County helping the Resource Management Division fulfill its mission:

  • To identify, protect and interpret the cultural, natural and horticultural resources of Fairfax County and the Fairfax County Park Authority;
  • To encourage the enjoyment, understanding and appreciation of these resources by citizens and visitors;
  • To contribute positively to the sense of community and quality of life in Fairfax County, and to provide community leadership in protecting and maintain the county's heritage;
  • To maintain museum accreditation standards and the highest professional standards of stewardship and interpretation.

Hundreds of students currently volunteer with the Resource Management Division. Some volunteer for only a short period of time to fulfill a service requirement and others volunteer on a regular basis in positions such as Animal Caretaker or Program Assistant.

For more information on volunteer opportunities for students, contact the Resource Management Volunteer Coordinator at the park where you would like to volunteer to see if there are opportunities available that match your interests and availability.

Volunteer opportunities vary by location.

Become a Volunteer

Short-Term Volunteer and Community Service Opportunities

Volunteer on boardwalk at Huntley Meadows Park Can you say sssssssssssnakes!
Stream Study

If you are in need of community service hours, please see the list of upcoming short-term volunteer opportunities. Please keep in mind that our parks get many requests from students in need of service hours and we do not always have the staff and resources available to accommodate everyone.


ExpandColvin Run Mill Historic Site

Site Maintenance
On-going opportunities weekdays before 5 p.m. or Saturdays

Students 13 and older can earn service hours at Colvin Run Mill Historic Site by assisting with holiday programs.

For more information or to apply, call the volunteer coordinator 703-759-2771.

ExpandEllanor C. Lawrence Park

Students 14 and older can earn service hours at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park by picking up trash along the stream, weeding in gardens areas, and spreading mulch along trails. Most work needs to be done weekdays before 5 p.m. Sometimes weekend work can be arranged.

For more information or to apply, call the volunteer coordinator 703-631-0013.

ExpandFrying Pan Farm Park

Intermittent opportunities are available for students 14 and older to earn service hours by cleaning animal stalls.

For more information or to apply, call the volunteer coordinator 703-437-9101.

ExpandGreen Spring Gardens

Students 13 and older can earn service hours by weeding, picking up trash and potting seedlings. Volunteer work needs to be done weekdays before 4:30 p.m.

For more information or to apply, call the volunteer coordinator 703-642-5173.

ExpandHidden Oaks Nature Center

Students 13 and older can earn service hours by spreading mulch on trails, weeding, and collecting trash. Volunteer work needs to be done weekdays before 5 p.m. or weekends noon - 5 p.m.

For more information or to apply, call the volunteer coordinator 703-941-1065.

ExpandHidden Pond Nature Center

Students can earn service hours weekdays or weekends by picking up trash in the park. This work is done unsupervised and it is recommended that students find a partner to work with so they are not alone in the park.

For more information or to apply, call the volunteer coordinator 703-451-9588.

ExpandNatural Resource Management and Protection

There are volunteer opportunities in habitat restoration, stream monitoring, watershed cleanups and more.

For more information or to apply, call the volunteer coordinator 703-324-8674.

ExpandRiverbend Park

Students can earn service hours weekends by picking up trash in the park and helping with landscaping and resource management. This work is done unsupervised and it is recommended that students find a partner to work with so they are not alone in the park.

For more information or to apply, call the volunteer coordinator 703-759-9018.

ExpandSully Historic Site

Site Maintenance
Students can earn service hours by working in the gardens, picking up trash, and doing historical interpretation weekdays before 5 p.m. and sometimes on weekends.

For more information or to apply, call the volunteer coordinator 703-437-1794.

Resource Management Division Volunteer Handbook

The Resource Management Division of the Fairfax County Park Authority welcomes you to our volunteer staff. We are delighted to have you join us. Your commitment to caring for the natural, cultural and horticultural resources of Fairfax County is vital to the Fairfax County Park Authority and the Resource Management Division. Volunteers are our lifeblood and a crucial link to the community.

We hope you volunteer experience will be enjoyable and rewarding. While volunteering, you will make a difference in your community. You may also develop friendships and learn new skills.

Throughout this handbook, you will find answers to questions you may have about the agency, the division, and our volunteer program.

