COVID-19 UPDATES: Keeping Visitors Healthy

Five Benefits of Volunteering at a Tennessee State Park

July 20, 2021  |  Permalink

Five benefits of volunteering at a Tennessee State Park

Think of a time when you were walking quietly through nature. As you were taking in the beautiful sights and sounds around you, did you notice a shift in perspective? Nature often helps us re-focus on things outside of ourselves. This invites us to feel gratitude and, in turn, happiness. That shift in focus can have a profound effect on our health and can make us happier people overall. Volunteering can have the same effect. When we focus on serving something outside ourselves, like the community or the environment, we experience benefits that can last a lifetime.

Here are five benefits of volunteering at a Tennessee State Park:

Woman on a canoe filled with garbage she's picked up out of the river

1. A Deeper Relationship With the Outdoors

When you volunteer at a state park, you become a part of what makes parks, and the outdoor experience, so incredible. You'll be working beside park professionals that will share their passion and knowledge of the outdoors with you. With the opportunity to learn more about a park's history, the natural resources it protects, and the community it serves, you'll most likely leave that day with a newfound appreciation for it. Plus, you’ll feel great knowing your work will improve the experience for thousands of other visitors who love the outdoors just like you.

Volunteers posing for a photo at Radnor Lake State Park

2. Connections With Other Outdoor Enthusiasts

What better place to build connections with other outdoor enthusiasts than at a state park volunteer event? Sign up with a friend or meet some when you arrive! You’re sure to meet some friendly park supporters and maybe you'll find a new hiking buddy. If you're interested in taking on a more involved volunteer role at a park, considering joining a Friends Group. Friends Groups are non-profits served by volunteers who work together to assist in protecting, preserving, and promoting the beauty and the splendor of their favorite state park. 


Volunteers around a newly built picnic table at Rocky Fork State Park

3. A Sense of Pride Knowing You Made an Impact

Tennessee State Parks play major roles in the lives of families and individuals across Tennessee because they're free and accessible to all 365 days a year. Our parks need supporters who will advocate for their preservation and help keep them in top shape. While the wild places you love are naturally wonderful, the work of volunteers shapes them into the parks you love to enjoy today.

Volunteers cleaning up after a flood at Radnor Lake State Park

4. Volunteer Hours

Whether you’re a student looking to log some volunteer hours or a professional looking to build a standout resume, volunteering at Tennessee State Parks is a great option. Spending your free time volunteering at a Tennessee State Park shows employers that giving back is one of your priorities. 

New volunteer events are added daily that cater to a variety of skills and abilities. From trail clean-ups to data entry, there’s a way for you to get involved. Each of our 56 state parks hosts volunteer events that can be found and filtered through our online volunteer portal. The portal will automatically track your volunteer hours so there’s no second-guessing when it comes time to report them.

Volunteers posing with tools at Cedars of Lebanon State Park

5. Better Health

Volunteering is a great way to fit exercise into giving back. The next time you're making plans to hit the trails with friends, why not register for a trail clean-up at your favorite park instead? You’ll be moving towards better physical and mental health while taking care of the park. Win, win!

 Our parks offer volunteer opportunities for a variety of skills and abilities. To find an event that fits your needs, use the filters on our online volunteer portal to search by accessibility, skills, age, and more!

Ready to Volunteer?

There are tons of volunteer events happening at Tennessee State Parks across the state each week! You can find and filter these events through our online volunteer portal. Click the link below to get started.


Become a Friend

A key component of improving and maintaining our parks is rallying volunteers that can help put funding to work. There are groups of people supporting our parks, known as Friends Groups, that work together to establish volunteer events, funding, and park advocacy. If you're looking for a way to get involved with a park you love, find out more about becoming a Friend. Your involvement can leave an impact on the park that will be enjoyed for generations to come.


About the author