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Posted 4/13/2015

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By Romanda Walker

Volunteers play an invaluable role in helping the St. Louis District Corps of Engineers meet our recreation and environmental stewardship program goals. Each year, volunteers give their time, expertise and resources to serve the more than 17 million visitors who enjoy St. Louis District managed lands and waters.

Corps of Engineers volunteers are people who want to give back to their communities and are interested in the work of the Corps natural resource management program. They are parents who want to bring their family out for a day of service together, retirees willing to share a wealth of knowledge and experience, outdoor enthusiasts wishing to create and maintain their favorite recreation opportunities, and concerned citizens of all ages interested in making meaningful contributions.

“Volunteers with the Corps of Engineers are a vital part of the natural resource management program. With limited resources, volunteers allow us to stretch our manpower, helping us to increase our interaction with visitors and the community,” Erin Hilligoss-Volkmann, park ranger and volunteer coordinator with the Rivers Project Office said.

Whether it is an environmental ethic, a love of parks, or enthusiasm for the outdoors, like-minded volunteers gather to share their passions while contributing to the good of their communities. They also provide a valuable service to the nation. During the 2014 fiscal year 3,231 total volunteers donated 74,961 hours in the St. Louis District. The dollar value of their service totaled $1,690,370. More than 186 partnerships also provide volunteers to help support the work of the St. Louis District – with the value of volunteer services being $699,952.

Volunteers serve as park and campground hosts, staff visitor centers, lead tours and educational activities, clean shorelines, restore fish and wildlife habitat, manage cultural resources, perform administrative duties, work with computers and other technical equipment, maintain Corps facilities, and much more.

If you are interested in finding volunteering opportunities with the Corps of Engineers, there are a numbers of ways to do so:
You may contact the lake or river project nearest to you; visit the Volunteer Clearinghouse, a national information center at www.corpslakes.us/volunteer/; you can also find opportunities on www.volunteer.gov; or call: 1-800-VOL-TEER (800-865-8337) for people interested in volunteering at Corps sites.