Volunteer Opportunities

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Scout Service Projects

The MCPC regularly hosts scouts for projects towards rank advancement and service hours. Interested individuals should contact department leaders directly for projects that best meet their interests. Examples of past projects by department are listed below.

Environmental Education

  • Construction of new benches
  • Construction of bird blinds
  • Construction of a floating dock

For more information, contact:

Jen Godin
Administrative Coordinator
jgodin@morrisparks.net
973-326-7650

 

 Historic Sites

  • Development of a fun patch program
  • Construction of picnic tables

For more information, contact:

Avital Shtapura
Volunteer Coordinator / Interpreter
ashtapura@morrisparks.net
973-631-5049

 

Horticulture

  • Construction of a Human Sundial
  • Construction of planting tables
  • Construction of raised beds

For more information, contact:

Aaron Murray
Horticultural Volunteer Program Specialist
AMurray@morrisparks.net
862-325-7711

 

Natural Resources

  • Construction and installation of nest and habitat boxes for American kestrel, eastern bluebird, wood duck and bats
  • Invasive species removal
  • Native planting and seeding
  • Installation of tree tubes and or/deer fencing to protect native plantings

For more information, contact:

Darrell Jones
Superintendent of Natural Resources Management
djones@morrisparks.net
862-325-7745

 

Trails

  • Construction of new trail benches
  • Replacement of foot bridges and puncheons
  • Installation of wayfinding signage
  • Installation of bike repair boxes
  • Installation of new trailhead directories and kiosks
  • Litter clean-ups

 For more information, contact: 

Amy Lutsko
Assistant Superintendent of Trails
alutsko@morrisparks.net
973-631-5136

Trails – Adopt-A-Trail Program

The Adopt-A-Trail Program is a great way to give back to our outstanding trails system. With over 250 miles of trail, there are plentiful opportunities to get involved! There are three different ways to Adopt a Trail:

  1. Trail Watcher – report on specific conditions or issues on any trail.
  2. Trail Keeper – perform general maintenance on specific trails.
  3. Trail Fun Series – participate in more complex trail maintenance and construction techniques once a month

 

If you are interested in the AAT Program, please complete this brief survey.

Information for current AAT participants:

 

For more information, contact:

Amy Lutsko
Assistant Superintendent of Trails

Park Commission Headquarters

volunteer-opportunities Assistant Superintendent of Trails

T: 973.631.5136

Questions: ALutsko@morrisparks.net

Natural Resources – MCPC Stewardship Volunteers

Natural resources stewardship volunteers focus on protecting and restoring our parks’ natural areas through the stewardship of our forests, meadows and wetlands to benefit local wildlife communities.

Interested volunteers can use this link to sign up for current volunteer opportunities. Opportunities exist for individual volunteers and corporate groups seeking service projects.

For more information, contact:

Darrell Jones
Superintendent of Natural Resources Management

Park Commission Headquarters

volunteer-opportunities Superintendent of Natural Resources Management

T: 862.325.7745

Questions: DJones@morrisparks.net

Horticulture – Youth Assistant for Events and Programming

Interested Volunteers for events need no prior experience!

This opportunity is for our Youth Volunteers (ages 12-17) to assist the Horticulture Center staff during select events throughout the year. Programs within this opportunity are often day events, camps, educational programs, etc. and dates will be posted on our Better Impact page for volunteers to sign up.

Volunteers should wear weather-appropriate clothing (closed-toe shoes are a must) as events may also occur outside. Volunteers will assist in keeping events organized, chaperone event attendees, and help Horticulture staff with passing out, instructing, and overseeing activities during the event.

*Opportunities are also available for groups that may want to volunteer or participate in a project related to our Horticultural sites.

For more information, contact:

Aaron Murray
Horticultural Volunteer Program Specialist

Horticulture Sites

volunteer-opportunities Horticultural Volunteer Program Specialist

T: 862.325.7711

Questions: AMurray@morrisparks.net

Horticulture – Event Assistant

Interested volunteers for events need no prior experience! This opportunity is for all interested volunteers looking to assist the Horticulture staff during select events (e.g. community programs, camps, etc.)

