Volunteers are a vital and integral part of the programs at Kartchner Caverns State Park. Volunteering at the park is a unique experience because of the variety of service positions available and the opportunity to connect yourself and the visitor to a rarely seen environment. Kartchner Caverns is a beautifully decorated cave with many different types of formations. Whether you are in the cave or campground, Hummingbird Garden or Discovery Center, there are many ways to help the visitors enjoy their experiences while in the park.
Volunteers assist in many aspects of park operations, from giving cave tours to helping maintain the Hummingbird Garden.
Attention Scientists & Researchers (Active or Retired)
Both actively employed and retired scientists and engineers serve as volunteers in our acclaimed Research, Inventory and Monitoring (RIM) Program. Scientists and engineer volunteers assist Arizona State Parks as field researchers, collecting data related to a variety of natural and cultural resources at our parks. Observing hummingbird activity, mapping out agave clusters, conducting geologic mapping, doing hydrologic analyses, identifying migrating bird nesting areas and assisting with non-native plant removal are just a few examples of the type of scientific and public service available in this program.
Attention K-12 Teachers
Arizona State Parks supports your critical role in shaping tomorrow's generation of scientists, resource and park stewards, teachers, urban planners, policy-makers and other professional vocations critical to your community and the state's prosperity. Don't miss an opportunity to volunteer as a RIM Resouce Specialist (entry through mid-level) to gain invaluable lab and field experience.
On-site or Local Volunteers
Kartchner has 17 sites on park specifically dedicated to volunteers who devote their time here. A site in the "Volunteer Village" can be reserved for couples who work up to 20 hours per week, (each person) or for a single person who works up to 25 hours per week. Volunteers staying in the area or from the local community are encouraged to work at least six hours per week.
Lead cave guides, Trail cave guides
Interpretive Services volunteers support an array of educational and recreational programming. These volunteers include those who lead cave tours (40 hr. class required), trail cave tours (eight-hour class required) and provide service at the Discovery Center. The development and presentation of environmental programs (interpretive hikes, school presentations, etc.) and recreational programs (campfire talks, special demonstrations, etc.) are also considered to be a part of Interpretive Services.
Gatehouse, Front Desk, Discovery Center, Cave Portal
Visitor Services volunteers will assist parks in a variety of clerical and administrative functions as well as customer satisfaction/service needs. These could include typing, filing, answering the phone or computer work. Gatehouse support assists a Ranger in the selling of day use and camping permits and provides travel directions or information to the visitors. Front desk support will assist Rangers in distributing reservation tickets, answering the phone and providing visitor information. Cave Portal position assists with the smooth operation of the tours.
The Campground Host’s primary responsibility is to assist park visitors. This includes greeting visitors, helping them get settled, answering questions, receiving comments, communicating park rules and regulations and possibly collecting fees. Campground Hosts are also expected to be observant for activities within the park that require immediate attention by staff and/or outside emergency support. Hosts provide their own lodging (tent, camper, trailer, motorhome) and are provided a free campsite, most often with utility hook ups. The Park Manager or his/her designee will approve specific duty hours and other assignments.
Miscellaneous Maintenance, Tram Driver, Trail & Garden Maintenance
Maintenance Services volunteers will assist parks with general maintenance and small construction projects. Examples include trail work, painting, plumbing, weeding, planting or other projects as designated by the Park Manager or his/her designee. Tram drivers transport visitors on tour between the Discovery Center and the cave. Volunteers will not be required to perform any extensive maintenance or repairs, especially to equipment and vehicles. Trail and garden maintenance will be responsible for the general upkeep of the trail system and/or the Hummingbird Garden.
Special project volunteers account for individuals or groups that assist the parks in accomplishing a specific one-time project or a short-term ongoing project. These projects may include but are not limited to: Creating interpretive displays, research, gardening, clean-up projects and trail work. Scout groups, service, learning and non-paid internships typically fall into this category.
Friends of Kartchner Liaison
Several Parks, including Kartchner, now have supporting “Friends” groups. These volunteers assist parks with fundraising, marketing, and special projects. Please contact the Volunteer Resources Planner (602-542-7152) for further information regarding membership.