Darke County Parks relies upon volunteer involvement

in all aspects of our operations, from programs to maintenance.  Descriptions of volunteer opportunities are listed on this page.  After basic training, and the required paperwork, volunteers can set up a customized work schedule.  Completed volunteer applications should be mailed to the Nature Center.  For more info, contact our Volunteer Coordinator or fill out an application on the left.  

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Volunteer in the Spotlight

I’ve been a volunteer at the park for 6 years. It all started by asking someone at the park “How do I get started in doing this”. My part in volunteering is blacksmithing. I was taught at the park by the three master blacksmiths and felt I should do the same by teaching the community the skill. Volunteering is a behind the scenes job; there is so much work in keeping the park system running smooth that it takes the help of dedicated individuals in the community to make it happen. The main reason I volunteer is it opens the door to so much more. You easily get involved with other interests of yours. Because I volunteered, I’ve learned brain-tanning, leather working, and wood working. These skills have helped me in my hobby of 18th century reenactment. As a window and door installer for 29 yrs from Arcanum, I’ve seen that the experiences and opportunities offered at the park are valuable. I wish that when I was younger I would have realized this. Getting the younger generation, in the age of technology, to put down their cell phones and to get out and experience nature in and around the parks is truly a difficult task. Hopefully in the coming years, we can expand the Log House Education Area into a working village with more shops like a wheelwright, tinsmithing or other skill shops of the time. 

When you have worn out your shoes, the strength of the shoe leather has passed into the fiber of your body. I measure your health by the number of shoes and hats and clothes you have worn out
— Ralph Waldo Emerson