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Volunteer Handbook 2019 OaklandCountyParks.com

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8. Customer Service
8. Time Reporting
10. Park Information and Amenity Overview
11. Park Locations 14. Department Policies
14. Social Media
14. Emergency Response
15. Workplace Violence
welcome Welcome to the Oakland County Parks and Recreation team! We offer innovative recreation opportunities for park visitors and program participants in a safe, clean and friendly environment.
You are an important representative for Oakland County Parks and Recreation. How the public perceives the parks system is tied to their interaction with you. Greeting them with a smile, listening to their comments and providing them with an enjoyable experience leads to return visits and increased success for our department.
Please feel free to talk to your supervisor or the volunteer coordinator if you have any questions regarding your volunteer position. We want you to enjoy your experience with us as much as you make the experience delightful and engaging for park visitors.
We are dedicated to providing clean, safe, beautiful places for visitors to play. Our parks are places for daily exercise and weekend adventures, birthday parties and office get-togethers, outdoor education and summer fun! Between 13 different parks, there are activities for guests to enjoy year round. There’s always an opportunity to get outside.
The spirit and enthusiasm of Oakland County Parks and Recreation volunteers provide excellent guest experiences, keep parks clean and beautiful, help protect valuable natural resources and preserve history for future generations. Numerous one-time or ongoing volunteer opportunities are available for teens, adults, organizations and work groups in our campgrounds, nature centers, bicycle motocross track, dog parks, golf courses and trails.
Remember, we exist because great people deserve great parks. We welcome you to the Oakland County Parks and Recreation volunteer team.
Daniel J. Stencil, CPRE Executive Officer
Welcome to Oakland County Parks and Recreation! We are happy you have chosen to volunteer with us and are excited to share all that we have to offer. This packet is designed to provide you with information regarding the services that Oakland County Parks and Recreation provides as well as Oakland County Parks and Recreation’s Volunteer policies.
Who Can Volunteer? We welcome volunteers of all ages and abilities. Students can contribute and learn valuable job training skills as young as age 13 with parent or guardian supervision. At age 16, teens can volunteer with a parent or guardian signature. Student volunteer hours may apply to service learning project hours for high school or college credit.
Adults age 18 and older can volunteer in groups or as individuals for social interaction and reward points. Groups of all ages and sizes from schools, service organizations, religious affiliations and corporations volunteer to support community events, natural resources stewardship workdays and team building. Scheduling Once the Application, Agreement and Waiver are confirmed, you will receive instructions on how to set up your VicNet (on-line scheduling) account. Once you set up this account, you can schedule yourself for any open volunteer shifts.
Volunteer Agreement Anyone wishing to volunteer for Oakland County Parks and Recreation is required to complete an online application that provides emergency contact information as well as your interests in working with us so we can properly match you with a position you are interested in. The legal Agreement and Waiver of Liability that volunteers are required to sign prior to being scheduled outlines the expectations of Oakland County volunteers as follows:
I agree to act as a Volunteer for the Oakland County Parks and Recreation Commission (the Volunteer Program). I understand and agree that I am not an employee of Oakland County or Oakland County Parks and Recreation; that I am acting solely as a volunteer; and that I will not receive any compensation for my volunteer activities. I also understand that because I am a volunteer and not an employee, I will not be eligible to participate in any employee benefit plans or programs and that I am not considered an employee. My position as a volunteer can be terminated at any time either by me or by Oakland County Parks and Recreation Commission without notice for any reason or no reason.
In order to effectively carry out my volunteer duties, I agree to follow the rules applicable to Oakland County Parks and Recreation employees and to follow the direction of Oakland County Parks and Recreation management. I acknowledge that even though I am a volunteer, my volunteer time will be scheduled in advance and that I will comply with the schedule. Failure to be on time or otherwise comply with the schedule will result in my removal from the Volunteer Program.
As part of my participation in the Volunteer Program, I understand that I may be eligible for free and/or discounted passes or programs, pursuant to the rules, policies, and expectations established for the Volunteer Program. I acknowledge and agree that this is provided to me solely as an incidental benefit and is not intended as, nor does it constitute, compensation for services. The manner and amount of free and/or discounted passes or programs provided to volunteers may be changed at any time and without notice.
Volunteers are the backbone of Oakland County Parks and Recreation. If you’re looking for a way to share your time and talents with others, we welcome you to join our team.
Positions Available Adaptive Recreation Assist with special activities for individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities, seniors and veterans. Involvement includes special events, socials, tours, teaching and adapting sports skills for individuals with disabilities.
