Texas Parks and Wildlife Department operates and maintains a system of public lands, including state parks, historic sites, fish hatcheries and wildlife management areas. There are many opportunities for you to get involved with this important work. Annually, volunteers donate more than a half-million hours of service worth more than $17,000,000 to TPWD.
From park hosting to youth education, field surveys to fee collecting, outreach to trail maintenance, volunteers contribute to Texas Parks and Wildlife in diverse and meaningful ways! To get a better idea of the scope and range of volunteer activities available with Texas Parks and Wildlife, explore our various programs, check out what is available in your part of the state search our opportunities page.
Volunteer short-term, long-term, or for one-time events. Volunteers under 16 must be accompanied by an adult or guardian. Volunteers (18+) in ongoing positions are required to pass an annual criminal background check.
After applying, prospective volunteers will be vetted and paired with an opportunity that matches the needs of the program and the volunteer's interests, abilities and background.
As a volunteer, you will be part of a passionate team working to manage and conserve Texas' natural and cultural resources. You can expect to expand your knowledge, meet new people, and use your skills and passion to give back to the land, resources, and community you love.
Whether you choose to volunteer one day per week, per month, or per year, you are expected to follow through on the commitment you make to the program. All volunteers are required to follow TPWD rules and regulations. Further, you are required to regularly submit your volunteer hours. Volunteer hours are reported to the Legislature, are a match for many grants, and help us track volunteer participation and evaluate the program!
Volunteers are also encouraged to comment on their experiences with TPWD. If there is something that needs improvement, please let your coordinator know.
Volunteers must be at least 16 years or older. If under 16, volunteers must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. All volunteers under 18 must have the signed permission of a parent or guardian. Minors are not be permitted to do certain work in accordance with Federal and State Working Rules for Minors.
Some programs provide opportunities for you to assist in managing fish and wildlife populations and habitats. Many volunteer projects involve wildlife habitat enhancement or providing information to the public about Texas' natural resources and wildlife.
Absolutely! Volunteers come to us with a diversity of backgrounds, skills, and interests - all you need is a desire to help. Some opportunities do require specialized skills and knowledge while other opportunities are available for volunteers with entry level skills. Whether you want to learn new skills or hone old ones, we hope you will find the right opportunity through our many volunteer programs.
We encourage volunteers with backgrounds in a natural or cultural resource-related field, parks and recreation, interpretation and other academic training that relate to the mission of the agency to contribute these skills to our agency through volunteerism. Please inform your volunteer coordinator about any special skills, education, or training that might benefit the program.
Group opportunities, including youth group opportunities, are available with many of our parks and programs. Big community volunteer days are listed on the Special Events/Projects page. To set up activities other than those you see listed, contact the site or program volunteer coordinator to discuss potential opportunities. Age restrictions may apply and adult supervision must be provided for youth groups.
Volunteering at TPWD is a great way to gain new skills and experience. Including relevant volunteer work on job applications and resumes can make you a stronger candidate. All TPWD job applicants must follow the state of Texas employment process. Hiring supervisors will take volunteer time in to consideration when reviewing applicants. However, volunteering with TPWD does not guarantee employment.
TPWD maintains excess medical accident and excess liability policies for volunteers who are injured while performing volunteer work or who cause damage to a third party. These policies provide excess coverage for expenses not covered by the volunteer's own insurance. Additionally, Texas Parks and Wildlife Code §11.0281 provides that TPWD is liable for property damages, personal injury, or death caused by volunteers operating TPWD motor-driven vehicles or motor-driven equipment in the scope of their volunteer activities.
Volunteer insurance claims are coordinated through TPWD legal staff. Please notify your volunteer coordinator immediately if you are injured or involved in an accident while performing volunteer duties for TPWD.
Volunteers (or their parents or guardians, if the volunteers are minors) are required to sign a TPWD liability waiver.