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Friends of Paynes Prairie

Volunteers Needed

There are many opportunities for volunteers in the Prairie. Be a part of the team!

Tracie Johnson, Park Services Specialist - Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, Gainesville-to-Hawthorne State Trail, and Price's Scrub Preserve State Park

Visitor Center Volunteers

If you are outgoing and enjoy talking to people, this position is for you! Visitor Center volunteers  greet visitors, orient guests to the park and bookstore merchandise, and answer phone inquiries. This position supplies essential help for park staff during our visitor center operational hours.

Time Commitment: 3.5-4 hours/week minimum. Park policy is that there are two volunteers per shift. Shifts available: 9:00 am - 12:30 pm and 12:30 pm - 4:00pm 7 days a week. The Visitor Center is open daily from 9 am - 4 pm.


  • Work in the Visitor Center and answering visitors’ questions
  • Inform guests of programs/events happening in the park
  • Assist the gift shop manager in shop operations
  • Assist with custodial maintenance
  • Perform other duties as assigned
  • Submission of monthly log of hours worked through volunteer portal

Ranger Station Volunteers

Volunteer 4 hours per week, on Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays.

Interpretive Trailer at La Chua Trail

Greet visitors, orient guests to the park, and collect donations for FOPP in the interpretive trailer at the La Chua Trail entrance of Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park. This experience is like working in an outdoor visitor center.  Volunteers must support the Florida Park Service mission and policies when communicating with public, staff, and fellow volunteers.

Duration: October-April, weekends

Time Commitment: 4 hours/week minimum, but more are accepted. The Interpretive Trailer is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 8 am to 4 pm. Shifts are 9 am -1 pm and 1 pm -5 pm.


  • Opening and/or closing the trailer located at the end of the boardwalk
  • Greeting and answering visitors' questions about the park and La Chua Trail
  • Inform guests of programs/events happening in the park
  • Provide directions
  • Perform other duties as assigned
  • Record your service hours using the Volunteer Portal

Trailkeepers on the Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail

Volunteers are assigned to the Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail (GHT) to monitor routinely for public safety concerns such as leaning trees, broken fences, vandalism, damaged signs or other park infrastructure, and anything else out of the ordinary. Provide light trail maintenance: using a gas-powered blower that is attached to a park vehicle, trimming palm fronds and branches at head height on trails, and litter and debris removal. Answer questions from park visitors and provide directions. After checking the trail, the Trail Monitor reports any safety hazards or damage, notable wildlife sightings, and a general overview of the trail conditions to park staff. Time Commitment: 4 hours/shift (typically 1 shift per month or as needed). On Friday mornings, meet at La Chua Trail Trailhead.

Contact Us

Please contact to learn more about these positions.

Ranger Station Phone:  (352) 466-3397 






Contact Us

Visitors Center - 352-466-4100
Ranger Station - 352-466-3397

Friends of Paynes Prairie
100 Savannah Boulevard
Micanopy, FL 32667

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