Bicycle Motocross (BMX at Waterford Oaks) Track maintenance begins in April. Assist with weekly operation of BMX at practices and races. Duties include bike inspection, registration, scoring, staging, corner marshaling and concessions.
Campgrounds: Two Opportunities
Campground Hosts assist campers by answering questions, explaining rules, providing directions and assisting with check-in.
Campground Volunteers help with a variety of tasks around the campgrounds. You can sign up to help beautify the grounds by maintaining flower beds, picking up trash, clearing trails and monitoring restrooms for cleanliness, or you may wish to assist with a variety of activities to entertain campers including arts and crafts, dances, games, movies and events.
Nature Centers Assist nature center staff by greeting nature center guests; caring for captive animals; assisting with nature education programs, badge days and trail walks; preparing program and craft supplies; or maintaining outdoor gardens.
Natural Resources Stewardship Support restoration management of our natural areas by helping with the control and removal of invasive plant species and the collection and dispersal of native plant seed. Citizen Science efforts include monitoring bluebird nestboxes or conducting surveys including frog, grassland bird and butterfly counts.
Special Events Assist with one-day events such as the Fire & Ice winter festival, the Great Marshmallow Drop in spring, Boo Bash and Haunted Hallows in fall or events held at dog parks and the Oakland County Farmers Market throughout the year. t
Trails Be the eyes and ears of the parks trails while enjoying the outdoors as you patrol park trails on foot. Promote safe and proper use of the trails by providing information to visitors on park rules and policies.
Dog Park Ambassadors and Gatekeepers (Lyon Oaks, Orion Oaks and Red Oaks county parks) Answer visitors’ general questions, distribute park materials and report concerns or comments to park management. Gatekeepers sign up for shifts to support customer service and park security.
Golf Courses and Programs Support one of five golf courses as a starter, ranger or cart attendant. There are additional opportunities to assist with tournaments, leagues, learn-to-golf programs and special events.
History Corps Learn about history and preservation while supporting the excavation, identification, research, documentation and archiving Oakland County Parks historical assets.
Exhibit Corps Those assisting in archeological excavation activities will support the exploration and documentation of historical sites through mapping, surveying, excavation, soil sifting and tagging. Volunteers in the history center archives will conduct asset inventory, restoration, library management and artifact preparation.
Attendance Volunteers are expected to be reliable in the performance of volunteer duties. All shifts for which volunteers are signed up to work are considered to be their responsibility. If volunteers cannot serve a shift for which they are scheduled, we ask that they contact the supervisor by email or phone AT LEAST 24 HOURS IN ADVANCE of their scheduled start time to ensure coverage for that shift. You may also call and leave a message.
Dress Code As representatives of Oakland County Parks and Recreation, volunteers are responsible for presenting a professional image to visitors and the community. Volunteers shall dress appropriately for the conditions and performance of their duties. Volunteers are to be identified as such by wearing a name tag, volunteer shirt or other method provided by Oakland County Parks and Recreation. Please wear close-toe shoes (tennis shoes, work/rain boots) at all events.
Waiver of Liability In consideration of the Oakland County Parks and Recreation permitting me to participate in the Volunteer Program, I agree to this Waiver of Liability. I understand that as part of my volunteer duties I may be near potential hazards. I recognize and accept such dangers and assume all responsibility for and risk of bodily injury, death, property damage, whether known or unknown, and whether caused by my negligence or the negligence of employees, patrons or others. I agree to waive, release and discharge the County of Oakland, Oakland County Parks and Recreation Commission, and the elected and appointed officials, officers, staff, agents, employees, volunteers (referred to collectively herein as the County) from all liability, damages, injuries, claims or demands on account of injury to me, including death, whether caused by the County, me, or any other individual arising out of or in any way connected to the operation of Oakland County Parks and Recreation and my acting as a volunteer.
I have read and voluntarily signed this Agreement and Waiver of Liability (collectively “Agreement”). This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement. There are no other agreements modifying its terms. I acknowledge that no one has made any representations to me that have not been expressly stated in this Agreement. Any modifications to this Agreement must be made in writing and signed by me and a duly authorized officer of the County and must specifically refer to and expressly amend this Agreement.
Volunteer Expectations
Health & Safety Oakland County Parks strives to provide a safe work environment and asks that volunteers support this effort by reporting all physical and environmental risks they may encounter while volunteering to the on-duty supervisor. Volunteers can assist Oakland County Parks staff by being risk managers. If a volunteer becomes injured, or witnesses an injury of an employee or park patron, they must notify the on-duty supervisor immediately and support follow-up efforts by participating in the completion of investigations or forms as needed.
