Cuyahoga Valley National Park—a regional treasure where thousands of visitors spend time in its many parks and trails—needs help from people who appreciate it to give back in a variety of ways to maintain the beauty of a place located right in our backyard.
On Saturday, Jan.11 from 10 a.m. to noon, park officials are an open house at Happy Dogs Lodge, 500 West Streetsboro Road, for those interested in helping in any capacity.
Here are some of the volunteer opportunities that the park is looking for:
Actor: Assist in presenting programs on Cuyahoga Valley’s history. Attendance is required at rehearsals and the productions.
Mountain Bike Trail Patrol, Cleveland Area Mountain Biking Association (CAMBA): Provide education, information, basic first aid, bike maintenance and trail monitoring for East Rim Mountain Bike Trail System users. Alert park staff to potential problems and hazards, and relay user/visitor comments/concerns.
Community Engagement: Work with park staff in communities surrounding CVNP, with a focus on Cleveland and Akron neighborhoods. Duties include staffing booths and assisting with the presentation of programs that highlight the resources of CVNP.
Countryside Farmers’ Market: Assist staff and vendors at Howe Meadow, Old Trail School, Highland Square, and Countryside Public Market in downtown Akron. Tasks include market setup, market tear-down, market ambassadors, parking management (Howe Meadow only), Zero Waste, produce inventory, Countryside Cheese, photography, information booth and customer counters.
Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad: Be a part of the magic of THE POLAR EXPRESS™. Create a festive atmosphere on the train through personal interaction, song and techniques to engage visitors as we transport families to the enchantment that is The North Pole.
Cycling School: Facilitate a biking experience for youth from the Cleveland and Akron areas. Assist with fitting bikes and helmets to youth, accompanying youth on a bike ride along the Ohio & Erie Towpath Trail, and ensuring safety.
Get Up, Get Out, and Go: Work with park staff to provide recreational opportunities in the park for community groups. Activities include hiking, field games, biking, fishing, and more.
Habitat Restoration: Assist with invasive plant management at park selected sites: include seed collection of native plants under supervision, planting natives, and working in the park greenhouse.
Park Promoters: Promote CVNP and the Conservancy for CVNP at special events including the Lyceum series, park concerts, pint nights, and various other community events in Akron and Cleveland. Greet guests, answer questions, engage in conversations about the national park, and invite guests to become more involved.
Paw Patrol: Provide an opportunity for park visitors to learn more about CVNP and the opportunities that canine companions can have along the trails. Through sharing personal experiences, dog-related rules and regulations and general orientation and information, Paw Patrol helps provide a unique visitor experience and an opportunity to make contact with a well-behaved and trained canine volunteer and their owner.
Rail Rovers: Present informal interpretation aboard Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad on regularly scheduled runs. Distribute literature, share animal pelts, and answer questions about the national park.
Safe is Sound: Share trail safety, etiquette, and park information at ‘Safety Stops’ along CVNP’s popular Ohio & Erie Towpath Trail. This multi-use trail sees thousands of visitors on bikes, horses, foot, strollers, wheelchairs, and leashes. These volunteers help everyone have an enjoyable experience.
Special Events Team: Assist with Lyceum Series, Cuyahoga Valley National Park Concert Series, and other special events. Help with directing traffic flow in the parking lot, taking tickets and operating the cash box, or serving refreshments.
Trailblazers: Assist visitors by providing information, first aid, and bike maintenance on the multi-use Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, and over 100 miles of trails in CVNP. Those interested are encouraged to schedule a shadowing experience with a seasoned pair of Trailblazers during a bike, hike or mounted patrol.
Trail Maintenance: Assist in building maintaining, and improving the bike, hike, and horse trails in CVNP using hand tools and power equipment.
Trail Mix Shop Greeter: Assist retail staff in the operation of stores by providing excellent customer service, greeting visitors, and providing park information/orientation.
Visitor Center Assistants – Hunt House and Canal Exploration Center: Assist rangers with the operation of the visitor center, including: greeting visitors, providing information/orientation, and completing bookstore sales. Most work will be performed indoors in historic structures.
Wildlife Watchers: Rove at the Wildlife Watcher Station and at times on the park trails. Volunteer has direct contact with park visitors by providing informal interpretation about the park resources and at times giving directions.