Volunteers Go Into the Wild


Across the country, 50-, 60- and 70-somethings are increasingly opting to volunteer in state and national parks after careers often spent in hectic jobs.

….Volunteers in national parks are not a new phenomenon. Between 1973 and 2007, their ranks grew from about 8,500 to more than 163,000. The National Park Service expects numbers for 2008 to climb to 168,000, and Kathy Kupper, a parks spokeswoman, estimated that at least 41,000 of those — roughly 25 percent — would be retirees.

….Randy Erwin, legislative director for the National Federation of Federal Employees, has said publicly that volunteers take away jobs from paid workers.