Volunteers receiving awards
Volunteers receiving awards at the Volunteer dinner in April.

Get Involved
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Volunteers in National Park Service (NPS) sites support the park and its employees in carrying out the dual mission of protecting America's natural and cultural resources and providing recreational opportunities for the public. Volunteers at NPS sites are called Volunteers-In-Parks, or VIPs.

At Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, more than 200 volunteers work with National Park Service employees at the Gateway Arch, Museum of Westward Expansion, and the Old Courthouse. VIPs work on weekdays, weekends, mornings, afternoons, or evenings (during the summer), with a minimum of four hours per week. The schedule and amount of time worked will be negotiated. Parking in the Arch parking garage is free to all volunteers, and reimbursement is provided for Bi-State Metro Link and bus fares. Training for all duties is provided. Uniforms are provided for volunteers who work with the public.

Volunteer to be a part of our staff, which serves more than 3 million visitors each year! Apply to volunteer at the Gateway Arch and the Museum of Westward Expansion or the Old Courthouse. Other volunteer opportunities may exist in the park Library and Archives or in the Exhibits, Education and Administrative offices.

volunteer working info desk
Visitors to the Gateway Arch are assisted at the Information Desk by a volunteer.

Gateway Arch
Information Desk and Museum Shop
Greet the general public and provide information regarding park activities and St. Louis points of interest. Assist with lost and found items.

Volunteer using touch table in Museum of Westward Expansion
Volunteer doing interpretation in the Museum of Westward Expansion.

Museum of Westward Expansion
Roving Interpretation in the Museum of Westward Expansion
While roving, provide dual role of answering questions about the Museum and protecting the Museum displays. Possible opportunities to present formal interpretive programs for the general public and/or school groups exist after the appropriate training.

Old Courthouse
Information Desk and Museum Shop
Greet the general public and provide specific information regarding park activities and St. Louis points of interest. Orient visitors to the Old Courthouse facility through the use of a large, scale model of the building. Assist with lost and found items. Operate cash register related to a modest sales outlet. Operate video projector for the Old Courthouse Theater.

Roving Interpretation in Exhibit Galleries and Rotunda
While roving, provide a dual role of answering questions about the four St. Louis History Exhibit Galleries and protecting the items displayed. Possible opportunities to present formal interpretive programs for the general public and/or school groups exist after appropriate training.

Old Courthouse Offices
Potential opportunities include working in the park library or archives; here volunteers work on special library projects or process archival collections. With the exhibits staff, VIPs assist in the maintenance of permanent exhibits and development of special exhibits. In the administration division, volunteers provide clerical assistance, and in the maintenance division VIPs may provide clerical assistance or assist with grounds or building maintenance.

Volunteer Application (.pdf)

Volunteer for Rails and Trails interacting with kids on the train
Trails and Rails volunteer on Amtrak train interacting with kids.

All Aboard!
FAQs for Trails and Rails Volunteers

What do Trails & Rails volunteers do?
Trails & Rails volunteers share the heritage of our region with passengers aboard Amtrak trains between St. Louis, MO and Springfield, IL. This is part of Amtrak’s national Trails & Rails program to enhance the journeys of Amtrak passengers.

Who can become a Trails & Rails volunteer?

Anyone age16 or older may become a Trails & Rails Volunteer at this park. Volunteers under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Trails and Rails volunteers work in teams of two, either with another volunteer or with a park ranger.

What do volunteers bring to the Trails & Rails Program?

Volunteers should be willing to interact with all kinds of passengers and do some public speaking. They should be able to handle a 25-pound wheeled suitcase, climb aboard a train, and walk on a moving train.

When do volunteers ride Amtrak?

Volunteers ride Amtrak trains between St. Louis and Springfield on the 302 and 301 Lincoln Service daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day and on weekends from Labor Day to mid-November. Volunteers are expected to make at least three trips in the summer season. Each round trip is scheduled to last about six hours. There is no overnight requirement.

What does Amtrak provide Trails & Rails volunteers?

Amtrak provides ticket fare for each trip.

What does the National Park Service give Trails & Rails volunteers?

The NPS provides volunteers with a Trails & Rails uniform shirt, and training and mentoring so they may introduce rail passengers to the fascinating history and ecology of the region. Volunteers are also trained in emergency preparedness on Amtrak trains. Volunteers are not paid.

For more information contact: e-mail us

Last updated: April 4, 2018

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St. Louis, MO 63102


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