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Dane County Parks

Volunteer Program

Join the Parks Volunteer Program and Make a Difference

Volunteer Work DayThe Parks Volunteer Program is a partnership that not only benefits Dane County Parks, but also park users and the Dane County community. Each year thousands of volunteers of all ages restore native habitat, conduct research, serve as park advocates and public relation representatives, assist with conservation projects and fundraising, promote informational and educational activities, and more.

Dane County Parks has a variety of volunteer opportunities, ranging from one-time events to more in-depth projects that allow you to develop a deeper connection to the parks and trails you love. 

To view volunteer events, click here then check the volunteer box in the "Search by Category" list and click on Search. To explore more in depth opportunities, review the list of ideas below or contact the Volunteer Coordinator to discuss what opportunities might best fit your skills and interests.

Volunteers weigh seeds

Scheduled Opportunities

Please visit our Event Calendar to find information on upcoming scheduled volunteer opportunities.

  • Prairie Seed Collection: Seed collecting is a fun project for individuals, families and groups. Volunteers enjoy getting off the trails and wading into the prairies to learn about wildflowers. This project occurs in August and September.
  • Prairie Seed Cleaning & Processing: Once seeds are collected, they need to be cleaned and processed! 
  • Prairie Seeding & Planting: Continue the growth cycle and help save the bees and butterflies! Volunteer to plant wildflowers in Dane County.
  • Volunteers prepare to work in the prairie
  • Summer Natural Areas Weed Control: Volunteer to help weed our parks by digging and cutting parsnip, sweet clover, Queen Ann's lace, and burdock. We'll also be cutting and treating or digging out woody invasive species and collecting early prairie seeds, such as golden alexander and alum root. This opportunity takes place in June, July, and August.
  • Invasive Tree & Brush Removal: This removal opportunity involves removing invasive species and non-native plants throughout our park system, allowing native plants to thrive. We'll provide tools, like bow saws, loppers and stump pullers, or you can bring your own. This is a rewarding project for individuals or groups, including kids 10-years-old or older if accompanied by a parent or guardian. 
Volunteers pose on trail

Unique Opportunities

  • We have a number of volunteer opportunities that require special skills. If you are interested in one of the roles listed below, please fill out our Volunteer Registration Form and send it to our Volunteer Coordinator here.
  • Bird House & Trail Maintenance 
  • Campground Host: Dane County owns 5 campgrounds and each area has a volunteer camp host who lives in the campground. These volunteers provide invaluable support for our park patrons.
  • Disc Golf Park Stewardship
  • Dog Park Stewardship
  • Fundraising: Use your savvy financial knowledge to help a Friends Group with a fundraiser.
  • Volunteers collect money for an eventHerbicide Application: There are two paths for this opportunity: Those who want to volunteer to treat stumps to prevent re-growth, either individually or as part of a workday group, and those who want to become Certified Pesticide Applicators. For the latter, you must pass Wisconsin's "Right of Way" test. The study guide and test cost $50. We will provide a kit with supplies and herbicide. For more information on this training, please click here.
  • Marketing & Social Media: Assist Parks Friends Groups in spreading the word about their work and events.
  • Native Plant Propagation: Grow native plants for our parks.
  • Office Assistant
  • Park Cleanup
  • Park Docent
  • Park History: Research and write historic materials for potential use at park information kiosks, in brochures, and in other future publications.
  • Volunteers conduct a controlled burnPhotography & Videography
  • Prescribed Burn Volunteer
  • Tool Maintenance: This volunteer project provides safe, clean, effective, and accessible tools and equipment for other volunteers. We're looking for people who are familiar with tools and who have an ability to diagnose a problem and fix it.
  • Special Event Volunteer
  • Tours & Nature Walks
  • Trail Monitoring

Lussier Family Heritage Center

The Lussier Family Heritage Center, a Dane County Parks facility, has a number of volunteer teams that focus on the following. Find out more information by visiting their site today!

  • Education & Interpretation
  • Stewardship
  • Special Events
  • Recreation
  • Service Projects
Contact Dane County Parks Volunteer Coordinator

Rhea Stangel-Maier, Volunteer Coordinator
Dane County Parks
(608) 224-3601
stangel-maier@countyofdane.com