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Washington State University

Park Patrol – Citizen-Scientist – Skill Level: Three

Park Patrol

Natural Resources Stewardship Logo

CITIZEN-SCIENTIST – Skill Level: Three

Creosote survey on the shore
Creosote Survey


Community Outreach


Objective: Recognition of the benefits parks provide, and understand where community parks would benefit from volunteer outreach
Science Skills: Evaluate, State problem, Implement solutions
Life Skills: Leadership, Teamwork, Cooperation, Planning/Organizing, Wise Use of Resources, Community Service

Preparation Activities: Have a discussion with the youth about possible projects they’d be interested in participating in. You may allow them to break up into smaller group projects, or may prefer to do one large group project.

Ask your group the following questions: What type of outreach activity would best benefit our community? What parks in our community are being abused? Where are there invasive species?

Get in touch with a local volunteer group and set up a date to do a group volunteering activity. Below is a list of suggested contacts that regularly hold volunteering opportunities. It would be beneficial to expose the youth to a variety of volunteering opportunities from restoration, to litter pick up. Doing this as a group will give the youth a chance to make bonds with each other and allow for a universal follow up discussion, and a group memory of the experience.

What You Will Need: This will vary based on group projects.

Activity: Volunteer! After understanding the different types of parks throughout the community, and after participating in a variety of structured volunteering opportunities, it is time to allow the youth to give back in a way they find meaningful. Is there a lack of parks that provide recreational space in your community? Is there a resource that your community would like to protect or restore: a river, wetland, or forested area? Do the youth want to reach out younger students and teach them something unique about a park in the community? Whatever the project, help facilitate making it a reality.

Vocabulary: coordination, outreach, volunteerism, stewardship

Asking the Right Questions: What types of career opportunities are associated with Parks?