Once summertime rolls around and school’s no longer in session, it can be tempting to spend your free time indoors, enjoying the luxury of air conditioning and being glued to your computer or smartphone screen. However, no matter where you live, there are bound to be plenty of neighborhood organizations that could use your help. Not only can volunteering outdoors during the summer be a great way to build your resume, but volunteering can also afford you the opportunity to meet new people and truly make a difference in your community.
Read on to learn about some outdoor volunteer opportunities you may want to look into this summer.
Volunteer at a National Park
No matter where you live, there’s a good chance that you’re within driving distance of one of our country’s beautiful national parks. These facilities are always looking for new volunteers to assist with a variety of duties. When you volunteer at a national park, you’ll likely be responsible for:
- cleaning and picking up litter
- upkeep of campgrounds
What’s in it for you? Aside from the pride that comes with volunteering your time, many national parks offer free park passes all year as part of the Interagency Pass Program to those to volunteer for 250 hours or more. Visit the National Park Service’s official website to find a park that’s accepting new volunteers near you.
Become a Landmark Volunteer
All major cities have landmarks that they’re known for and that people travel to from all over the country to visit. Usually, summertime is the most popular time for tourists to visit these landmarks. As such, local and state government agencies are always looking for volunteers to help out at this historical sites. Some responsibilities you may enjoy as a landmark volunteer include:
- Giving public tours of the landmark
- Watching over the landmark to prevent vandalism
- Working in gift shops or concession stands
Aside from gaining valuable experience by volunteering at a local landmark, you can also enjoy the benefits that come along with learning more about the history of your community.
Start a Recycling Program
If your city doesn’t already have a curbside recycling program in place, why not use the summer to start your own? You can go around and collect recyclables, which can include anything from corks and glass bottles to plastics, paper, and cardboard. All of these materials can be recycled for free. Once done collecting the materials, simply bring them to your local recycling center. To cover more ground, consider recruiting friends and neighbors to assist you in going door-to-door.
Clean Up Your Local Parks
Many small towns have seen shrinking Parks and Recreation budgets over the course of the last several years. Why not do your part to help keep your local parks clean and safe for children by volunteering to clean up litter on a weekly basis? You may even be able to get permission from your local municipality to plant flowers or trees as a means of improving the overall landscaping of your local parks. Your community will appreciate your efforts and you may even be able to get some friends or other good citizens to help you out.
By volunteering your time this summer, you’ll stay more active while also being a catalyst for change in your community. There are endless volunteer opportunities out there, so be sure to give some or all of these a try to see just how much of a difference you can make in your community.