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Volunteers Donated Record Number of Hours to VA State Parks in 2023

In 2023, volunteers donated 218,147 hours of service to Virginia State Parks –  a 9% increase from 2022.

“We love that people were able to attend more park programs to better connect with nature, park staff and our volunteers,” said Virginia State Park Director Dr. Melissa Baker. “We are very fortunate to have such a great group of dedicated volunteers that contribute greatly to the success of the parks they serve and that the numbers continue to grow.”

Camp and Park Hosts are responsible for the largest volunteer activity, contributing 90,111 hours. These volunteers primarily work in the campground assisting campers, doing routine maintenance, and making sure that staff are alerted to any problems.

Wilderness Road State Park had the greatest number of individual and group volunteers (not counting camp hosts and AmeriCorps) with 14,452 hours contributed by 202 volunteers, who were mostly re-enactors of the time period of Martin’s Station. These historical programs allow guests to experience what it was like on America’s First Frontier.

Pocahontas State Park had 594 volunteers contributing 13,439 hours. The Friends of Pocahontas State Park are a visible presence in volunteer activities, notably their work providing firewood for resale at the park. An ongoing annual project is the two Cabin Work Weeks where volunteers come and camp in the park to work on the CCC-era group camp facilities.

Individuals and volunteers in groups donated a total of 100,028 hours of service, an increase of 18,721 from the hours served in 2022.

The breakdown for the various programs is as follows:

•Individual Volunteers – 62,142 hours (57,219 in 2022)

•Volunteer Groups – 37,886 hours (24,087 in 2022)

•AmeriCorps – 28,008 hours (25,477 in 2022)

•Camp Host – 90,111 hours (83,172 in 2022)

Each location has different needs and there are exciting volunteer opportunities available at every park. Projects include taking inventory of plants and animals, trail maintenance, removing invasive plants, running educational programs and running Discovery Centers.

“Volunteers are truly an extension of the park,” said Pocahontas State Park Manager Nate Clark. “The value of their hard work is visible at every park location. We are grateful for the hard work and the numerous hours that our volunteers contribute each year as many projects wouldn’t be possible without their help.”

For more information on how you can volunteer at a Virginia State Park, visit the volunteer opportunities webpage.

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