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John D. MacArthur Beach State Pa

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					John D. MacArthur Beach State Park

     VOLUNTEER HANDBOOK




                          Summer 2009 Revision
             State of Florida
          Charlie Crist, Governor

Department of Environmental Protection




            Florida Park Service
            Mike Bullock, Director




    John D. MacArthur Beach State Park
       Donald Bergeron, Park Manager
     Patrick Rash, Assistant Park Manager

              10900 Jack Nicklaus Drive
          North Palm Beach, Florida 33408
http://www.floridastateparks.org/volunteers/default.cfm
            561-624-6950 Ranger Station
             561-624-6952 Nature Center
        561-624-6970 Park Services Specialists
               561-624-6954 Facsimile




  Friends of MacArthur Beach State Park
                  561-776-7441
              www.macarthurbeach.org
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John D. MacArthur Beach State Park
Table of Contents




Section 1
Mission Statements
Organizational Structure

Section 2
Description of Park
History
Friends of MacArthur Beach State Park

Section 3
Description of Volunteer and Docent Programs
      Philosophy
      Objectives
      History of Volunteer Program
      Placement Procedure
      Training and Evaluation
      Responsibilities
      Professionalism and Uniform Policy
      Risk Protection
      Benefits
      Recognition

Section 4
Volunteer List of Opportunities
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities desired for Volunteer Assignments




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Section 1 Mission Statements



Florida Park Service Mission Statement

To provide resource-based recreation while preserving, interpreting and restoring natural and cultural
resources.

Friends of MacArthur Beach State Park, Inc. Mission Statement

The Friends of MacArthur Beach State Park has a mission of generating supplemental resources to
preserve, restore, and interpret the natural and cultural assets of the Park for present and future
generations.




                                   Organizational Structure


                                             State of Florida
                                                Governor
                                                    ▼
                                Department of Environmental Protection
                                                Secretary
                                                    ▼
                                   Division of Recreation and Parks
                                                 Director
                                                    ▼
                                          Southeast District (5)
                                              Bureau Chief
                                                    ▼
                                              Park Manager
                                                    ▼
                                        Assistant Park Manager
                                                    ▼
                 Administrative Assistant, Park Services Specialists, Rangers, OPS Staff




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Section 2 Description of John D. MacArthur Beach State Park


John D. MacArthur Beach State Park is a pristine natural area with a unique mixture of tropical
hammock, estuary, beach, dune and limestone rock reef. Located on a barrier island in northern
Palm Beach County, it represents a small part of our natural habitat protected from encroaching
development.

The Park, situated between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway in Lake Worth, has
174.38 acres of upland, 263.22 acres of submerged land and Munyon Island on the west side of
Route A1A near the Intracoastal Waterway.

The Park has several highly productive biological communities. The estuary, part of the Lake
Worth Lagoon estuarine system, contains the largest stand of mangroves and the largest sea grass
beds in all of Lake Worth Lagoon. The Park’s sub-tropical hammock is the largest on the
Southeast coast of Florida and its offshore limestone reef abounds with marine life. The Park
also houses several species of threatened and endangered plants and animals.

In addition to protecting its natural resources, the Park offers a variety of recreational activities
for the public. Its nature trails, nearly two miles of beach, shallow near shore reefs and
boardwalk spanning the estuary provide visitors with the opportunity to swim, fish, snorkel,
study nature and go birding and shelling. They can also participate in many interpretive
programs and special events.

The Park is open year round from 8 AM until sunset. The Nature Center is open daily from 9
AM to 5 PM.

History

The earliest evidence of human occupation in the Park comes from artifacts recovered from
"kitchen middens." Native Americans who settled this area gathered food from the ocean and
lake. Fragments of bones, shell and pottery were discarded in refuse piles or "middens."

In the early 1900s, Munyon Island was famous for its lavish resort hotel, "The Hygeia." Built by
Dr. James Munyon, the hotel was destroyed by fire in 1915. Munyon Island is open to the public
but only accessible by boat.

John D. MacArthur Beach State Park was established in 1981 to protect a diverse and
undisturbed subtropical coastal habitat from development. The Park is named for John D.
MacArthur, whose generosity allowed the State of Florida to secure the land. Developed in part
with funds donated by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Park opened to
the public in 1989.

