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How to Volunteer for the Olympic National Park


Olympic National Park, which is renowned for the diversity of its ecosystems, offers plenty of opportunities to volunteer.
Olympic National Park, which is renowned for the diversity of its ecosystems, offers plenty of opportunities to volunteer.
Ryan McVay/ Lifesize/Getty Images

With more than 922,000 acres of wilderness, Olympic National Park in northwestern Washington offers stunning views of 73 miles of rugged coastline, glacier-capped Mount Olympus and a rainforest that is one of the wettest areas in the U.S.

It also offers plenty of opportunities to volunteer, with roughly 970 people donating their time each year to maintain trails and assist campers [source: National Parks Service].

In 1988, Congress designated 95 percent of the park, which was established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1938, as wilderness. Located in the central region of the Olympic Peninsula just west of Seattle, the park welcomes a lot of visitors each year. In fact, five million people come to the park each year to hike its trails, camp along the Pacific Ocean and fish in its 3,000 miles of rivers and streams [source: National Parks Service]. If you're interested in getting behind the scenes, or working to maintain this nature refuge, there are plenty of prospects.

To help maintain this wilderness playground, Olympic National Park offers a variety of volunteer opportunities, including long-term assignments, internships and daylong projects. Recruiting for the summer season -- the most popular time of year -- begins in January with positions listed and regularly updated on the Olympic Park Web site [source: National Parks Service].

Olympic National Park offers school credit to college students doing certain projects through the parks service when arrangements are made through the volunteer office. It also sponsors projects for groups like boy scouts, youth organizations and schoolchildren with one months' notice. The expansive park has a lot of responsibility, so volunteers keep it running smoothly.

Read on to find out more about becoming an Olympic National Park volunteer.


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