Become a Volunteer

Your nearby Castle Rock and Portola Redwoods State Parks need your help!

In 2013 the Foundation, in partnership with State Parks, initiated a Volunteer Trail Watch Program with the goal of training Volunteers to supplement the task of the two park rangers whose duty it is to patrol Castle Rock and Portola Redwoods State Parks.  This Program was continued through 2016.  These Volunteers walked trails, interacted with visitors, did minor maintenance and reported trail hazards to the benefit of the Trained Maintenance staff and Volunteers.  These Park Volunteers have done a great job of providing eyes, ears, and boots on the ground in Portola Redwoods and Castle Rock State Parks.   Park Staff keep the parks operating at reasonable levels of stewardship, but the Parks still need our help. 

The Parks Volunteer Program is divided into two separate but related programs -Docent Training and Wilderness Patrol.

Docent Training 

2020 will bring new opportunities to become involved at Castle Rock and Portola Redwoods State Parks! On Saturdays in April, park staff will be holding a docent training aimed to educate volunteers about these two fabulous parks. Each training day will have an industry professional speaker and an outdoor component ensuring docents don’t feel over lectured, and always have the opportunity to be outside. Daily topics include Natural History, Cultural History, plant ID, Communication Concepts, leading hikes, working with youth, and animals of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Those who volunteer with State Parks are eligible to receive a District-Wide or State Wide Parking Pass, depending on hours volunteered.

Volunteer Opportunities include:

  • Guiding under-served youth through the park through the Kids2Parks Program
  • Leading Walks for the Public
  • Staffing a Visitors center with taxidermy and interactive exhibits
  • Helping to identify trail issues through our Trail Watch program.
  • Leading select kids programs
  • Helping to maintain a nonprofit park store
  • Providing trail recommendations to new visitors
  • And more! (if you have a unique skill that can benefit the parks we are open to new volunteer duties)


For additional information or to reserve your seat in the 2020 Docent Training Series email


Wilderness Patrol

Wilderness Patrol volunteers are trained in interpretive communication, using park radios to report emergencies, and become familiar with the natural and cultural history of our beautiful and expansive public lands. Volunteers are invited to take shifts on mountain bike, horseback, or on foot

Here is a link to the Wilderness Patrol Manual 2018 (we are currently updating several sections of this manual for the 2019 training).

As of now, Wilderness Patrol Training will not be available in 2020 but resume in 2021

To find out more about the Program , please contact Jeremy Lin with any questions about the Wilderness Patrol program

Rancho del Oso – Big Basin Redwoods State Park

Wilderness Patrol Volunteer Program, Santa Cruz District

(831) 427-2288 |


Wilderness Patrol Volunteers at Goat Rock.

For the Wilderness Patrol Duty Statement, click here.


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