Volunteers should wear weather-appropriate clothing (closed-toe shoes are a must) as events may occur outside. Volunteers will assist in keeping events organized, chaperone event attendees, and help Horticulture staff with passing out, instructing, and overseeing activities during the event.

*Opportunities are also available for groups that may want to volunteer or participate in a project related to our Horticultural sites.

For more information, contact:

Aaron Murray
Horticultural Volunteer Program Specialist

Horticulture Sites

volunteer-opportunities Horticultural Volunteer Program Specialist

T: 862.325.7711

Questions: AMurray@morrisparks.net

Horticulture – Gardenworks Program

Are you interested in gardening, working outdoors, or increasing your horticultural knowledge? Come discover our Gardenworks program and get involved with our Horticulture Education and Maintenance teams!

Gardenworks volunteers donate their time to work alongside our staff and fellow garden enthusiasts to improve and maintain our public gardens. Our volunteers will have the opportunity to get hands-on experience within specialized gardens and brush up on, or gain new insights, performing tasks such as planting, propagating, pruning, plant identification, and more! Tools will be provided, however, volunteers may bring their own tools if they so, please. Volunteers should come prepared to be in the gardens with closed-toe shoes, long pants, gloves, water, and bug spray/sunscreen.

The Gardenworks program offers the opportunity to volunteer at all three of our historic horticulture sites. This program runs as follows:

  • The Frelinghuysen Arboretum: Tuesdays, 9 AM – 12 PM (noon)
  • Willowwood Arboretum: Wednesdays, 9 AM – 12 PM (noon)
  • Bamboo Brook: Thursdays, 9AM – 12 PM (noon)
  • The Frelinghuysen Arboretum, Cutting Garden: Thursdays, 9 AM – 11 AM (although times may vary)

*Gardenworks is now a year-round opportunity for our volunteers. If you are pursuing hours for your Master Gardener certification in Morris County this program will count toward completing your requirements.

**Opportunities for scout projects, community, and corporate groups are also available by special arrangement.

For more information, contact:

Aaron Murray
Horticultural Volunteer Program Specialist

Horticulture Sites

volunteer-opportunities Horticultural Volunteer Program Specialist

T: 862.325.7711

Questions: AMurray@morrisparks.net

Historic Sites – Collections

Behind every Historic Site is careful curation! Volunteers assist backstage in the care, inventory, and research for our exhibits. Various Collections projects are available year-round on a seasonal basis; internships are also available. Research location depends on the project.

  • Research Volunteer – Help Collections by uncovering facts, quotes, and stories from the past! Contribute as much or as little time as you’d like! Ages 18+ eligible to apply.
  • Historic Inventory Volunteer – The Collections team manages hundreds of historically significant items, including machinery, books, photographs, postcards, paintings, furniture, and more! Help us with numbering, condition reporting, photographing, and data entry. Ages 18+ eligible to apply.

For more information, contact:

Avital Shtapura
Volunteer Coordinator / Interpreter

Historic Sites

volunteer-opportunities Volunteer Coordinator / Interpreter

T: 973.631.5049

Questions: AShtapura@morrisparks.net

Historic Sites – Cooper Gristmill

The 1826 Cooper Gristmill provides a glimpse into the rich heritage of Milltown (today part of Chester, NJ). In the late 19th century, the mill was a centerpiece of the town’s economy, using the Black River’s power to grind up to 800 pounds of flour an hour.  Today, our staff continues the Mill’s story with school tours, flour milling, and educational programs!

Youth volunteers are welcome.

