Find Volunteers

Veteran site managers have many recommendations for how to run a successful National Public Lands Day event, but one of the most important is to plan for volunteer recruitment early. There are many things to think about before recruitment begins:

  • How many volunteers can your site accomodate?
  • Based on the number of projects planned, what is the ideal number of volunteers?
  • How will volunteers sign up for your event (i.e. phone, website, email, bulletin boards)?
  • What type of marketing plan is appropriate for your site or organization?
  • Will you accept walk-ins on the day of the event?
  • Should you target groups or businesses (such as scout troops or corporate volunteer programs)?

For most sites, it is ideal to begin recruiting about four months before NPLD. You may want to set a limit on the number of volunteers for the day to avoid having volunteers standing around with little or nothing to do. Recruiting volunteers is another area where committees can be helpful.

Most sites have found that pre-registration of volunteers avoids having too many people show up on the day of the event with nothing to do. Pre-registration also allows you to collect names and emails of volunteers before the event, making registration easier. It is also helpful to send orientation emails to volunteers prior to your event.

NEEF recommends using materials from our Promotional Toolkit to attract volunteers of all ages from your community and to engage the local media in your event.

Resources for finding volunteers:

  • Volunteer.gov: Federal, state, and local government agencies can post their public land volunteer opportunities at volunteer.gov. 

Youth groups that can provide individual volunteers or work crews to sites:

Other groups that provide volunteers for NPLD may include:

  • Civic groups
  • Schools and universities
  • High school environmental or science clubs
  • Local religious groups
  • Staff of elected officials
  • Local conservation and fishing/hunting organizations
  • Local businesses such as hotels or utility companies (some employers emphasize volunteer activities and will help recruit volunteers)

Volunteer websites:

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