Alberta Parks has a vibrant volunteer program. People who love the outdoors have dedicated thousands of hours to help support and conserve our province’s protected areas.
Did you know that there are three main ways you can share your time and expertise with us?
Are you friendly, outgoing and passionate about camping? Then you’d be great as a Campground Host! For over 30 years now, Volunteer Hosts at Alberta Parks campgrounds have helped visitors have safer and richer camping experiences by providing a warm, welcoming environment and helping to answer any questions visitors may have. This is our most popular volunteer position!
For people living in the Kananaskis region, you can sign up to be a Flood Recovery Volunteer. This position aids in clean up and restoration efforts in the wake of the 2013 floods.
Another long-running volunteer program is the Steward Program. Stewards play a big role in the conservation efforts of Alberta Parks. They observe, record and report on conditions in their assigned area and monitor for any destruction or unauthorized activities. There are more than 280 individual stewards and nearly 60 steward organizations. These dedicated individuals monitor over 130 sites across the province.
Two of Alberta Parks’ incredible volunteers are Bertha and Harry Ford. For the past twenty years, the Fords have been volunteering as stewards with Alberta Parks. Working at Kootenay Plains Ecological Reserve west of Nordegg, the couple monitors Mountain Bluebird populations and keep a watchful eye on the area by reporting any vandalism or suspicious activity, collecting garbage and helping to educate the public. In total, the Fords have devoted nearly 1000 hours of their time.
They make the three-hour drive from their home in Red Deer to the Kootenay Plains Ecological Reserve approximately six times per year. In May and June, Bertha strives to get out there every two weeks to accurately count and observe new egg clutches and hatched young. She records the number of eggs or young, age, behavior of parents and nest box condition and submits her data to Alberta Parks staff. Bertha has submitted over 100 reports!
The Fords are just two of the more than 2,400 volunteers who have contributed approximately 92,000 hours of their time per year, and our parks just wouldn’t be the same without them! To learn more about the Alberta Parks Volunteer Program, visit albertaparks.ca.