  • School Tour Guide – Learn to provide class tours of Historic Speedwell, which are a mix of outdoor strolls, interactive exhibits, and a factory tour! Tours last 1 ½ to 2 hours. Ages 18+ eligible.
  • Miller’s Assistant – Help staff set up the mill, interpret the technology to visitors, bag flour and/or meal, and assist with closing procedures for the day. Ages 15+ eligible to apply.
  • Craft Demonstrators – Help with scheduled programs and special events that feature domestic and industrial chores of the late 19th century! If you’d like to demonstrate a craft or skill of your own, please inquire about presenting a program. Ages 15+ eligible to apply.
  • T.E.A.M. Camp Junior Counselor (Mini-Coopers Camp) – Assist our summer S.T.E.A.M. camp at the Cooper Mill: Mini-Coopers! This camp highlights flour production and outdoor hikes at the scenic Black River. Each day features outdoor games, science experiments, and hands-on activities. Multiple week options available. Ages 15+ eligible to apply.

For more information, contact:

Avital Shtapura
Volunteer Coordinator / Interpreter

Historic Sites

volunteer-opportunities Volunteer Coordinator / Interpreter

T: 973.631.5049

Questions: AShtapura@morrisparks.net

Historic Sites – Historic Speedwell

Also known as the Birthplace of the Telegraph, Historic Speedwell is a National Historic Landmark! Each building on the 8.22-acre property tells a unique story. Visitors can tour Vail family’s 18th-century mansion, catch the latest exhibit at the historic L’Hommedieu house, and see the evolution of communication technology in the restored Factory Building.

From tours to camps to special events year-round, Speedwell overs a variety of ways to help!

  • Events/Crafts Volunteer – Volunteers can assist Speedwell staff in a variety of educational events, such as our “History By Hand” series featuring pottery, Morse code dialing, and iron casting! Volunteers aged 15+ are welcome to assist.
  • Speedwell Tour Guide – Learn to provide class tours of Historic Speedwell, which are a mix of outdoor strolls, interactive exhibits, and a factory tour! Tours last 1 ½ to 2 hours.
  • Visitors’ Center Assistant – Volunteer with Speedwell while staying comfortable in the historic L’Hommedieu house. Help welcome visitors, run our gift shop, and hand out programs and tickets on busy weekends. Ages 18+ eligible to apply.
  • T.E.A.M. Camp Junior Counselor (Eureka! Camp) – In the summertime, volunteers can assist Speedwell staff with our Eureka Travels camp! Throughout the week, campers visit both Speedwell and Fosterfields to see science, technology, engineering, arts, & math in action! Each day features outdoor games, science experiments, and hands-on activities. Multiple week options available. Ages 15+ eligible to apply.

For more information, contact:

Avital Shtapura
Volunteer Coordinator / Interpreter

Historic Sites

volunteer-opportunities Volunteer Coordinator / Interpreter

T: 973.631.5049

Questions: AShtapura@morrisparks.net

Historic Sites – Fosterfields Living Historical Farm

As New Jersey’s first historical farm, Fosterfields Living Historical Farm demonstrates life in Victorian and Gilded Age Morristown (1880s to 1920s). Our open season is April through October, when guests can visit our animals, historic mansion, and interactive transportation exhibit. However, outside of open season, we offer a variety of volunteering opportunities year-round, particularly for workshops and special events!

Youth volunteering opportunities are available, and volunteer groups are welcome. Training will be provided for all opportunities, and staff will be around to assist.

Some ways to help include:

