Alabama's State Parks Need You!
While park staff performs many of the daily tasks and duties it takes to operate, volunteers are vital to Alabama’s state parks. The Volunteer In Parks (VIP) program was created to allow individuals or groups to make a difference at their favorite park. VIP participants make a positive impact year-round in each of the state’s 22 parks.
The beauty of Alabama and the diversity of its cultural and natural resources has attracted millions of visitors to Alabama’s State Parks. People come to relax, explore, and appreciate a little corner of the world specifically made for them. Through this volunteer program, we expect to be able to extend these benefits to many more guests and to enrich their visit with better services and facilities. The primary purpose of the program is to provide knowledgeable, responsible, and available volunteers to assist in visitor services and interpretive education; and also to enhance the recreational experience of others by maintaining or improving the grounds and facilities that they use.
Volunteering is an experience that you will remember for years to come; for by enriching the lives of others, you enrich your own.
DeSoto State Park invites you to become an
Alabama State Park
VIP (Volunteers in Parks)
There are four ways you can show your support for DeSoto State Park:
1. Become a part-time volunteer in one of our facilities such as the Lodge, Country Store, Civilian Conservation Corps Museum or Nature Center.
2. Serve as a Camp Host in the Improved Campground.
3. Serve as a Work Camper in the park.
4. Work on a special project.
1. PART-TIME VOLUNTEERS (Scheduled around your time)
Part-time volunteers work in one of our facilities assisting our staff. Tasks may include: providing information and directions, taking campground & lodging reservations, answering the phone, helping with events, programs & hikes, trail maintenance, landscaping duties, or light housekeeping.
2. CAMP HOSTS (One Month at a time) *When an Opening is Available
Volunteer Camp Hosts act as our campground ambassadors. Camp Hosts receive a full hookup campsite in exchange for 20 + hours of service each week.
Some duties may include: campground occupancy checks, light maintenance & cleaning, making copies, helping with events & programs, providing information & directions and assisting park staff in the Lodge, Country Store, Nature Center, or CCC Museum. Duties can vary.
3. WORK CAMPERS (1 to 3 months at a time) *When an Opening is Available
Volunteer Work Campers receive a full hookup campsite in exchange for 20 + hours of service each week. A position will typically range from 1 to 3 months at a time.
Some duties may include: maintenance & cleaning, painting, mowing, weed-eating, landscaping, monitoring trails, picking up trash, pressure washing, etc. Duties can vary.
4. SPECIAL PROJECTS (Scheduled Around Your Time)
DeSoto State Park has over 30 miles of trails. Year-round maintenance is necessary to keep the trails in good condition. Some projects may include: keeping trails marked & legible, clearing new trails, repairing footbridges, erosion control, or brush trimming. Other projects could involve carpentry and other special skills to help make DeSoto State Park the best it can be.
Special Discounts Available to VIP Participants
To request a volunteer handbook or more information: please email us or give us a call at 256-997-5025
Get started by downloading an application:
*Please indicate which project you are interested in, on another sheet if needed.
To mail application, address to:
7104 DeSoto Parkway NE-Fort Payne, AL. 35967 Attention to: Brittney Hughes, Park Naturalist
At Alabama State Parks, we work as a team. Our goal is to provide our guest with the best in accommodations and facilities. Adding to that, our staff made up of folks who are friendly and know a lot about our park's and we feel we have a combination that will ensure each of our visitors a comfortable and pleasant experience.
Some of our Volunteers in Action!
December 2014: Members of Fort Payne High School Ag Science class help to landscape an area in front of the Lodge and clear out brush in the historic CCC Quarry
December 2014: Thank you Sylvania High School FFA!
Special appreciation the Sylvania High School FFA for building chairs for the Pioneer Primitive Camping Cabin at DeSoto State Park
May 2014: Alabama State Park volunteers Cy Thomas and Dennis Traylor build a new bulletin board for the DeSoto State Park Interpretive Campfire Ring in the Improved Campground.
October 22-24, 2013: Troy Ingram of Boy Scout Troop 74, leads a volunteer trail project at DeSoto State Park Video
2013: Joey Haymon (on right), Ag Science teacher at Sylvania High School stands with his students as they present a newly constructed trail drag to DeSoto State Park. Mr. Haymon and students built the trail drag in class with materials donated by Nucor. The trail drag will be used to improve new and old hiking and biking trail at DeSoto State Park
February 6, 2013: Members of Fort Payne High School Ag Science class begins work on an open backcountry shelter, located at the Quarry Backcountry Campsite.
February 6, 2013: Members of Fort Payne High School Ag Science class helps to improve the habitat for the endangered Green Pitcher Plant in one of DSP's bogs. Video
Dekalb County Master Gardeners plant trees and help to improve a native plant area