Volunteer Newsletter Archive
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- January 2016
Help out Eagle Creek Park with its many activities to keep the park running smoothly.
Eagle Creek Park looks for individuals and businesses to offer us support by volunteering their time and expertise, which plays an essential role in Eagle Creek Park’s overall success and service to the public. As patrons visit the park, we want to provide them with unsurpassed customer service and an opportunity to create a memorable experience.
Park naturalists can especially use volunteers who are willing to be trained in helping with structured hikes for school groups and the public, assist with programs or as docents in the center’s exhibit rooms, and help to cover our front desks/phones.
We’d like to thank our 200+ current volunteers for all of their hard work and dedication to our park. They selflessly volunteer almost 900 hours per month on average. In 2015, individual volunteers and groups contributed over 13,000 hours at our park!
How to Become a Volunteer
Volunteers must be at least 13 years of age. If you are between the ages of 13-16, you must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times while volunteering at the park. Parents and guardians must also fill out a volunteer application. Adults must pass a background check before volunteering, which usually takes 2 weeks to process.
The need for volunteers may vary throughout the year. For more information on volunteer opportunities and how to apply to become a volunteer, please contact our volunteer coordinator Janice Parks. Her office hours are typically Monday–Wednesday but may vary due to special events/activities.
Eagle Creek Park Admin. Office
7840 W. 56th St.
Indianapolis, IN 46254
Foundation Volunteer Opportunities
Flyer and goody bag distribution, registration, set-up & tear-down, food & beverage, parking, fishing gear distribution, grilling, fishing guidance, EMT stand-by.
Iron Eagle Paddle & Run
Water aid stations, road crossings, medal distribution, registration, t-shirt distribution, boat management, after party.
Set up, food prep, greeting, clean-up.
Park Volunteer Opportunities
Feeding, changing water, cleaning tanks/enclosures, turtle care, etc.
Filling, cleaning, transporting bird seed.
Design or update existing displays, collect information for posting, etc.
Set up, food prep, clean-up, give presentations.
Docent Earth Discovery Center/Ornithology Center
Engage and interact with visitors in exhibit areas.
Assist with projects, cleaning, painting, repair, etc.
Invasive Plant Control
See details below!
Public/School/Scout Programs at Earth Discovery Center/Ornithology Center
Give or assist with presentations and lead or assist “bird dog” on hikes.
Welcome Desk at the Earth Discovery Center/Ornithology Center/Park Office
Answer phones, greet visitors.
Preserve & Protect: Join the Invasive Species Strike Team!
Did you know invasive species contribute to the 42% decline of endangered and threatened species in the U.S.?
What is an invasive species?
An invasive species is an organism (plant, animal, fungus, or bacterium) that is not native and has negative effects on our economy, our environment, or our health.
Why are invasive species a problem?
Invasive species are one of the leading threats to native wildlife, second only to habitat destruction. They are primarily spread by human activity when traveling, often unintentionally. These species can prey on native species by destroying or replacing their food sources, killing native young, and can even carry disease. They can alter the diversity of a species, which is important for the native habitat, plus change conditions in an ecosystem like soil chemistry.
Species are labeled “invasive” when they grow and reproduce quickly, and spread aggressively with the potential to cause harm. When a new species is introduced, it can breed and spread quickly as it might not have any natural predators. Also, native wildlife may not have any natural defenses against the invader.
Some examples of invasive species in Eagle Creek Park are amur bush honeysuckle, garlic mustard, and landscaping plants like privet hedge and burning bush.
How can I help?
You can help control and eradicate invasive plant species in the park by joining the Eagle Creek Park Invasive Species Strike team, the only group of its kind that exists in the Indy Parks system. The team is made up of volunteers and led by ecologists from the Indianapolis Department of Public Works and Land Stewardship.
From February through November, they meet on the 2nd Saturday of the month from 9am-noon at the Ornithology Center. Anyone ages 18+ with an interest in nature is welcome to join, and there is no cost to participate. Those under age 18 require permission to participate and have to be accompanied by an adult.
What will we do?
The team focuses on treating satellite populations and smaller infestations in an effort to increase the effectiveness and scope of larger treatments performed by the Land Stewardship team. You’ll gain hands-on experience in ecological restoration by manually removing invasive plants, planting native species, or even learning how to map infestations using handheld GIS units.
You’ll also learn about the ecological problems caused by invasive species, different methods of control, plant identification, and habitat restoration. This team performs a vital role in maintaining the ecological health of Eagle Creek Park. Come out and enjoy the fresh air, build some camaraderie, and help secure the ecological future of our native plants and animals in the park!
What should I bring?
We suggest you bring work gloves, and dress for the weather and outdoor work! Tools are provided, but feel free to bring your own favorite loppers or pruning saw if you’d like.
Senior Ecologist, DPW