Preserve Caretaker

National Park Service

Job category:
Housekeeping / Cleaning
Compensation: RV Site Only
Hookups: Partial
Wi-Fi: Unknown
Pets OK?: Unknown

Job Description



ADDRESS: Big Cypress National Preserve; 33100 Tamiami Trail East; Ochopee, Florida 34141

DEPT: National Park Service

DATES: 6/23/2021 – 6/1/2022


Join the Facilities team and help them keep the buildings and grounds of Big Cypress National Preserve looking presentable to visitors from around the country.


This position is in the Maintenance Division Buildings and Utilities Branch. Volunteers work under the direct supervision of the Maintenance Mechanic Supervisor performing a mix of duties general nature in the maintenance and care of grounds and their related facilities.

Duties include but are not limited to cleaning day use areas, ground mowing, trimming, trash collection, equipment preventative maintenance, painting, vehicle operation, operation of equipment for trail maintenance and campground clean up.

Whichever position, or combination of positions, you select, specialized training will be provided. Volunteers are expected to be welcoming and helpful to all visitors. We’re here for them and we want to ensure they have a positive experience.

Volunteers between 16 and 18 must have parent/guardian permission to be a volunteer. Volunteers are allowed to drive a government vehicle, if they are at least 18 years old and have met the state requirements to legally operate a vehicle. Volunteers might sometimes be passengers in government vehicles.

Arriving on time for your shift is very important. If a volunteer is unable to report for their shift or will be late, letting your supervisor or their designee know as far in advance as possible is vital to smooth operations.

Volunteers will report any issues directly to their supervisor and keep track of their hours on a volunteer timesheet. They may also be expected to utilize a radio or cell phone to contact dispatch in case of emergency or when in need of immediate assistance.

All volunteers will be issued a uniform including a nametag. Volunteers must supply khaki or dark brown pants or shorts, socks, and closed-toed shoes. While on duty, the volunteer must wear the required uniform and safety equipment when necessary. Uniform items are not to be worn off-duty.

Volunteers will work under the direction of their designated Facilities supervisor.

Individual volunteers from the area who are no in need of an RV pad are asked to contribute a minimum of 4 hours per week. Individual volunteers who are interested in volunteering but are in need of an RV pad must contribute 32 hours per week; couples in the situation must contribute 48 hours total. RVs must be fully contained. Water and electric hookups are included. The preserve offers RV Volunteers a coin operated laundry facility and pool at the headquarters building. RV pads for this position will be located at either Donna Drive or behind the Oasis Visitor Center. RV pads are in high demand. The ability of volunteers to commit to the full season, October to mid-May, is beneficial.



Facilities Work covers a wide swath of activities. They can be assigned to cleaning duties; sweeping, scrubbing, striping, waxing, and polishing floors; washing walls using power-washers and/or by hand. These volunteers can help move heavy furniture, supplies and equipment; replace and/or install paper goods, etc., in restrooms; occasionally works on ladders and scaffolds to change light bulbs, wash walls, etc. They run powered cleaning equipment; keep shop areas clean and in order; sweep and wet mop floor and removes oil, hydraulic fluid, grease, and other spilled liquids; move heavy boxes, crates, parts, or other obstacles in order to clean up the area and picks up scraps of wood, metal and other materials.

They also can assist with emptying scrap and trash cans directed.


Groundskeeping activities requires volunteers to operate push and potentially riding lawn mowers, lawn and garden tractors with various attachments, and hand tools (shovels, rakes, etc.) to maintain buildings, grounds, roads, and trails. They carry out assignments such as preparing ground, laying sod, planting flowers or shrubs. They load and unload supplies and materials from trucks, trailers, dollies, etc. Volunteers in this position rake and water lawns and garden areas, pick up litter, and clean fire pits. They may also use wheelbarrows and hand trucks.


Vault and Comfort Station Cleaning is essential for visitor satisfaction. Volunteers remove spiderwebs, dirt dobber nests, and sleep floors. They spray Simple Green Pro 3/H2O solution into the stools, on the floor and walls daily. Cleaning the interior of the stool is done with a brush and the outside is done with disposable towels. Water is squeegeed from the floor and entrance hallway. Volunteers check on toilet paper and hand sanitizer levels and add more when necessary. They also collect garbage, recycling, and collect downed limbs and in the parking lot.



All volunteers will have excellent teamwork skills. Volunteers in these roles hold an open line of communication with their supervisors and fellow volunteers and park staff. Successful volunteers can take direction as well as exercise good judgment while adhering to preserve regulations. For these positions a drivers license are necessary. Volunteers will be required to stand or walk for extended time, bend and kneel and may occur in uneven, rough, or slippery. There may be a small amount of light lifting (10-20 pounds).


Facilities Work requires basic abilities and knowledge which generally require no job training or previous work experience (read signs, follow simple oral and written instructions, move around well enough to work safely, lift and move lightweight objects). Volunteers in the position must be able to use common hand and power tools, and use minor maintenance on this equipment. This position also requires the volunteer to be able to use a ladder to clean walls, and ceiling fixtures. They must be able to remove cans or other containers of trash and recycling, and not lift anything over 25lbs without assistance.


Groundskeeping requires the skill and knowledge to operate, control, and clean push and riding mowers, garden tractors with various attachments. Volunteers in this position must pay constant attention to their workspace and environment, especially while operating any machinery. They must also posses the ability to properly and safely use a variety of common hand tools and light power tools (circular saws, electric drills, etc.)

Vault and Comfort Station Cleaning requires attention to detail and a can-do attitude.


  • Drivers License
  • Hand Power Tools



The temperature can range from 50 to over 100 degrees. Humidity can make the feels like temperature exceed 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Volunteers working outside will be subject to direct sunlight, potential exposure to bugs that bite or sting, and potentially (though rare) encounters with wildlife (including, but not limited to, snakes and alligators). Danger exists due to possible cuts, scrapes, bruises, and burns.

Facilities Work generally takes place inside, but there are areas that are open air that will need maintenance.

Groundskeeping takes place outside, usually without any shade or cover.

Vault and Comfort Station Cleaning is done both outside without any shade or cover and in confined spaces.

Social distancing and other precautions as a result of Covid-19 are still being taken at Big Cypress National Preserve. These will change with CDC guidance as interpreted by DOI.

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