Ottawa County Parks & Recreation

Volunteer Opportunities

Join the Ottawa County Parks Team Today!
Become a Volunteer.

Volunteers provide a critical service to the County Parks. Our goal is to provide you
with a rewarding and meaningful volunteer experience that contributes to the mission
of Ottawa County Parks & Recreation. Contact Melanie Manion for more information. Or, you
can get started by filling out a Volunteer Application. We will contact you once we receive your application.

Along with the volunteer positions listed below, we are looking for Wind Storm Chasers. The wind storm chaser will be called upon to visit an assigned park following severe weather to check for downed trees blocking trials or other park areas.  The chaser reports any issues to parks staff who will clean and make the needed repairs.

Because of the amazing volunteers, we were WOOD TV Connecting with Community Award Finalist.

Current Volunteer Job Descriptions

Nature Education Center Volunteer General Park Volunteer
Aquarium Assistant Park Monitor
Sign Painting
Traffic Control
Trail Construction Leader
Trail Construction Worker
Trail Tender

Naturalist Guide
Reception Desk

Eastmanville Farm Volunteer
Farm Friend
Cemetery Caretaker

Hager Park Volunteer
Playground Inspector

Weaver House Volunteer
House Cleaner

Pigeon Creek Park Volunteer

Volunteer Workday Schedule

The public can also help keep the parks beautiful and combat invasive species. We could use your help!

Stewardship Workdays: Join us as we continue to remove garlic mustard, an invasive plant threatening the health and beauty of our parks.

  • Mt. Pisgah: Thursday, April 30, 6 - 8PM. Meet in the Black Lake Boardwalk East parking lot.
  • Hemlock Crossing: Saturday, May 2, 10AM - 12PM. Meet at the Nature Education Center.
  • Hager Park: Saturday, May 9, 10AM - 12PM. Meet at the Picnic Building parking lot. Join us for an optional wildflower hike at 9AM to see what we are fighting for.

Never volunteered for a stewardship workday before? No problem! Here’s what you should know: 

  • Bring work gloves (preferably leather), insect repellent and appropriate outdoor gear.
  • All necessary tools, drinking water and snacks will be provided.
  • No preregistration is required.
  • All ages are welcome, however we do ask that those under 16 are supervised by an adult.
  • Work days are cancelled if raining.

Do you have more questions? Contact Melanie or call (616) 738-4811.

Other Volunteer Opportunities: 

Girls at Port Sheldon (G.P.S.)
G.P.S. is a group of ladies who venture off the beaten path in search of invasive species. With GPS units and tools in hand, they have mapped and eradicated invasive plants from much of Port Sheldon Natural Area. Interested in joining? Contact Melanie


Parks Visitor Center

  • The Nature
    Education Center
    at Hemlock Crossing
    8115 West Olive Road
    West Olive, MI 49460
  • Tuesday - Saturday:
    9:00am - 5:00pm
    12:00pm - 5:00pm
  • Phone: (616) 786-4847

  • Pigeon Creek Hotline: (616) 738-9531

Administration Office

  • Room 267
    12220 Fillmore St.
    West Olive, MI 49460
  • Monday - Friday:
    8:00am - 5:00pm
  • Phone: (616) 738-4810
    Fax: (616) 738-4812
  • In Ottawa County:
    (888) 731-1001 ext.4810

General Park Hours*

March 1 - October 15
7:00am - 10:00pm
October 16 - February 28
7:00am - 8:00pm
*Some parks close in winter or have hours that vary. Select each park for specific park hours.