Volunteer

Tonto Natural Bridge PhotographVolunteer Margaret Jones planting tulips near the park office.

We recognize the value, skills, and contributions that volunteers bring to Tonto Natural Bridge State Park. It is our responsibility to support volunteers and staff working together for the betterment of the park, its environment and services available to its visitors. To that end, we will endeavor to provide an environment that fosters teamwork, facilitates successful job completion, provides all necessary and appropriate consultation and training, and endeavors to successfully and professionally resolve any conflicts that may arise. The volunteer program will provide an atmosphere that is open, respectful and receptive to suggestions, questions, and expression of opinions. If you do not find this to be the situation, please let us know so that we may attempt to correct that situation. You may also read the history of the volunteer program at this park.

Park Ambassador
To assist visitors by answering a variety of park specific questions, interpreting park rules and policies, patrolling the park to identify safety hazards, rules violations and ensure visitor safety. Other duties as assigned.  

Volunteer Office Coordinator
Manages and completes volunteer program record keeping requirements and submits to the park manager for submission to Arizona State Parks. Assists with volunteer orientations and training. Participates as part of the Volunteer Management Team to plan all volunteer program activities, programs, recruitments, meetings, training and other functions. Supplies information and interprets needs of the volunteer program to assist the staff volunteer coordinator in meeting the needs of the volunteer program. Participates in other volunteer positions as emergencies/needs dictate. Other duties as needed. 

Maintenance Volunteer
Maintenance volunteers assist the park in areas of general park maintenance, minor construction, trail building and maintenance, groundskeeping and other maintenance duties as they might arise. These duties could include painting, plumbing, minor electrical and other building and grounds maintenance duties. Volunteers will not be asked to perform tasks beyond their level of knowledge and/or comfort. 

Maintenance Landscaping
Care for the blackberry bushes, trees and other vegetation in the park.  Includes pruning,  watering and harvesting fruit and berries that grow in the park. Includes spraying trees and bushes to reduce/prevent animal and insect damage. Includes maintenance of the stream beds that flow into the park from the natural springs. Also, other maintenance/landscaping duties as needed. 

Tonto Natural Bridge PhotographVolunteer Howard Roth helping clean up grills after the weekend.

Maintenance Gardener
Care of the gardens around the lodge and throughout the park. Includes planting, watering, weeding and other garden maintenance. May include creating and designing of gardens. May include preventative measures against garden pests.  Also, other garden/landscape duties as needed. 

Gift Shop Volunteer
The initial point of contact with visitors. Welcome visitors to the park. Collect park admission fees. Support the operation of a retail gift shop. Answer questions about the park. Relate interpretive information on park history, lodge history, and other questions. Explain park rules and regulations. Handle public monies. 

Volunteer Mangement Team
The Volunteer Management Team consists of two volunteers who coordinate the duties, assignments and record keeping for the volunteer program. The Volunteer Management Team and the Volunteer Coordinator work closely together to attempt to ensure that program requirements are complied with, volunteer concerns and needs are consistently met and that volunteer satisfaction and enjoyment are maintained. Currently Filled.

Volunteer Program Goals:

  • Ensure that the Volunteer Program continues to provide satisfaction and pleasure for volunteers. 
  • Provide a variety of services that facilitate and improve the day-to-day operation of the park.
  • Ensure that required volunteer service reports and records are completed with on a timely basis. 
  • Ensure that volunteer service awards are distributed on a timely basis.    
  • Increase and improve the services available to visitors.  
  • Provide training, guidance and support for volunteers to facilitate successful completion of their duties.
  • Provide an open and respectful atmosphere for suggestions, questions, and expressions of opinions.

Training Requirements:

  • Volunteer orientation
  • Review Volunteer handbook
  • AZ State Parks mandated training for volunteers (bloodborne pathogens, preventing Inappropriate behavior in the workplace, ethics)
  • Two-way radio procedures
  • Park orientation
  • Job-specific training to ensure safe and successful completion of duties

Volunteer Service Requirements:

  • Comply with the volunteer code of conduct at all times.
  • Sign “Agreement to Perform Volunteer Service.”
  • Sign “Custodians of Public Money” if appropriate to volunteer position
  • Comply with prescribed volunteer uniform while doing volunteer service
  • Active Volunteer is defined as donating eight hours of service per month or more
  • Complete required orientations and training (preventing inappropriate behavior in the workplace, bloodborne pathogens, ethics and other topics deemed necessary by AZ State Parks and/or TNBSP)

Advantages of the Volunteer Program

To the Volunteer:

  • Satisfaction of helping the park and its visitors
  • Meeting and socializing with other volunteers
  • Meeting visitors from all over the world
  • Assisting visitors in having an enjoyable and educational experience
  • Working in a beautiful natural setting
  • Park beautification through gardening, landscaping, irrigation and litter patrol
  • All uniforms are provided by the Arizona State Parks Volunteer Program
  • All tools and/or equipment needed are provided by the park
  • Those issues and motivations unique to each volunteer
  • Knowledge that the park needs volunteers in order to provide quality services

To the Park:

  • Increase and improve the quantity and quality of services available to visitors
  • Volunteers enable duties to be performed that would otherwise be neglected
  • The best “volunteer recruiter” is an active volunteer’s word-of-mouth about their experience
  • Potential for positive public relations in the communities around the park
  • A source of new and imaginative ideas for future development in the park
  • Visitors respond very positively to services provided by volunteers
  • Making the park a place of pride
  • Knowledge that the park needs volunteers in order to provide quality services

History of the Volunteer Program

Tonto Natural Bridge PhotographVolunteering at the park can be a rewarding experience.

Tonto Natural Bridge became Arizona’s twenty-sixth state park on October 12, 1990. The Volunteer Program began rather informally during the mid-1990s with approximately two to five volunteers at that time. The early core of volunteers concentrated on visitor interpretive services about the park, maintenance duties and care of the fruit trees and berry bushes. There were a few volunteers who conducted interpretive lodge tours and a Christmas program that was historically oriented in period costumes. These early volunteers wrote much of their own interpretive material with an emphasis on entertainment as well as historical fact.

The major development of the Volunteer Program came in 2002 when the State of Arizona made the decision to close Tonto Natural Bridge State Park due to financial considerations. There was a Parks Board meeting to announce that closing and the community became very upset with that decision and protested the closing of the park. They requested that a follow-up meeting be held for the purpose of recruiting volunteers to keep the park open. Approximately 50 people expressed interest in volunteering leading to a core group of approximately 20 to 25 volunteers who continued to work in the park, most of whom remain active at this time. Volunteers are involved in interpretive services, visitor services, landscaping, gardening, maintenance, monitoring for safety considerations, lodge housekeeping, and other duties. Our volunteers have kept this park operating since 2002, and continue to significantly improve the services available to visitors, as well as care for the park. 

The services our volunteers supply to visitors and the park include answering questions, historical, geological and biological interpretive information, identifying safety hazards, and keeping the park grounds neat, clean and well manicured. Whenever an emergency situation arises, our volunteers step in and supply manpower to resolve the situation. The volunteers are all community-based, with no volunteers living on-site at any time. Our volunteers continue to work in the park based on their dedication to the park and the only compensation they receive is the satisfaction and enjoyment they derive from their park service. Without our core of volunteers, the park would not be able to operate at the high level of service it currently does.

ASP Volunteer Programs

Visit the Volunteer Program Home Page or Start Online Volunteer Application