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Volunteer Handbook
Metroparks of the Toledo Area
Metroparks Mission Volunteers Complete the Picture
To enhance quality of life and
We couldn’t do it without you.
inspire preservation efforts in
this and future generations by That’s not a slogan, it’s simply the truth.
It takes a combination of world-class natural
providing a regional system of areas and historical sites, enthusiastic
premier natural, historical and visitors, a talented staff and a committed
base of volunteers to operate the Metroparks
cultural parklands maintained system we enjoy in the Toledo area. Like
and operated to the highest a puzzle, the picture would be incomplete
without any one of those pieces.
professional standards. Metroparks sets out each day to exceed
the expectations of the community that has
generously supported the park district for

Our Vision more than 80 years. In some cases, the first

friendly face a visitor sees at one of our
parks is that of a volunteer. In other cases,
To Preserve and Protect the park itself may be here today because of
the Natural Heritage of the efforts of volunteers.

Northwest Ohio Volunteers are integral to delivering our

promise of clean, safe, natural parks, open
every day for this and future generations to
Whether you help out at a special event or
belong to a Friends group; hit the trails as
a member of the Volunteer Trail Patrol or
greet visitors to the Metroparks booth at a
local festival, make a difference.
Operating Principles
Metroparks is committed to maintaining the highest level of cleanliness in our
equipment, personnel, facilities and resources to promote a healthy, orderly, stable
and professional environment for the park visitor, volunteers and employees.

Metroparks will protect the health and welfare of our visitors, volunteers and
employees and the integrity of our natural, historical and cultural resources.

Metroparks will work actively to preserve the best examples of Northwest Ohio’s
natural areas for public enjoyment and is the essence of Metroparks, transcending
all other purposes and uses.

Metroparks recognizes that disseminating knowledge through public programs,
events and communication is the key to building community awareness and
stewardship in natural, historical and cultural preservation.

Visitor Experience
Metroparks will measure success in serving our visitors through the standards of
excellent service and rewarding experiences.

Metroparks will take a proactive approach to preserve, protect and perpetuate its
resources for this and future generations.

Organizational Excellence
Metroparks is committed to a workplace fostering employee well-being, development
and satisfaction within a culture of respect, creativity and innovation.

Committed To Diversity
Metroparks promotes an inclusive culture that strives to value and respect variations
in personality, work style, age, ethnicity, gender, religion, socioeconomics, education
and other dimensions in the workplace. Further, Metroparks expects its employees
and volunteers to carry out the spirit of this policy in day-to-day interaction with
each other and the public.
Staying Connected

About Metroparks

Metroparks of the Toledo Area is a regional government agency established in 1928

to serve the residents of Lucas County. The Board of Park Commissioners, governing
body of Metroparks, is a volunteer board appointed to three-year terms by the Lucas
County Probate Judge. Metroparks is separate from the city and county government.
The 11,000-acre park system is primarily funded by a 1.4 mill property tax levy.

Nine Metroparks Affiliates & Attractions

All Metroparks and greenway trails Hours and seasons vary.
open 7 a.m. to dark every day. Toledo Botanical Garden
Side Cut, Maumee Manor House (Wildwood)
Farnsworth, Waterville The Canal Experience (Providence)
Bend View, Waterville National Center for Nature
Providence, Grand Rapids Photography (Secor)
Oak Openings Preserve, Swanton The Lathrop House (Sylvania)
Secor, Berkey Oak Grove School (Wildwood)
Wildwood Preserve, Sylvania Township
Swan Creek Preserve, Toledo Other Properties
Pearson, Oregon Blue Creek Conservation Area
Greenway Trails Fallen Timbers Battlefield and
University/Parks Trail monument (Maumee)
Wabash Cannonball Trail Fort Miamis (Maumee)
Towpath Trail Middlegrounds (downtown
Additional properties are being acquired for future park and trail development.
Volunteering At Metroparks
Metroparks has expanded services through
the efforts of volunteers, helping the park
district better meet the needs of the
Volunteers can be seen at The Canal
Experience, Manor House teas and on the
trails as walk leaders introducing children
to nature.
Volunteer groups assist staff members with
maintenance and stewardship projects.
Monitoring volunteers keep a sharp eye on
the changes in the natural landscape.
Members of the Volunteer Trail Patrol, in
yellow uniforms, show their friendly faces
to park visitors.
Still other volunteers help with fundraising
activities for Metroparks or specific parks. What Every Volunteer
Volunteer Mission Statement
The benefits of volunteering are numerous.
In addition to the personal satisfaction of
making the community a better place,
Needs to Know
Metroparks is dedicated to volunteers meet new friends, spend time Support for Metroparks Values
providing an excellent in the parks and receive reduced fees on
volunteer program that Metroparks memberships. Our volunteers serve as proud examples of Metroparks values while serving
encourages and promotes Metroparks and the community. Volunteers demonstrate this support by:
meaningful community Volunteering at Metroparks is Promoting truthfulness and integrity in all interactions
participation in Metroparks also a lot of fun! Protecting Metroparks land and property, including flora and fauna
Complying with all Metroparks rules and regulations
activities, uses the diverse
talents of volunteers to Demonstrating respect and appreciation for the diversity of the staff, volunteers
expand Metroparks resources and park visitors
and educates the citizens Pursuing the highest standards of excellence in all operations of the park district
of our region about the Delivering excellent service to park visitors, staff and other volunteers
importance of preserve our Supporting the Metroparks mission, operating principles and procedures
natural, historical and through positive and constructive communication and actions
cultural resources. Performing all jobs in a safe manner and providing a safe environment for
park visitors, staff and volunteers
Reporting to Work
Volunteers should be on time for all scheduled volunteer activities. Please call your
immediate supervisor if you are going to be late or unable to volunteer. If you cannot
reach your supervisor, please call 419-407-9703 to leave a message.

