Volunteering in National Parks

Would you go out of your way to paint a wilderness hut on your Summer vacation? Or herd some sheep? Reap grain with ye olde tools? Fix boardwalks? Talk about economical ways to make a fire?

This are a few examples of National Park volunteer work. More information on how to sign up as one, can be found here.

Hiking blog Rinkkaputki is knee-deep in volunteering this Summer: first a week at Koli as shepherds and come Autumn, we go to Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park to work as Park Sponsors for two weeks.

As a shepherd one must take care of the very sheep that take care of the traditional scenery. Sheep are cool, right? And they definitely don’t bite, right?

This is the first Summer they’re setting up the Park Sponsor gig at Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park, but it’s meant to be an annual thing. They have three separate periods for contributing, all a week or two in length. Most of the volunteers seemed to be families, siblings or groups of friends. As a Park Sponsor you handle small maintenance jobs for the wilderness huts and other stuff too, based on your personal strengths.You even get to interview the visitors aka have a chat with them at the campfire – so pretty intense stuff! We were picked for paint duty in Hetta and northern parts of Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park. So a paint brush, a camera, a pen and a can-do attitude will be our tools for those two weeks! Hiking is one of the “obligations” so it’s not going to be just work for us. Stay tuned for more stories on our volunteering gig this Fall.

How are you planning to spend your Summer vacation?

//Anne

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