Volunteer

Be part of our joint volunteer program with the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area!

Volunteers are a crucial component in many areas of park operation. Beyond helping with maintaining river shoreline and protecting important natural, historic, and cultural resources, our volunteers educate and engage our local community, increasing awareness and support for the park. Every day, volunteers make a vital contribution to the Mississippi River and our community.

We offer a wide range of volunteer opportunities throughout Minneapolis-Saint Paul and the surrounding communities. Many options do not require training or a lengthy time commitment and welcome drop-in volunteers. It’s a great way to meet others, as well as a fun and rewarding way to spend the day.

Find a list of current volunteer opportunities in the Volunteer in Parks newsletter or sign up to receive the Mississippi Park Connection e-newsletter.

Education Volunteers
Volunteers are needed for several programs. Work with school kids on programs like Big River Journey and Journey to the Falls or help on a Take Me to the River program to introduce urban youth to the fun in learning through geo-caching, fire building, fishing, macro-invertebrate sampling, bird watching, shelter building and more. Each program allows volunteers to engage youth in national park programs. If you are interested in engaging youth in exciting river programs, become an education volunteer. Email miss_volunteer@nps.gov.

Monthly Mill Ruins Crew
Looking for a great way to get to know a unique part of your park?  Ongoing volunteer habitat restoration crews meet some Saturdays throughout the summer and do light habitat restoration. Crews are drop in and there is no minimum or maximum number of times to volunteer. The crews help with ongoing restoration of Mill Ruins, which is near downtown Minneapolis, along the Mississippi.  They are run by our super Crew Leader volunteers.  Activities include invasive species removal, site exploration, and other outdoor restoration tasks.  If you like to be outdoors in the heart of the city, this opportunity is for you! Contact Erin Steinhibel at erin_steinhibel@nps.gov or 651-293-8474 for more information.

Weekly Coldwater Crew
A crew of dedicated volunteers that meet once a week to help restore the land around Coldwater Spring.  Volunteers will help to remove invasive plants, plant new prairies and trees, and participate in the transformation of Coldwater Spring. Email volunteer@parkconnection.org to learn more.

River Action Volunteer Events
(RAVEs) are a fun way to explore the river in a way few others do.  All trips couple a restoration service project in a hard to reach area of the river with an adventure tour by national park rangers.  Explore the river by Voyageur Canoe, bikes, paddle boats, or take a night hike, learn about significant wildlife and cultural features, and do some good! Register for RAVEs through our events calendar.

Corporate and Group Volunteers
Our volunteer programs are a great team building experience for corporate groups, community organizations, youth groups, and schools. Volunteer groups develop a connection with their natural heritage through educational programs and informal learning opportunities with national park rangers during habitat restoration projects. Projects are available Tuesday – Saturday. More info.

For a complete description of all volunteer opportunities in our park, visit the National Park Service’s website. Do you see something that’s missing from our volunteer program? Let us know how you can help!