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How to Volunteer for the Olympic National Park

Becoming an Olympic National Park Volunteer

There are many volunteer opportunities at Olympic National Park, from maintaining campgrounds to working with rangers to cataloging plant life in old-growth forests. You can research available postings by reviewing the listing on the park's Web site [source: National Parks Service]. The list is pretty extensive, so there's a good chance you'll find an arrangement that works for both you and the park.

Some internships -- typically for college students -- are offered through a partnership with the Student Conservation Association (SCA).

Those internships, which last three to four months, involve tasks like providing Web page development, organizing and scheduling volunteer activities, repairing tools and equipment used in the park, supervising volunteer orientation and leading weekly coastal clean-ups [source: Student Conservation Association].

Requirements for these internships typically include having a valid driver's license, backpacking and hiking experience, leadership skills and computer knowledge [source: Student Conservation Association]. Housing is typically provided for the duration of the internship, along with wilderness training, basic search-and-rescue and wildfire education.

For those interested in a short-term project, Olympic National Park hosts quarterly beach cleanups -- daylong events during which you walk up and down the beach to pick up plastic water bottles, garbage and other marine debris that's washed ashore [source: Coast Savers].

The Washington Trails Association also provides weekend trips into the backcountry to maintain Olympic Park trails [source: Washington Trails Association].

Read on to discover the benefits of becoming an Olympic National Park volunteer.