Volunteer Coordinators

Colvin Run Mill Kathryn Blackwell 703-759-2771 Email
Cultural Resource Management and Protection (Archaeology) Aimee Wells 703-534-3881 ext. 407 Email
Ellanor C. Lawrence Park Kiersten Conley 703-631-0013 Email
Frying Pan Farm Park Sherry Bizette 703-437-5318 Email
Green Spring Gardens Ralph Weitz 703-642-5173 Email
Hidden Oaks Nature Center Janis Jeffers 703-941-1065 Email
Hidden Pond Nature Center Mike Mccaffrey 703-451-9588 Email
Huntley Meadows Park Kathleen Lowe 703-768-2525 Email
Natural Resource Management and Protection Erin Stockschlaeder 703-324-8586 Email
Riverbend Park John Callow 703-759-9018 Email
Sully Historic Site Paige Gibbons 703-437-1794 Email

Volunteer Benefits

In appreciation for your dedication and service as a Resource Management Division volunteer, you are eligible to receive the following benefits:

  • Free admission to the Sully Antique Car Show, Sully Quilt Show and Sale, tours of Colvin Run Mill and Sully historic sites and hay rides at Frying Pan Park. (Volunteers and their family)
  • RECenter classes on a space available basis for those who have worked a minimum of 32 hours and maintain a consistent rate of eight hours per week. (Volunteer only)
  • 10% discount at division nature center and museum shops (Volunteer only)
  • RECenter pass at the county employee rate (Volunteer only)
  • Membership in the Fairfax County Employees Credit Union (Volunteer only)

A summary of your benefits can be found on your Volunteer ID Card which is issued to all active volunteers at the beginning of each calendar year. If you have lost your card, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator by telephone (703-324-8750) for a replacement.

For more information on volunteer benefits, please contact your site/section Volunteer Coordinator.

Frequently Asked Questions

ExpandWhat are the advantages of working with the Park Authority instead of by myself?

The Park Authority manages parkland on behalf of all park visitors in accordance with county, state and federal policies, regulations and laws. Experienced park staff help volunteers create a fun, safe, effective volunteer program that meets park needs. Park staff can often offer logistical support that volunteers don't have ready access to.

ExpandI want to remove invasive plants in my local park but it's not on the list. How can I help with this important task?

The Invasive Management Area (IMA) program offers about 40 different opportunities for volunteers to become involved in an invasive plant management effort. Although we know that invasive plants are in more parks than the 40 offered, effective removal of invasive plants requires a concentrated effort over a period of several years to be successful. The IMA program allows for that longer-term commitment, training, tools and logistical support in a way that cannot be provided for every park at this time. New parks are added to IMA every spring, so feel free to recommend your favorite park by contacting us at 703-324-8681.

ExpandWhom do I contact?

You can always call our general information line at 703-324-8701 to get contact information. Core volunteer opportunities can be found:

  • By contacting staff at a park building, like a nature center or RECenter. Staff inside the building will help determine who can help you outside the building.
  • By contacting the Park Operations Division 703-324-8594. They'll direct you to the right volunteer coordinator for your project.
  • By contacting the Resource Management Division Volunteer Coordinator at 703-324-8750.

ExpandThere are some volunteer projects that just don't work. Here are some reasons why.
  • The project is not consistent with the park's mission. Many of our parks are master planned, a review process that creates an overall view of how the parkland should be used (Check the Master Plan Archives for details. These master plans are developed by staff and the Park Board with input from the public, including local residents.
  • The project is too large. Proposals that have a large scope, either requiring heavy equipment and/or requiring federal permits due to their location in or near a water body, may require resources that have not been budgeted and cannot be accommodated in the schedule. We also have turned down large groups when a suitable project is not available. On occasion, we can accommodate groups of up to 200; however, these projects need careful advanced planning in excess of three months.
  • There is no staff available to oversee the project. Projects that require several site meetings, training, permits and multiple staff on hand to be successful may not be able to be accommodated in the workplan. Volunteer projects that require a lot of human resources must be prioritized with work that is already underway. If your project is not selected, remember that park employees manage hundreds of volunteer projects a year and are always looking for help to complete those projects.
  • Doing something one time likely won't work. For example, many of the most effective techniques to remove invasive plants work only with repeated cutting of the above-ground vegetation. A one-time workday will not have a lasting effect on the non-native vegetation, and without committed volunteers who will come back repeatedly, the project will not be sustainable. We are interested in creating lasting projects that will have a positive effect on parkland for years to come.
  • Site may contain a sensitive resource. Protection of sensitive resources may require that a project be carried out by professional or specially-trained consultants or staff.

Contact Fairfax County: Phone, Email or Twitter | Main Address: 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035
Technical Questions: Web Administrator

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