Volunteer Hours Tracking
Each time you attend an Ice Age Trail volunteer event or work on the Trail on your own, spending just a few minutes to document your activities will go a long way toward magnifying the impact of your work time. Tracking volunteer hours on the Ice Age Trail is beneficial and critically important to both the volunteer and the Ice Age Trail Alliance.
As a volunteer, you are eligible for medical/liability coverage as part of the National Park Service Volunteers-In-Parks (VIP) program, provided you formally track your hours and report the incident to the Ice Age Trail Alliance (800-227-0046) as soon as reasonably possible.
The VIP program also recognizes volunteers with a suite of valuable awards. Every volunteer in our database has a "career hours count" (started January 1st, 2007); as volunteers over time pass various hours thresholds (100, 250, 500, 1000 hours) they earn various awards such as certificates, pins, hats, shirts and jackets. Additionally, each time a volunteer passes a 250-hour increment, they receive a federal Interagency Volunteer Pass covering entrance fees for one year at all federally administered recreation sites (national parks, national forests, etc.)!
For the Ice Age Trail Alliance, the total number of volunteer hours we report each year to the National Park Service is an important part of our fundraising efforts and a key factor for building legislative support for the Ice Age Trail. The greater the number of hours we can document, the better, as this provides evidence that any investment in the Ice Age Trail is matched by an exceptionally valuable volunteer labor contribution. For example, the 71,200 hours of volunteer time we reported in the 2013 federal fiscal year is valued by Independent Sector as a contribution worth more than $1.5 million.
If you attend an Ice Age Trail volunteer event, please be sure to provide your name and sign in and out with the event coordinator. Be sure to include travel time to and from the event. If you're not an Ice Age Trail Alliance member, you'll need to complete a 301A Volunteer Agreement Form prior to starting work. Those under 18 must have a parent/guardian signature on the form.
If you are a frequent volunteer, you can maintain an individual hours log to track your activities over the course of a quarter, and then pass your log along to your local Chapter Coordinator or the Ice Age Trail Alliance main office at the end of the quarter.
All event sign-in sheets and individual hours logs are compiled by chapter leaders and Ice Age Trail Alliance staff into reports. From those reports, hours for each individual are entered into our master volunteer hours database. The database is used to both compile our yearly hours count for the National Park Service and to identify volunteers who are eligible for awards.