Virginia State Parks participate in volunteer service events

Published 9:53 am Thursday, September 10, 2015

Across the nation and across Virginia, September is volunteerism month.

All 36 Virginia State Parks will offer volunteer opportunities throughout September.

Stewardship Virginia is a semiannual statewide initiative with projects that enhance and conserve Virginia’s natural and cultural resources. Volunteers receive a certificate of appreciation from Gov. Terry McAulliffe. Fall Stewardship Virginia runs Sept. 1 through Oct. 31 each year.

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The weekend of Sept. 11-13 will commemorate the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, with the National Day of Service and Remembrance.

Day to Serve,, is a regional collaboration of the governors of Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland and the mayor of the District of Columbia with the goal of coming together to help people in need and improve communities between Sept. 11-28.

National Public Lands Day, coordinated through the National Environmental Education Foundation,, Sept. 26, is the nation’s largest single-day volunteer event in support of public lands. This year’s theme is “Helping Hands for America’s Lands.”

A calendar of all of volunteer opportunities in state parks can be found at:

Some projects require advance registration.

Volunteer opportunities include:

Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield needs help developing a children’s natural play area. At New River Trail State Park, participants can bike from Draper down the trail and help create a plot for a berry patch.

False Cape State Park staff in Virginia Beach will teach kayakers how to give guided tours. Parks with paddling waterway cleanups include False Cape, Holliday Lake in Appomattox County, Lake Anna in Spotsylvania County, Natural Tunnel in Duffield, Shenandoah River in Bentonville and Staunton River Battlefield in Randolph.

Volunteers are needed to plant trees at Claytor Lake State Park in Dublin and Holliday Lake State Park. Leesylvania in Woodbridge, Sky Meadows in Delaplane and Shenandoah River are recruiting volunteers to collect acorns and other native tree seeds.

Volunteers can assist staff at Chippokes Plantation State Park in Surry in sprucing up historic gardens, or they can work on the butterfly garden at Douthat in Millboro and establish new butterfly gardens at Bear Creek Lake in Cumberland County and Staunton River State Park in Scottsburg.

At Hungry Mother State Park in Marion, volunteers can help save the monarchs by tagging and releasing them for scientific study. They can also learn about removing invasive plants there. Volunteers are also needed to help winterize the pioneer herb and flower garden at Grayson Highlands State Park in Mouth of Wilson.

Trash collection and cleanups are also available at a number of parks including Fairy Stone State Park in Stuart where volunteers will help clean up the fairy stone hunt site, one of the most visited areas of the park. At Belle Isle State Park in Lancaster County, volunteers can help clean up the 1760s Belle Isle Mansion.

Smith Mountain Lake State Park in Huddleston will host a blood drive for the American Red Cross at the park.

For other volunteer opportunities throughout the year, visit