However, volunteer programs and opportunities can vary from park to park making it difficult for some volunteers to take full advantage of the program. As a result, staff identified the need to create a consistent and comprehensive Volunteer Management Plan that could be used across all the various parks within the district. After putting out an RFP for the plan, the Orange Coast District decided to partner with Irvine Ranch Conservancy because of their proven track record of success with the management of both the Irvine Ranch Conservancy Volunteer Program, and the OC Parks Volunteer Program.
The benefits of this plan go beyond the Orange Coast District. Cooperating organizations that help support the various parks will benefit from the consistent approach to volunteer management, allowing them to focus and maximize their impact on the parks. The plan should also benefit the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks. Crystal Cove State Park includes critical coastal and marine habitats essential to the overall health and functionality of ecosystems throughout the landmarks. However, the biggest benefit will be to the volunteers. “I love the outdoors and volunteering gives me the ability to share that love with our community,” said volunteer Fran Howard. “I feel this partnership and plan will help the Orange Coast District of California State Parks move to the next level in helping volunteers communicate and sign up for activities.” For more information on the Orange Coast District of California State parks, visit https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=21288.