In the early years, a small staff of three devoted most of its time to resource management
projects, which included removing exotic plants, cleaning up litter, and closing off the many
footpaths that had worn through the dunes. When the Park’s facilities were completed in 1989,
the Park staff was increased from three to fifteen. In order to provide quality programs and


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services to the public, a Volunteer Program and Citizens Support Organization (Friends of
MacArthur Beach State Park) were established to enhance the Park’s staff and programs.

Over 119,000 people from all over the world visit the park annually. In an average year, over
5,000 students participate in The Nature Classroom, the Florida Natural Science Education
Program staffed by trained volunteers; volunteers conduct guided nature walks for over 2,000
visitors. Thousands come each year to participate in the Park’s unique special events, which
could not happen without the participation of hundreds of volunteers.

Citizens Support Organization:
Friends of Macarthur Beach State Park, Inc.

The Friends of MacArthur Beach State Park has a mission of generating supplemental resources
to preserve, restore, and interpret the natural and cultural assets of the Park for present and
future generations.

John D. MacArthur Beach State Park is a model public-private partnership. Owned by the State
of Florida, the staff and daily needs of the Park are funded by the State. Since it’s founding in
1990, the Friends organization has enriched and enhanced the Park by soliciting donations,
seeking volunteers, raising funds, holding special events and by operating a gift shop.

The Friends 2006 - 2009 Capital Campaign has raised over $2,100,000.00 to build a new Natural
Science Education and Welcome Center, New Interpretive Displays and Nature Center
Improvements and other Park improvements.

All funds raised by the Friends support the Park, making a visit more educational, memorable
and fun:

 Purchase equipment and supplies for the Natural Science Education Program
 Provide funding to purchase Passenger Trams and other equipment
 Fund volunteer training and recognition
 Provide funding for Picnic Pavilions and Playground
 Purchase and maintain the kayak fleet
 Fund Park printing, supplies and technology needs
 Provide funds for Park Staff Training
 Operate the Gift Shop
 Produce the Park’s quarterly newsletter, The Dune News




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SECTION 3 Description of Volunteer and Docent Programs


Volunteer Program Philosophy
The mission of the Volunteer Program at John D. MacArthur Beach State Park is twofold: (1) to
protect the park’s valuable resources and (2) to promote the recreational and educational
activities of the park. Volunteers support the park staff by offering a variety of educational
opportunities and programs to the public. The staff and volunteers work together to offer park
visitors an appreciation of the park through interpretation, special events and other projects while
safeguarding the Park’s natural communities.


Volunteer Objectives
The Volunteer Program strives to increase the effectiveness and improve the quality of
opportunities for visitors through guided nature walks, tram service to the beach, school group
tours, and resource management projects. The Volunteer Program provides a forum for learning
and community involvement.


John D. MacArthur Beach State Park Volunteer Program History
In 1978, the Florida Legislature officially recognized volunteers in state government by
providing worker’s compensation coverage and liability protection to volunteers of state
agencies. It also declared that volunteer service is considered work experience for state job
applicants. The number of volunteers in parks continues to increase appreciably.

1990 marked the beginning of the Volunteer Program at John D. MacArthur Beach State Park.
The Park’s ability to serve its visitors has dramatically improved thanks to the work of our
volunteers, who have made dramatic improvements to the Park over the years. One of the biggest
areas of volunteer involvement is in environmental education. From guided nature walks, to
leading school group tours, to conducting summer day camps, park visitors can experience first-
hand the natural habitats of the Park.


Volunteer Placement Procedure
Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer must complete an application including 3 outside
references, attend a Volunteer Orientation and schedule an interview with a Park Services
Specialist. During this process, a potential volunteer is introduced to the Volunteer Program and
given a description of the available positions. Once the application is reviewed and verified, the
volunteer will receive the appropriate training needed.

Groups, such as scout groups or clubs interested in donating their time for a special project
should fill out a Group Volunteer Form, obtained from a Park Services Specialist. The head of
the group should meet with a Park Services Specialist for coordination of the project.