  • Farm Tour Guide – Lead classes back in time by introducing our barn animals, historic buildings, and 1920s farm equipment! A typical tour is 1-2 hours in length and includes corn cracking, butter churning, and laundry scrubbing.
  • Willows Docent – Assist with tours of Fosterfields’ 1854 Gothic Revival mansion, The Willows! Commissioned by Paul Revere’s grandson Joseph Warren Revere, this Gothic Revival mansion has a rich history. We are looking for docents to provide tours, direct crowds, and staff rooms during special events.
  • Vegetable Gardening – Assist with planting, weeding, harvesting, and interpreting our historic gardens! These include a WWI-era Victory Garden; Victorian vegetable garden; farmhouse herb garden; 1920s-style floral cottage garden; and a tea garden located beside our sheep. We also manage a pumpkin patch in the fall.
  • Cottage Garden Group Volunteer – Join our garden volunteer group on Tuesday mornings as we care for Caroline Foster’s 1918 garden! Designed by Caroline Foster circa 1915, the vibrant flowers attract plenty of visitors, including monarch butterflies and yellow swallowtails. Gardeners of all skill levels welcome!
  • Special Events Volunteer –Fosterfields features events year-round, and we always appreciate help behind the scenes! Staying for the full duration of the event is appreciated but not required. Volunteers aged 15+ are welcome to assist.
  • Farm Camp Junior Counselor – Volunteers ages 15+ can assist staff in leading various camps throughout the summer! Each camp day includes animal activities, gardening, crafts, and a historic object demonstration. Multiple week options are available.
  • Workshop Assistant – Help our educators host fun historic workshops for adults, from soapmaking to tea-blending to felting wool animals! Workshops are hosted year-round at the Fosterfields Visitors’ Center and feature seasonal crafts. Volunteers assist classes and help set up in between courses.

 

For more information, contact:

Avital Shtapura
Volunteer Coordinator / Interpreter

Historic Sites

volunteer-opportunities Volunteer Coordinator / Interpreter

T: 973.631.5049

Questions: AShtapura@morrisparks.net

Environmental Education – Bluebird Box Monitoring Program

Since 2002, the Morris County Park Commission has participated in a bluebird nest box program, providing 180 nest boxes for cavity nesting birds in 12 of the county parks. These nest boxes are monitored by a crew of volunteers, typically one or two volunteers per park, who visit the boxes once a week to track the species and numbers of birds using the boxes, report damages and sometimes make repairs. Each year, over 400 young bluebirds, tree swallows and house wrens fledge from the boxes we maintain.

For more information, contact:

Mindy Schmitt
Senior Teacher Naturalist

Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center

volunteer-opportunities Senior Teacher Naturalist

T: 973.635.6629

Questions: MSchmitt@morrisparks.net

Environmental Education – Pyramid Mountain Natural Historic Area

Pyramid Mountain is a natural historic area that includes three mountains and two stream valleys. It has over 1,500 acres of beautiful terrain and 20 miles of nature trails in Montville, Boonton Township, and Kinnelon with scenic views and several prominent geological formations. The Visitors Center is open Wednesday through Sunday, from 10 am to 4:30 pm.

Volunteer opportunities include:

  • Weekend Greeter – Help with greeting visitors, phone calls, and providing information about the Center and its activities to visitors so naturalists are free to run programs.
  • Special Events – Help with special events such as Earth Day, Maple Sugar Fest, etc. We will provide any training needed for the event.
  • Hiking – Assist on hikes.
  • Snowshoe Sunday Helper – Sweep on hikes and help people try on snowshoes during the winter months. 

For more information, contact:

Jenn Godin
Administrative Coordinator

Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center

volunteer-opportunities Administrative Coordinator

T: 973.326.7650

Questions: JGodin@morrisparks.net

Environmental Education – Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center

Our “outdoor classroom” borders the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. School groups, scouts, clubs, and the general public are invited to visit the park and attend the Center’s many nature programs. The Center is open 7 days a week, 9:00am to 4:30pm.

Volunteer opportunities include:

  • Weekend Greeter – Help with greeting visitors, phone calls, and providing information about the Center and its activities to visitors so naturalists are free to run programs.
  • Special Events – Help with special events such as Earth Day, Maple Sugar Fest, etc. We will provide any training needed for the event.
  • Hiking – Assist on hikes.
  • Photography – We need help with taking photos at all of our programs. 

For more information, contact:

Jenn Godin
Administrative Coordinator

Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center

volunteer-opportunities Administrative Coordinator

T: 973.326.7650

Questions: JGodin@morrisparks.net

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