Embroidered Volunteer badge

Make a Monumental Impact

Volunteers in National Park Service (NPS) sites support parks and their employees in two missions: protecting America's natural and cultural resources and providing recreational opportunities for the public.

At Gateway Arch National Park, our Volunteers-in-Parks (VIP) program seeks to build a corps of park stewards who reflect the diverse nature of our community to keep the park vital and welcoming for everyone. We offer a wide array of volunteer opportunities that are engaging, rewarding, and mutually beneficial to the VIP and Gateway Arch. Our volunteer program is co-managed by Gateway Arch National Park and Gateway Arch Park Foundation.

Volunteers play an irreplaceable role in many aspects of the park, including:

  • Providing customer service to visitors
  • Building and implementing educational programs to the public
  • Maintaining the Arch grounds to ensure they remain vital and welcoming
  • Working with park staff to protect the invaluable artifacts and archives that are used to share the history of Westward Expansion

Benefits to Becoming a VIP!

  • The pride that comes with a personal connection with the Gateway Arch National Park
  • Recognition opportunities to celebrate our amazing volunteers
  • Free parking during volunteer hours
  • Orientation and training
  • Connect with like-minded individuals
  • VIP’s who earn 250 hours or more can receive a Volunteer Pass, allowing free entry to all Federal lands for 12 months

Special Volunteer Times:

National Park Week: Every April, during the presidentially proclaimed National Park Week, we join with the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America's national parks, to celebrate America's treasures. National Park Week is a time to explore amazing places, discover stories of history and culture, and help!

National Public Lands Day: Established in 1994 and held annually on the fourth Saturday in September, National Public Lands Day is traditionally the nation's largest single-day volunteer effort. It celebrates the connection between people and green space in their community, inspires environmental stewardship, and encourages use of open space for education, recreation, and health benefits. Registration is now open for National Public Lands Day 2023! Sign up for the riverfront cleanup here. The cleanup will be from 11-1 on Saturday, September 23. You must create an account to pre-register. Same day registration will be available at the event.

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

Current VIP Opportunities:

Gateway Arch Visitor Service Guides

Information Desk, Museum, and Tucker Theater

Share the history of St. Louis and Westward Expansion with visitors by volunteering as a Museum Attendant.

Museum Attendants serve on a rotating schedule with Park Rangers shifting each hour from information desk, tucker theater desk, and roving the museum galleries.

Two men wearing green NPS Volunteer polos and ball caps sit on an amtrak train, smiling at the camera

NPS Photo

Trails & Rails Guides 2023

Dates: 05/27/2023 – 10/29/2023

Do you love trains, history, and sharing your knowledge with others? We’ve got just the thing for you!

Join the National Park Service and Amtrak as a Trails & Rails Volunteer Guide to enhance the journeys of Amtrak passengers..

Trails & Rails volunteer guides share the heritage of our region with passengers aboard Amtrak trains. In 2023, we will offer two routes: St. Louis, MO to Springfield, IL, and St. Louis to Jefferson City, MO. This is part of Amtrak’s national Trails & Rails program.

A woman looks down into a wooden cart filled with flowers as a park ranger points to the distance.

D. Reissing, NPS

What's In Bloom Educator

Dates: April 8 — mid-November, 2023

Share your love of gardening by staffing a wooden cart filled with cut specimens of plants currently blooming in the park. The cart will be out every Saturday and Sunday from 10-noon and 2-4. You may sign up for any shift. Every week will bring something new! An information sheet of featured plants, a uniform, and a name tag will be provided.


Security Checkpoint Assistant

Help our visitors, guards and law enforcement rangers! Volunteers inform visitors of security requirements and answer questions about permitted items. They also answer questions about the park. Since a security checkpoint volunteer is one of the first uniformed employees our visitors see, they must be friendly and welcoming. Volunteers will be provided with a uniform shirt, name tag, and regular recognition.

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 & Rails Volunteers

What do Trails & Rails volunteers do?

Trails & Rails volunteer guides share the heritage of our region with passengers aboard Amtrak trains between St. Louis, MO and Springfield, IL and between St. Louis and Jefferson City, MO. 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 age 16 or older may become a Trails & Rails Volunteer at this park. Volunteers under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Trails & Rails volunteers work in teams of two, either with another volunteer or with a park ranger.

What are the duties of a Trails & Rails volunteer?

Volunteers interact with passengers of all ages and do some public speaking. They must be able to climb aboard a train, walk on a moving train, and handle a 25-pound wheeled suitcase. Volunteers also must be willing to assist in emergencies.

When do volunteers ride Amtrak?

Volunteers ride Amtrak trains between St. Louis and Springfield IL and between St. Louis and Jefferson City MO. Trails & Rails volunteers work these routes daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day and on weekends in September and October. Volunteers are expected to make at least six 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. Amtrak does not provide meals; food is available for purchase in the café car and in Springfield, IL.

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.


Read about one of our volunteers in this Volunteer Spotlight!


Contact Us:

Barbara Michel, NPS Volunteer Coordinator. Email barbara_michel@nps.gov, Phone 314-655-1725

Elaine Brasher, NPS Trails & Rails Coordinator: Email elaine_brasher@nps.gov, Phone 314-655-1731

Meagan Patterson, Gateway Arch Park Foundation Volunteer Manager: Email: meagan.patterson@archpark.org, Phone: 314-881-3537

Last updated: September 13, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

11 North 4th Street
St. Louis, MO 63102


314 655-1600

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