Background Checks
Volunteers whose jobs involve potential contact with children or an at-risk population
in an unsupervised situation will be required to authorize a criminal history
background check.

Training is provided and varies depending on the volunteer opportunity.

Reporting Volunteer Hours

It is very important you record and report your volunteer hours. This includes any
volunteer hours including work done from home and at other locations. These
hours are an indication of community interest and support and play a major part in
budgeting, fund raising and grant writing opportunities. Your supervisor will show
you the procedure for reporting hours in your department.
Travel time to and from your volunteer assignment is not considered to be part of
your volunteer time unless travel is actually a part of your volunteer job.

All registered volunteers are covered by medical insurance secondary to their own
insurance, which covers medical expenses due to any injury incurred while
volunteering for Metroparks.

Metroparks is committed to the measurement of volunteer and visitor satisfaction.
Your participation in surveys is needed to address the needs of our volunteers.
We encourage all volunteers to participate in park district satisfaction surveys when

General Policies & Guidelines

Some policies listed here may be summaries of more extensive policies or
regulations. If you have questions about any policy or procedure, please ask a
member of the Volunteer Department.
News Media Contact
Metroparks takes inquiries from the media
very seriously. If you are contacted for
information, please refer the media to the
director of public relations at 419-270-2919.
Feel free, however, to talk about your
volunteer job. Report all media contacts to
a Metroparks staff member.

Dispute Procedure
Dispute resolution should always be attempted
by discussion with your volunteer activity
leader. If this fails to reach a satisfactory
resolution, the following chain of command
should be used:
a. Staff Supervisor
b. Volunteer Coordinator
c. Volunteer Services Manager
Age Requirements
d. Director of Human Resources and
Certain volunteer jobs have specific age requirements. Generally, volunteers age 12
Volunteer Service (written)
and under must be accompanied by a responsible adult during their work project.
e. Metroparks Director (written)
Volunteers under the age of 18 must have a signed parental consent form on file
before they begin volunteering unless they are accompanied by their legal guardian, Alcohol, Tobacco and Drugs
parent or responsible adult. Of course, consumption of alcohol or illegal
drugs while volunteering, reporting to work
under the influence of alcohol or illegal
Sale of merchandise by volunteers to the public on Metroparks property must be
drugs, or possession of such substances on
pre-approved by the director of the controlling department. Donations are to be
park property is prohibited. Exceptions may
forwarded to the staff supervisor or development department.
be made during special events sponsored by
A volunteer group must have a charter approved by the Board of Park Commissioners Metroparks where serving alcoholic beverages
before engaging in fundraising activities. Chartered groups must abide by the terms of has been approved.
their charters as well as Metroparks Volunteer Policies and Procedures and fundrais-
If you are undergoing prescribed medical
ing guidelines.
treatment with a legal drug or controlled
Confidentiality substance that may impair behavior or work
Occasionally, you may overhear discussions that apply to sensitive issues within performance, please notify your supervisor.
Metroparks, especially in the law enforcement areas. Information may be confidential The use of tobacco while volunteering at
and should not be repeated. If you have any questions regarding potentially confiden- Metroparks is limited to use inside your
tial information, please check with your supervisor. personal vehicle.
Volunteer and staff addresses, phone numbers and other personal information are
for Metroparks use only and are to be kept confidential.
Sexual Harassment Policy
Conduct creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment will not be
tolerated, and those violating this practice will be subject to disciplinary action up to
Thank you
and including discharge. Any volunteer who feels that he or she has been or is being for devoting your time and talent
subjected to sexual, racial, religious or ancestral harassment should immediately toward making Metroparks a place
advise the staff supervisor or the Volunteer Services Manager. All complaints of such that our community can continue
harassment will be investigated. If the investigation supports a finding that such to support and enjoy for generations
harassment occurred or is occurring, appropriate training or discipline of the to come.
offender will be implemented.

Workplace Violence Policy

Metroparks is committed to providing a safe and harmonious environment for all of
its employees, volunteers, vendors and visitors. Any behavior that is violent, threaten-
ing or intimidating will not be tolerated; conduct that causes harm to or threatens the
safety or the perceived safety of another is strictly prohibited. Volunteers who violate
this policy will be subject to prompt discharge.

Vehicle and Equipment Use

As part of your volunteer job, you may be required to operate a Metroparks vehicle
or equipment. You need a valid driver’s license to operate all vehicles, gators, golf
carts and tractors. Safety belts must be worn if they are provided in the vehicle. The
vehicles are not to leave Metroparks except on Metropark business. Please notify
your supervisor if any equipment is not operating properly.
You may use Metroparks computer systems with permission of and supervision by
Metroparks staff.

Metroparks is committed to making reasonable efforts to provide a safe workplace
for its employees and volunteers, within the limitations imposed by the natural
landscape and surroundings. As a part of this effort, all volunteers are responsible
for carrying out their duties and responsibilities in a safe and efficient manner to
maintain a safe work environment and surrounding area for themselves, fellow
volunteers, staff and the public.

Accident and Injury Reports

Accidents involving injury must be reported by calling a Ranger or other member of
Metroparks staff as soon as possible. In the event of serious injury, call 911 and the
911 operator will dispatch emergency vehicles and a park ranger to the scene.
5100 West Central Ave.
Toledo, Ohio 43615

1000 05/11