National Park Service, North Country Trail

Volunteer-In-Parks Sign-Up Process

Thank you for your interest in volunteering for the North Country National Scenic Trail!

Because the National Park Service (NPS) is the federal administrator of the North Country National Scenic Trail, NCT volunteers may sign up under the NPS Volunteer-In-Parks (VIP) program. The VIP program for the NCT is co-managed by the NPS and the NCTA.

The VIP program provides important protection for volunteers. All VIPs are entitled to the same injury considerations that NPS employees receive (provided they are operating within their approved scope of duties and NPS policies). Additionally, VIPs are recognized for their contributions and earn annual recognition items based on hours of service and are eligible to attend certain skills and leadership training.

To sign up as a VIP, please take the steps below.

Individual Agreement Sign-Up Process
Step 1
Please read the Position Description (PD) and Job Hazard Analyses (JHA) for the position(s) that best fits your interests, skills, and abilities. There are five volunteer positions to choose from.

  • Administrative. Activities include attending or participating in meetings, preparing materials, and general administrative office tasks.
  • Sawyer. Sawyers operate a chainsaw or crosscut saw to build, maintain, or otherwise clear the trail corridor. This requires certification.
  • Swamper. Swampers assist sawyers, but do not operate saws. Activities include clearing brush, transporting equipment, site preparation, cleanup, and risk management.
  • Trail Construction and Maintenance. Activities include design, layout, construction, and maintenance of the trail tread, its immediate environment, and related support facilities.
  • Trail Support. Activities include leading hikes, scouting, attending outreach events, blazing, trash cleanup, and landowner communication.

*If you are a volunteer associated with an Affiliate organization, you should coordinate and contact leadership within the organization when the position description states to contact someone within NCTA and the Chapters.

Step 2
Once you have determined which positions you’re interested in, please print and complete the Volunteer Service Agreement. Important: Be sure to check the appropriate boxes in Box 24 of the agreement to identify what PDs and JHAs you read for each position you would like to serve.

As long as you continue to report your volunteer hours on a regular basis (at least once a year at a minimum), you must only update your volunteer agreement when there is a change in personal information or if you wish to make any changes to the volunteer positions you wish to perform.

Unfortunately, only hand-signed ink signatures will be accepted at this time. Regardless of how many positions you would like to sign up for, only one Volunteer Service Agreement is needed. If you do not have access to a printer, we are happy to mail you a paper copy. Simply email nicole_loiseau@nps.gov and provide a mailing address.

Step 3
Send the Volunteer Service Agreement to NPS Volunteer Program Manager Nic Loiseau and she will contact you when she receives the form. You can send it by:

  • Mail: 318 E. Main St. Suite K, Lowell, MI 49331. Tracking is recommended.
  • Email: nicole_loiseau@nps.gov if the email is encrypted. It’s important to encrypt the email because it contains personal identifiable information.
  • Fax: (616) 319-7913

Step 4
Have fun and be safe! Remember to submit your volunteer hours on a regular basis.

Group Agreement Sign-Up Process
This sign-up process is only for specific, short-term activities (two consecutive days maximum) or for specific projects where outside organized groups participate in a project. All members of the group should understand the project and the associated safety hazards as identified in the Job Hazard Analysis.
 

Step 1
Please print and complete the Volunteer Service Agreement for the group leader and each individual under the age of 18. Unfortunately, only hand-signed ink signatures will be accepted at this time.

Step 2
Please print and have all the group members sign the Group Sign-Up Form. Unfortunately, only hand-signed ink signatures will be accepted at this time.

Step 3
Send all forms to NPS Volunteer Program Manager Nic Loiseau and she will contact you when she receives the form. You can send it by:

  • Mail: 318 E. Main St. Suite K, Lowell, MI 49331. Tracking is recommended.
  • Email: nicole_loiseau@nps.gov if the email is encrypted. It’s important to encrypt the email because it contains personal identifiable information.
  • Fax: (616) 319-7913

Step 4
Have fun and be safe! Remember to submit your volunteer hours on a regular basis.

 

Additional Resources

 

*As long as you continue to report your volunteer hours on a regular basis (at least once a year at a minimum), you must only update your volunteer agreement when there is a change in personal information, or if you wish to make any changes to the volunteer positions you wish to perform.
 

Header photo by Mary Coffin