Volunteer training offered March 5, 7 and 10 at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park

For more information: 573-751-1010
Volume 37-051 For Immediate Release: Feb. 27, 2009

JEFFERSON CITY, MO., -- Are you looking for a rewarding volunteer opportunity? Are you energetic and enthusiastic? If you are interested in volunteering at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park near Columbia or just learning more about the park, you can attend one of the three "Volunteering at Rock Bridge 101" training courses at the park.  Sponsored by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, these trainings will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on March 5 and 10 and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on March 7. The trainings are free and open to the public.

Rock Bridge Memorial State Park is seeking people who are willing to donate time to help protect park resources and serve park visitors. This training will cover information on the park's history, mission and significant resources, including the basic geology, hydrology and biology of the Devil's Icebox Cave system and its connection to surface watersheds. Potential volunteer opportunities for individuals and groups will be outlined including presenting programs for children and adults; leading wild cave tours; patrolling trails; conducting frog, toad and butterfly surveys; eradicating invasive plant species; assisting with prescribed burns and researching cultural history. No obligation is required, but participants who complete this training and want to volunteer will receive a volunteer manual and may sign up for additional training and service opportunities. 

Advance registration is required for this program, which is designed for adults. Ages 12 to 17 are welcome if accompanied by an adult. All volunteers must complete an application and pass a background check. 

Volunteers, who supplement the work of the park's full-time staff, help provide additional services to the public and lets the park be more efficient with its limited resources. Last year, 24 volunteers contributed 1,100 hours of service to the park.  Rock Bridge receives an estimated 222,000 visitors annually.

Rock Bridge Memorial State Park is located five miles south of downtown Columbia on Highway 63. For more information or to register for one of the programs, contact the park at 573-449-7402 or the Department of Natural Resources toll free at 800-334-6946 (voice) or 800-379-2419 (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf).  For more information about the park or all of Missouri's state parks and historic sites, visit the Web at www.mostateparks.com.