Volunteer Handbook

Metroparks of the Toledo Area

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Metroparks Mission
To enhance quality of life and inspire preservation efforts in this and future generations by providing a regional system of premier natural, historical and cultural parklands maintained and operated to the highest professional standards.

Volunteers Complete the Picture
We couldn’t do it without you.
That’s not a slogan, it’s simply the truth. It takes a combination of world-class natural areas and historical sites, enthusiastic visitors, a talented staff and a committed base of volunteers to operate the Metroparks system we enjoy in the Toledo area. Like a puzzle, the picture would be incomplete without any one of those pieces. Metroparks sets out each day to exceed the expectations of the community that has generously supported the park district for 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, the park itself may be here today because of the efforts of volunteers. Volunteers are integral to delivering our promise of clean, safe, natural parks, open every day for this and future generations to enjoy. 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 make a difference. local festival,

Our Vision

To Preserve and Protect the Natural Heritage of Northwest Ohio

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Operating Principles
Clean
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.

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

Natural
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.

Education
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.

Forever
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
Nine Metroparks

MetroparksToledo.com Facebook.com/mymetroparkspage Twitter.com/mymetroparks

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.

Affiliates & Attractions

Blue Creek Conservation Area (Whitehouse) Fallen Timbers Battlefield and monument (Maumee) University/Parks Trail Fort Miamis (Maumee) Wabash Cannonball Trail Middlegrounds (downtown Towpath Trail Toledo) Additional properties are being acquired for future park and trail development.

All Metroparks and greenway trails open 7 a.m. to dark every day. Side Cut, Maumee Farnsworth, Waterville Bend View, Waterville Providence, Grand Rapids Oak Openings Preserve, Swanton Secor, Berkey Wildwood Preserve, Sylvania Township Swan Creek Preserve, Toledo Pearson, Oregon

Hours and seasons vary. Toledo Botanical Garden Manor House (Wildwood) The Canal Experience (Providence) National Center for Nature Photography (Secor) The Lathrop House (Sylvania) Oak Grove School (Wildwood)

Other Properties

Greenway Trails

Volunteering At Metroparks
Metroparks has expanded services through the efforts of volunteers, helping the park district better meet the needs of the community. 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. The benefits of volunteering are numerous. In addition to the personal satisfaction of making the community a better place, volunteers meet new friends, spend time in the parks and receive reduced fees on Metroparks memberships.

Volunteer Mission Statement
Metroparks is dedicated to providing an excellent volunteer program that encourages and promotes meaningful community participation in Metroparks activities, uses the diverse talents of volunteers to expand Metroparks resources and educates the citizens of our region about the importance of preserve our natural, historical and cultural resources.

What Every Volunteer Needs to Know
Support for Metroparks Values
Our volunteers serve as proud examples of Metroparks values while serving Metroparks and the community. Volunteers demonstrate this support by: Promoting truthfulness and integrity in all interactions Protecting Metroparks land and property, including flora and fauna Complying with all Metroparks rules and regulations Demonstrating respect and appreciation for the diversity of the staff, volunteers and park visitors Pursuing the highest standards of excellence in all operations of the park district Delivering excellent service to park visitors, staff and other volunteers Supporting the Metroparks mission, operating principles and procedures through positive and constructive communication and actions Performing all jobs in a safe manner and providing a safe environment for park visitors, staff and volunteers

Volunteering at Metroparks is also a lot of fun!

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
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.

Insurance
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.

Surveys
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 requested.

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 d. Director of Human Resources and Volunteer Service (written) e. Metroparks Director (written)

Age Requirements
Certain volunteer jobs have specific age requirements. Generally, volunteers age 12 and under must be accompanied by a responsible adult during their work project. 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, parent or responsible adult.

Alcohol, Tobacco and Drugs
Of course, consumption of alcohol or illegal drugs while volunteering, reporting to work under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs, or possession of such substances on park property is prohibited. Exceptions may be made during special events sponsored by Metroparks where serving alcoholic beverages has been approved. If you are undergoing prescribed medical treatment with a legal drug or controlled substance that may impair behavior or work performance, please notify your supervisor. The use of tobacco while volunteering at Metroparks is limited to use inside your personal vehicle.

Fundraising
Sale of merchandise by volunteers to the public on Metroparks property must be pre-approved by the director of the controlling department. Donations are to be forwarded to the staff supervisor or development department. A volunteer group must have a charter approved by the Board of Park Commissioners before engaging in fundraising activities. Chartered groups must abide by the terms of their charters as well as Metroparks Volunteer Policies and Procedures and fundraising guidelines.

Confidentiality
Occasionally, you may overhear discussions that apply to sensitive issues within Metroparks, especially in the law enforcement areas. Information may be confidential and should not be repeated. If you have any questions regarding potentially confidential information, please check with your supervisor. 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 and including discharge. Any volunteer who feels that he or she has been or is being subjected to sexual, racial, religious or ancestral harassment should immediately advise the staff supervisor or the Volunteer Services Manager. All complaints of such harassment will be investigated. If the investigation supports a finding that such harassment occurred or is occurring, appropriate training or discipline of the offender will be implemented.

Thank you
for devoting your time and talent toward making Metroparks a place that our community can continue to support and enjoy for generations to come.

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, threatening 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.

Safety
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 MetroparksToledo.com
1000 05/11

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