Everglades National Park is over 1.5 million acres and contains nine different ecosystems. The Gulf Coast Visitor Center is located in Everglades City which is considered the gateway to the Ten Thousand Islands. This area of the park is a mangrove estuary where fish and birds can regularly be seen. Dolphins, manatees, and sea turtles are found in the shallow bays and channels connecting the freshwater from the north and the salt water from the Gulf of Mexico.
Visitors come to this area of the park to take the boat tour, fish, canoe, kayak, and camp in the backcountry. Many visitors arrive with little knowledge of the Everglades and park staff and volunteers help them to orient to the area and assist them with planning their visit.
Volunteers will work at the Gulf Coast Visitor Center located 1/4 mile south of Everglades City. Everglades City has a small grocery store, gas stations, and a few restaurants. Naples and Marco Island are 35 miles to the west where staff and volunteers can find a greater selection of amenities.
We are looking for volunteers to assist with Park Interpretation and volunteers to assist with canoe trips. Volunteers at the Gulf Coast Visitor Center in Everglades National Park will help to orient visitors and provide them with interpretation. Volunteers give short talks, narrate boat tours, and assist with seasonal ranger programs. Volunteers are scheduled to work 32 hours per week- four days on with three days off. Volunteers are also needed to assist with canoe trips (see below). The park provides a uniform shirt which must be worn when volunteers interact with the public.
- End of November - April (Full Season)
- End of November - March (Partial Season)
- January - April (Partial Season)
Park Interpretation Volunteer Duties:
- Visitor Center: Orient visitors to recreational activities such as boat tours, canoeing, hiking, bird watching, and fishing.
- Visitor Center: Issue backcountry permits to campers in the Ten Thousand Islands.
- Visitor Center: Assist with NPS passes/permits in the bookstore.
- Visitor Center: Educate visitors about the cultural and natural resources in and around Everglades National Park.
- Research, prepare, and present 20 minute talks at the visitor center.
- Narrate the Ten Thousand Islands Boat Tour describing the plants, animals, and ecosystem.
- Greet visitors to the park and provide them with information about the area and programs and activities offered.
- Assist with special programs.
Canoe Trip Volunteer Duties:
- Assist the ranger leading the canoe trip: help to prepare equipment, keep visitors safe and together on programs
- Volunteers must have experience in paddling canoes/kayaks in ocean water that can have strong gusts of wind and strong tides
- The volunteer needs to be able to swim and to perform self rescue if they fall out of their boat
- Trips are 4-5 hours long (including getting in/out of kayaks and canoes, and going on small hikes)
- Trips are scheduled for Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays (staff permitting), and once a month on Sundays
- Enjoy working with the public.
- Have knowledge or a willingness to learn about the park’s natural and cultural resources.
- Have the ability to communicate effectively with people of all ages, backgrounds, and cultures.
- Be able to deal with a high volume of visitors under occasionally hectic situations.
- Canoe trip volunteers require additional qualifications (see above)
Benefits to Volunteers
- Gain knowledge on the operations of the National park Service
- Meet other park service employees and volunteers
- Opportunities to talk with people from all over the world
- Learn about many aspects of the park’s natural and cultural resources
- Opportunities to gain recognition items based on cumulative service
- Trailer pads will be provided with full hookups.
- People Skills
- Customer Service
Good Match For
Requirements & Commitment
- Must be at least 18
- 32 hours (4 days on, 3 days off)
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