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About the Volunteer Services Office (VSO)

The VSO seeks to advance the mission of Montgomery Parks by supporting Park staff in their efforts to effectively engage volunteers in their work programs, and to help facilitate volunteer partnerships that enhance our park system. We serve as the primary hub for managing our very large and complex volunteer contingent. In recent years our volunteers have donated more than 88,000 hours of volunteer service annually. We are very fortunate to have such generous community support!

Contacts

Jayne Hench, Senior Volunteer and Community Partnerships Coordinator
Jayne.Hench@MontgomeryParks.org
Lynn Vismara, Volunteer Services & Partnerships Coordinator
Lynn.Vismara@MontgomeryParks.org
Jim Corcoran, Natural Surface Trails Volunteer Coordinator
Jim.Corcoran@MontgomeryParks.org
Henry Coppola, Stream and Park Cleanup Coordinator
Henry.Coppola@MontgomeryParks.org

Main Office Number: 301-495-2504

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can my child earn student service learning hours?
Is there a minimum age requirement?
Can I volunteer with my family?
How do I apply?
I don’t see any volunteer opportunities that appeal to me – are there others?
We would like to adopt a park, do you have a program like that?
I am signed up as an individual volunteer but I am volunteering as part of a larger organization – can I “bank” my hours with my group?
Why do you collect hours information?
Do you take court ordered service?

Can my child earn student service learning hours?

There are several opportunities for student volunteers in parks.  See the Getting started as a volunteer section for more information.  Please understand that it is not always possible for us to accommodate students who need lots of hours in a short time.  As an approved SSL host agency – all opportunities for students must be pre-approved by MCPS and the Montgomery County Volunteer Center. For more information about the MCPS requirement for student service please see their website at: www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/ssl/.

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Is there a minimum age requirement?

That depends.  Each job lists a minimum age – to volunteer without parental supervision you need to be AT LEAST 14 years old for any job.  Those younger than 14 may join a parent or guardian in our Family Volunteer program.  Make sure you check with the supervisor for anyone wishing to volunteer that does not meet the minimum age posted.

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Can I volunteer with my family?

We have several opportunities for families.  Please see the Getting started as a volunteer section for how to search for opportunities approved for Family Volunteers.

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How do I apply?

You should first search our volunteer opportunities, find one that interests you, and then click on JOB DETAILS to find out more about the opportunity. If it sounds like a good match, click on the APPLY button to get to our online application. Once you have filled out an application, you now have an existing Volunteer Record, and you can then refer yourself to other volunteer jobs or events – you do not have to create a new record.  Just remember your User ID and Password!

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I don’t see any volunteer opportunities that appeal to me – are there others?

Our current recruitment needs should be posted on this website – sometimes we find a placement for people outside of the posted opportunities.  Each opportunity includes a contact name and email. If you don't find the right match for you, feel free to contact staff at a facility of interest. You may also want to take a look at the hundreds of volunteer needs listed with the Montgomery County Volunteer Center.

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We would like to adopt a park, do you have a program like that?

There are several community organizations that have made a significant commitment to parks over many years.  Each started by organizing an initial project and continuing the effort.  While we do not have a formal Adopt-A-Park program, we encourage the development of long term partners that are committed to helping us meet our mission.  If exploring these kinds of opportunities appeals to you, please contact the Montgomery Parks Volunteer Service Office.

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I am signed up as an individual volunteer but I am volunteering as part of a larger organization – can I “bank” my hours with my group?

That is possible if your group has an existing record with our office.  Many membership organizations like the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club or “Friends of” and corporate groups want to track hours contributed by their members for a variety of reasons including grant writing or matching programs. 

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Why do you collect hours information?

Volunteers provide us with the “people power” to get things done.  But your value does not stop there.  Sharing your time and talent with us represents a considerable donation and demonstrates how much Parks is supported by the community and how we strive to maximize the resources we are provided.  The collective support we receive from our volunteers each year makes a powerful statement.

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Do you take court ordered service?

We participate with the Alternative Community Service (ACS) program of Montgomery County.  If you are an adult and ordered to perform service or are seeking service hours in advance of a court appearance, please call ACS at 240-777-5409.

We also participate with the Teen Court for those under 18. Contact the Volunteer Service Office directly to discuss potential opportunities.

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