Volunteers must be in reasonable health and physically capable of performing their assigned
position. Those with disabilities are encouraged to apply as volunteers; Park facilities are
accessible to everyone.


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Volunteer Training and Evaluation
After the initial interview and placement, the volunteer will receive one-on-one training specific
to the assigned position. Some jobs may involve some independent study in order to gain
proficiency in certain subjects. Training gives volunteers the opportunity to learn new skills in
addition to fine-tuning existing talents.

Park Docents receive extensive training in the field, written literature and additional training
opportunities to prepare them for skilled interpretation in the areas of their service.

All volunteers should watch the park’s introductory video, “An Island in Time” in the Nature
Center and observe at least one guided nature walk. Once a volunteer is comfortable with his or
her assigned position and has demonstrated the ability to perform all of the required duties, Park
Staff will schedule the volunteer.

Volunteers are always encouraged to expand their knowledge; they may ask questions, borrow
reference materials, or speak with knowledgeable volunteers and staff members.

Volunteers will be evaluated in a fair and timely manner to ensure quality and suitability of the
job assignment. The park reserves the right to terminate any individual who does not uphold
volunteer and park policies.


Evaluation by Volunteers
An important facet of the Volunteer Program is receiving evaluations and suggestions from the
volunteers about the park’s programs and activities. Any suggestions or ideas may be given to
the Park Services Specialist or other park personnel orally or in writing. The Volunteer Program
is constantly striving to update and improve its existing programs, as well as expand into new
areas. Often the impetus of needed changes is the result of volunteer suggestions that may not
have been recognized or foreseen by park staff. Evaluations are both welcomed and needed, and
we encourage you to voice your opinions.


Risk Protection
Volunteers are covered by worker’s compensation in the event of an injury occurring while
volunteering in the park. If any accident or injury occurs while volunteering, report it to the
Nature Center staff or other park personnel immediately. Volunteers, involved in park projects
are protected from personal liability claims from actions involving their service.


Volunteer Benefits
Volunteers will receive invitations to special events, field trips, and volunteer functions; are
entitled to a 10% discount in the Gift Shop; will receive the Dune News newsletter. Volunteers
will receive many intangible benefits as well, such as meeting new people, the opportunity for
continuing education and learning new skills, and the enjoyment of the park’s facilities and its
natural resources.




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Volunteer Responsibilities
Volunteers are scheduled for their particular job placements by the Park Services Specialist. It is the
responsibility of the volunteer to be dependable and on time for a specific job assignment.
Volunteers must log their hours on the Volunteer Time Sheet forms, located in the Volunteer
Building.

Volunteers will be required to attend training sessions to increase their knowledge and skills.
Training varies according to the job placements and volunteers must undergo the amount of training
necessary to become proficient in their area.

Volunteers need to become familiar with Park facilities, its programs, and the rules and procedures.
It is the duty of the volunteers to adhere to these rules as well as to inform visitors about existing
regulations.


Professionalism and Volunteer Uniform Policy
Volunteers are considered to be part of the workforce at MacArthur Beach State Park and are given
equal treatment and respect by park employees. Granted such equality, volunteers are in turn
expected to consciously represent the park and to cultivate a professional demeanor while
volunteering. Visitors should be made to feel welcome and be given information in a cheerful and
friendly manner.

Volunteers should wear the gray volunteer uniform shirt while working with Park visitors.
Volunteers will be given a name tag which is worn over the right shirt pocket. There are several
instances in which the work required by the volunteer is not conducive to wearing the uniform shirt,
such as construction, resource management, and other special projects. In these cases, volunteers
will be given a gray volunteer T-shirt that is appropriate for the work entailed.

Uniforms should appear neat and wrinkle free; care and cleaning are the volunteer’s responsibility.
Uniforms should only be worn during the hours a volunteer is on duty and should change if
recreating in the park after fulfilling their tasks. Volunteers should use discretion when wearing the
uniform outside of the park. It is prohibited to consume alcoholic beverages while in uniform.


