Every year, volunteers at Voyageurs National Park donate nearly 10,000 hours. The park greatly benefits from its dedicated supporters. Volunteers operate visitor centers, tend the ethno-botanical garden, and help with many other projects. The park is seeking area residents to assist with the following opportunities:
- Rainy Lake Visitor Center Volunteer (Rainy Lake): Meet visitors, provide information, and assist with staffing a visitor center.
- Headquarters Volunteer (International Falls): Assist with different projects from data entry, to information requests, to brochures.
- Website Assistant (International Falls): Assist with updating web information, layout design, and page development.
Summer 2014 Needs:
- Kabetogama Lake or Ash River Visitor Center Volunteers: Meet visitors, provide information, and assist with staffing a visitor center.
- Voyageur Tour Boat Deckhand Volunteer (Rainy Lake): Help run the park’s 49-passenger vessel, the Voyageur, a USCS approved tour boat vessel: prepare boat for tours, secure lines during docking and undocking, be trained on boat safety procedures.
- Ethno-Botanical Garden Volunteer (Rainy Lake): Learn local botany, tend native plants, and remove invasive weeds.
Training will be provided for all opportunities. Positions with public contact are required to wear a uniform. Hours are flexible, generally a few hours a week. Some positions require a background check for government clearance. More detailed information can be found on the park’s website: http://www.nps.gov/voya/supportyourpark/
Interested people are encouraged to contact Chris Amidon, the park’s volunteer program coordinator at: (218) 283-6636.
By John Snyder, Voyageurs National Park
Did you know Voyageurs is one of the few national parks with a greenhouse and nursery?
The vegetation program at Voyageurs National Park is focused on maintaining or improving the biodiversity of native plant species in the park. Nature is pretty resilient, but park staff try to lend a hand by removing –and preventing establishment of — unwanted plant species that are not native to the area and by giving restoration a jump start with plantings.
To facilitate these restoration efforts the park established a native plant nursery program and constructed a 24 ft. by 30 ft. greenhouse to propagate plant species native to Voyageurs and the surrounding area. 2013 marked the second full season of operation of the greenhouse and we currently have thousands of individual plants from over 40 different species growing in our nursery. These plants will be planted (many by volunteers at VNPA’s Volunteer Rendezvous) along the new Recreation Trail when it is completed and in the Ethnobotanical Garden at the Rainy Lake Visitor Center. Some plants will also be planted at building removal sites to speed up their ecological restoration.
Although some were purchased, the vast majority of the plants growing in the park’s greenhouse were grown from seeds collected in the park. Plants from southern Minnesota or other regions can be quite different from the plants that grow in Voyageurs, even if they are the same species. These ”non-locals” may have different growth forms, phenology, or may not be adapted to the harsher winters in the borderland. Seed collection and processing can be a labor-intensive process and it sometimes takes several years for some species to germinate. However, it is important to use plants from the park, or at least from northern Minnesota, to ensure successful restoration of sites and to preserve the local genetic material.
Minnesota’s Annual Give Together. One Day. Your National Park.
Help Voyageurs National Park Association protect and promote everything you love about Voyageurs National Park.
Give to the Max Day is an amazing opportunity for VNPA to leverage more dollars to support Minnesota’s national park. Your online donation on November 14 will be doubled – a generous donor has offered a $5,000 matching grant. Also, every online donation VNPA receives increases our chance to win prize grants ($1,000-$10,000) from GiveMN.org.
By supporting VNPA you join a community that is committed to the future of Voyageurs National Park. You are a partner in our efforts to protect a national treasure and bring joy and enrichment to park visitors and a new generation of park stewards.
Make your gift on November 14 by visiting www.givemn.org/vnpa.
You can also click here to download a calendar reminder.
Thank you for your support!
About GiveMN and Give to the Max Day
Charities and schools will again rally the state’s collective philanthropic spirit on Thursday, Nov. 14 for the fifth annual Give to the Max Day 2013 through GiveMN.org. With an emphasis on mobile giving and a new incentive structure, organizers are helping donors make their contributions go farther during the 24-hour giving marathon.
In 2012, Give to the Max Day inspired more than 53,000 generous donors from Minnesota and beyond to give $16.3 million dollars, shattering previous event records. Donations last year reached nearly 4,400 organizations across the state. GiveMN has raised more than $75 million dollars since it began four years ago. GiveMN is a collaborative venture to transform philanthropy in Minnesota by growing overall giving and moving more of it online.
Voyageurs National Park reopens to visitors today! Visitors can access public areas and roads immediately while facilities and other public services are brought back online. Voyageurs National Park has been closed since October 1 due to the lapse in Congressional appropriations.
“We are excited and happy to be back at work and welcome visitors to Voyageurs National Park,” said Superintendent Mike Ward. “Autumn is a particularly special season to enjoy all that Voyageurs has to offer.”
All park roads, boat launch ramps, waters, and land areas are open as of this morning. The Rainy Lake Visitor Center will reopen on Friday, October 18, 2013.
Thank you to all of you for your patience and support during the government shutdown. Please know that VNPA advocated for national parks with our Congressional delegation by informing them of the local impact of the shutdown. Welcome back Voyageurs staff and visitors.
“I have strong hopes that a year long commitment will occur when the current deadline comes near,” said Ward.
On September 28, 175,000 volunteers at nearly 2,200 public land sites across the U.S. celebrated the 20th Anniversary of National Public Lands Day. National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands.
At Voyageurs National Park, 37 enthusiastic and nature-loving volunteers joined in on the fun at our annual fall Volunteer Rendezvous. The crew worked with park staff to help clear thousands of yards of cross-country ski and hiking trails at Black Bay and Echo Bay. Volunteers of all ages came from Minneapolis, Edina, Winona, Britt, Duluth and Coon Rapids to help Minnesota’s national park.
During their combined total of 315 hours of work, the volunteers were able to hike an area of the park they’ve never before experienced, to learn about the history of Rainy Lake on a “Ghosts of Voyageurs” candlelit hike, to take in the brilliant orange and red colors of the fall foliage, and to learn about the vegetation and wildlife directly from the rangers.
After two days of helping make Voyageurs National Park the phenomenal recreation area it is, the volunteers and their new friends were applauded on a dinner cruise on the beautiful back channels of Rainy Lake.
Thank you to our amazing group of volunteers whose hard work and dedication – even in the rain – was an inspiration. See all the photos from the event here.
Thank you to the Nash Foundation for their support of the 2013 Volunteer Rendezvous.