Become a VIP
The Purpose of the Volunteer in the Parks (VIP) program is to provide opportunities for county residents to give their personal time and talents to supplement HPD staff in offering quality programs, maintaining parks for public use, and preserving natural areas.
Volunteers have played a vital role throughout the Hancock Park District’s history and continue to play a vital role in HPD’s mission to develop park lands, provide ongoing improvements, outdoor recreation opportunities and environmental/historical education, and protect our natural resources.
Whether for a student, individual, community group, or business, the HPD has rewarding volunteer opportunities. Hours can be flexible, allowing you to volunteer as much or as little as you desire. Carpenter, plumber, artist, teacher…a creative mind can find a way to help.
Contact the Volunteer Coordinator at Hancock Park District Administrative Office at 1424 East Main Cross Street, Findlay, call 419-425-7275 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the bi-monthly e-newsletter, Raccoon Tales, or for additional information. Download and complete the appropriate application form to get started as a VIP.
Inventory & Monitoring
Documenting the flora and fauna of Hancock County not only tells us the natural treasures to watch for outdoors, but also helps educate about the changing environment and how best to manage our natural resources from forests to fields or wetlands to wild lands. Various land management procedures are based on scientific knowledge gathered in an on-going Inventory & Monitoring program conducted within the parks and Hancock County by HPD staff and volunteers.
This hands-on in-the-field approach to monitoring environmental changes and assisting with habitat restoration gives participants a wide range of physical and mental activities in which to participate. Visit the Calendar for event dates and times. If registration is required, please call the HPD Office at 419-425-7275. Dress for the weather as most of these activities take place outdoors.
Bluebird Monitoring: March-August
Locations: Riverbend Recreation Area, Oakwoods Nature Preserve Meadow & CR 9, Litzenberg Memorial Woods, Blanchard Landing, Liberty Landing, Lawrence Conservation Area.
Volunteers independently conduct weekly monitoring and record progress of nest building, egg laying, hatching development, and fledging of the birds that utilize these boxes. Sparrows are deterred from nesting, but other species such as tree swallow, tufted titmouse, chickadee, and wren are permitted and monitored along with the bluebirds.
Frog and Toad Survey: March-October
If you are a night owl, Frog & Toad Monitoring might be for you. Nine township sites across Hancock County have been established and monitored for several years. Volunteers request a desired Township in Hancock County (current routes include: Allen, Cass, Eagle, Jackson, Liberty, Marion, Pleasant, Portage and Orange) and stop at each of 10 pre-chosen sites to listen for frog/toad calls and record information. Monitoring kits will be available for designated route leaders.
This program is part of The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife’s long-term frog and toad calling count surveys throughout Ohio. Contact Robert Sams at email@example.com for more information.
Wildflower Monitoring: March-May
Spring woods come alive across the forest floor in a flurry of shapes and colors. Staff and volunteers record developmental stages of spring wildflowers in the wooded areas before the summer flowers bloom and tree canopy shades the forest floor. Identification and documentation will be the primary focus. Photography is encouraged and utilized to record development. Species locations are also kept as descriptions and/or GPS coordinates.
Participants are welcome to attend this free activity with no registration required. Monitoring generally lasts approximately 1 ½ hours or more and is recommended for participants 12 years and up.
Bird Monitoring: Diversity & Population Census
Join Robert Sams, Natural Resource Manager, and lend a watchful eye to document all the different types of birds that migrate through and stay in Hancock County. All skill levels are welcome to attend this free activity; no registration required. Participants will count all observable birds. Hiking distances and times will vary. Please be prepared for weather, ground conditions, and at least 1 ½ – 2 ½ hours on the trails. Children under the age of 16 should be accompanied by an adult.
Join the Hancock Park District for two consecutive days, every other week as we count the birds in the feeder area behind the Oakwoods Nature Preserve Discovery Center. We keep a record of the birds we see as well as a few weather observations.
Project FeederWatch begins each November and ends the following April. Count days vary. One count is usually held in the morning from 8 AM to 10 AM and the other count varies from late morning through the afternoon from 11 AM to 5 PM.
This activity engages nature enthusiasts of all backgrounds and skill levels, recording observations of native and escaped plants, wildlife, and fungi seen in Hancock County, Ohio.
Through iNaturalist, people are able to discover what others have recorded in the wild, as well as enter their own observations. Together over time, we will compile a thorough list of what is in nature in our area.
Hancock Parks Biodiversity Project is administered by the Hancock Park District, with support from the Hancock County Naturalists.