Volunteer Recognition
MacArthur Beach State Park strives to recognize the effort and hard work volunteers give to the
park. Each year, volunteers are invited to the annual Volunteer Brunch that officially recognizes
individuals for their dedication. Service award pins are given to volunteers at the completion of a
certain amount of hours donated to the Park. Pins are awarded at 100, 250, 500, 1,000, and 2,000
hours of service. At the completion of 500 hours, a Special Volunteer Annual Pass is issued which
allows free entry into any Florida State Park for one year.

On a more informal basis volunteers are greatly appreciated for their hard work and time spent at
the park. They provide many services and opportunities to park visitors that would not otherwise be
offered. The saying, “Volunteers are not paid-not because they are worthless, but because they are
priceless” is the motto by which the Volunteer Program operates. We recognize and are grateful for
the services that our volunteers provide and hope that this tradition will continue far into the future.


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SECTION 4
Volunteer List of Opportunities

 Administration/Bookkeeping/Data Entry
 Animal Care Assistant
 Beach Clean-up
 Beach Clean-up Coordinator
 Estuary Clean-up in Kayak
 Exotic Plant Removal
 FUN (Families Understanding Nature) Program Assistant
 FUN (Families Understanding Nature) Program Coordinator
 Gift Store/Kayak Rental
 Guided Nature Tour Docent
 Moonlight Concert Assistant
 Munyon Island Maintenance
 Museum/Nature Center Docent
 Nature Trail Maintenance
 Newsletter Contributor
 Nursery Assistant
 Park Clean-up
 Ranger Assistant
 Reef Tour Guide
 School Group Guide Docent
 Special Event Planning Assistants
 Summer Camp Counselor
 Summer Camp Docent
 Toll Collector
 Tram Driver
 Tram Driver Coordinator
 Turtle Walk Assistant
 Turtle Walk Docent
 Volunteer Coordinator Assistant




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Knowledge, Skills and Abilities desired for Volunteer Assignments

Administration/Book keeping/Data Entry             FUN (Families Understanding Nature)
      Computer proficiency                         Program Coordinator
      Good customer service and phone skills             Skills in working with people of all ages
      Organizational talent                              Interest in arts and crafts
                                                         Creative tendencies
Animal Care Assistant                                    Knowledge in childhood development
      Knowledge of coastal organisms                     Organizational skills
      Skilled in working with others                     Knowledge of Florida environment
      Ability to work with shellfish, raw fish
      Research interest                            Gift Store/Kayak Rental
                                                         Familiar with point of sale tools
Beach Clean-up                                           Skilled in customer service
      Ability to walk on uneven surfaces                 Interest in Park resources
      Ability to bend and carry 30 lbs                   Ability to work 4 hour shifts
      Knowledge of shoreline organisms
      Knowledge of safety procedures, tools        Guided Nature Tour Docent
                                                         Extensive knowledge of Florida’s
Beach Clean-up Coordinator                               environment and/or research interest
      Ability to walk on uneven surfaces                 Ability to interpret that knowledge
      Ability to bend and carry 30 lbs                   Skills in working with people of all ages
      Knowledge of shoreline organisms                   Ability to walk one mile outdoors
      Knowledge of safety procedures, tools              Skilled in customer service
      Organizational skills
                                                   Moonlight Concert Assistant
Estuary Clean-up in Kayak                                Familiar with point of sale tools
      Ability to walk on uneven surfaces                 Skilled in customer service
      Ability to bend and carry 40 lbs                   Interest in Park resources
      Knowledge of shoreline organisms                   Ability to work at night
      Knowledge of boat safety and tools
      Skilled in maneuvering a kayak               Munyon Island Maintenance
                                                         Able to walk outdoors on rough surfaces
Exotic Plant Removal                                     Ability to bend and carry 40 lbs
      Ability to walk on uneven surfaces                 Knowledge of native, non-native plants
      Ability to endure hot temperatures                 Knowledge of safety procedures, tools
      Ability to bend and carry 30 lbs                   Knowledge of boat safety and tools
      Knowledge of Florida plants and insects            Skilled in maneuvering a kayak and/or
      Knowledge of safety procedures, tools              motorized watercraft

FUN (Families Understanding Nature)                Museum/Nature Center Docent
Program Assistant                                        Extensive knowledge of Florida’s natural
      Skills in working with people of all ages          communities and/or an interest in
      Interest in arts and crafts                        research; ability to interpret knowledge
      Creativity                                         Skilled in customer service
      Knowledge in childhood development




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Nature Trail Trimming                            Reef Tour Docent
      Ability to walk on uneven surfaces                Extensive knowledge of Florida’s reef
      Ability to work in Florida’s climate              communities and/or an interest in
      Ability to bend and carry 30 lbs                  research; ability to interpret knowledge
      Knowledge of Florida plants and insects           Skilled in customer service
      Knowledge of safety procedures, tools             Skilled in ocean snorkeling
                                                        Strong swimming skills
Newsletter Contributor                                  Proficient in leading presentations
      Skilled technical writer
      Research interest                          School Group Guide Docent
      Interest in Park resources                        Extensive knowledge of Florida’s natural
      Computer proficiency                              communities
                                                        Ability to interpret that knowledge
Nursery Assistant                                       Ability to walk one mile outdoors
      Gardening skills                                  Knowledge in childhood development
      Knowledge of Florida plant communities            Organizational skills
      Knowledge of safety procedures, tools             Skilled in customer service
      Ability to work in Florida’s climate              Research interest
      Research interest
                                                 Special Event Planning Assistants
Park Clean-up                                           Skilled in working with people of all ages
      Ability to walk on uneven surfaces                Organizational skills
      Ability to bend and carry 30 lbs                  Research interest
      Skilled in customer service                       Computer proficiency
      Knowledge of safety procedures, tools             Good customer service and phone skills
      Ability to work in Florida’s climate
                                                 Summer Camp Counselor
Ranger Assistant                                        Skilled in working with children
      Knowledge of carpentry, plumbing,                 Knowledge of Florida’s natural
      electricity or small engines                      communities
      Ability to bend and carry 40 lbs                  Ability to work in Florida’s summer
      Skilled in customer service                       climate
      Knowledge of safety procedures, tools             Interest in arts and crafts
      Ability to work in Florida’s climate              Creative tendencies
      Great communication skills                        Ability to work for at least 5 days
      Knowledge of Florida natural                      consecutively in the summer
      communities
                                                 Summer Camp Docent
Reef Tour Guide                                         Skilled in working with children
      Knowledge of Florida’s reef communities           Knowledge of Florida’s natural
      Ability to interpret that knowledge               communities
      Skilled in customer service                       Ability to interpret that knowledge
      Research interest                                 Ability to work in Florida’s summer
      Skilled in ocean snorkeling                       climate
      Strong swimming skills                            Interest in arts and crafts
                                                        Creative tendencies
                                                        Knowledge in childhood development
                                                        Ability to work for at least 5 days
                                                        consecutively in the summer
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Turtle Walk Assistant                                Volunteer Coordinator Assistant
       Knowledge of Florida’s sea turtles                  Skilled in working with people of all ages
       Ability to work late night hours                    Computer proficiency
       Skilled in working with people of all ages          Good customer service and phone skills
       Ability to walk two miles in the sand               Organizational talent
       Skilled in customer service

Turtle Walk Docent
       Extensive knowledge of Florida’s sea
       turtles
       Ability to interpret that knowledge
       Ability to work late night hours
       Skilled in working with people of all ages
       Ability to walk two miles in the sand
       Skilled in customer service
       Proficient in leading Power Point
       presentations

Toll Collector
       Familiar with point of sale tools
       Ability to use two-way radio, telephone
       Skilled in customer service
       Knowledge of Park resources
       Ability to work four hour shifts

Tram Driver
       Skilled in working with people of all ages
       Ability to safely drive extended length
       golf cart
       Skilled in customer service
       Knowledge of Park resources
       Ability to work three hour shifts
       Ability to use two-way radio

Tram Driver Coordinator
       Skilled in working with people of all ages
       Ability to safely drive extended length
       golf cart
       Skilled in customer service
       Ability and interest in contacting others
       by phone
       Knowledge of Park resources
       Ability to work three hour shifts
       Ability to use two-way radio
       Organizational skills
       Computer proficiency




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