Rules and Regulations Volunteers are expected to comply with all Park Rules listed in the General Information & Regulations booklet while on and off duty. Unless otherwise scheduled for a volunteer work shift, volunteers are not authorized to be in the park before opening or after closing without consent from the supervisor. Unauthorized park entry is considered trespassing and violators may be prosecuted according to the law.
Resignation Volunteers may resign from volunteer service with the department at any time. It is requested that volunteers who intend to resign provide advance notice of departure and a reason for this decision to Volunteer Services.
Customer Service Oakland County Parks strives to provide excellent customer service to all our guests. In order to do so, we ask that volunteers assist our staff by providing feedback, comments and in some cases written accounts of incidents they observe while completing volunteer duties. This information should be provided to the on-duty supervisor for follow up.
Time Reporting Tracking your volunteer time is crucial to the success of the volunteer program. Hours are tracked to measure efforts, generate reports and identify future opportunities for program expansion. With the introduction of online scheduling, the time reporting procedure has been updated. Campground, golf course, nature center, trail ambassador, dog park ambassador, gatekeeper, history and exhibit corps, BMX and Citizen Science (nest box) program volunteers will enter their hours online (using Vic Net) by the fifth of each month.
Special events, adaptive events and natural resource stewardship (cleanup day) volunteer hours will be entered by staff. Mandatory trainings, meetings and time during which services are provided at the program or facility should be recorded. Please do not include time for optional social functions or drive time to and from the work site.
Confidentiality Policy Volunteers are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of all proprietary or privileged information to which they are exposed while serving as a volunteer, whether this information involves a single staff, volunteer, client or Oakland County Parks and Recreation business. Failure to maintain confidentiality may result in the immediate termination of the volunteer’s relationship with Oakland County Parks and Recreation.
Reward Points
Limitations of Reward Points • Rewards points can be used on park fees and services but are not transferrable to cash transactions. Therefore, no change or refunds can be given in cash and rewards points cannot be used to purchase gift cards. • Reward points cannot be used for items that include a sales tax. These include online purchase or services such as food, beverages, merchandise, firewood, golf programs, golf special events and golf league fees. • Rewards points cards cannot be used to purchase the combined Parks Perk pass (combined Oakland County/Metro Parks permit). • When purchasing Oakland County Annual Vehicle Permits, volunteers may redeem $30 if they are an Oakland County Resident and $15 for one additional Oakland County Resident permit for the same household and when purchased in the same transaction. Purchase of additional permits with rewards points will be at regular rates. The Vehicle Permit Group discount rate is not available for points use. • Volunteer recreation points are not allowed to be sold for cash. Selling of points will result in removal of all points and dismissal from the volunteer program.
Golf Course Reward Point Limitations: (applies to ALL volunteers) • Greens fees and cart rentals Monday - Friday anytime based on availability (exceptions are observed holidays: Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day) • Weekends and Holidays after 3 p.m. based on availability. • Cannot be used for golf programs or golf special events at this time. • Max of 2 tee times (8 golfers) per volunteer to be used at one time.
Campground Reward Point Limitations: (applies to ALL volunteers) • Recreation points can only be used for published rates that the volunteer would otherwise qualify for (resident, senior, adaptive, military, veteran, etc.). This includes daily and monthly rates, but no other discounts apply. • Sites must be paid in full in advance of the volunteer’s stay, payment may be all recreation points if the volunteer’s points balance is high enough, or a combination of points and other acceptable form of payment. Recreation points can only be used if they have previously been issued to the volunteer’s recreation points card. • Recreation points can only be used on walk-in standard sites (no reservations, deluxe or premium sites with exception to the Campground host assigned to this area). • All Oakland County volunteers staying for less than a month will pay the daily rate for that site. • Cabins/Yurts can be paid with recreation points for stays Monday – Thursday only based on availability (no weekends or holidays). • Max of 2 campsites per volunteer to be used at one time. • Max of 1 cabin/yurt per volunteer to be used at one time.
• Each active and eligible volunteer will be issued a Volunteer Recreation Points Card. • Each reward point on a Volunteer Recreation Points Card equals $1 value. • Volunteers may be eligible to earn reward points for each hour they work, each time they volunteer. • Reward points are determined based on position descriptions and management input. • Park supervisors or other parks staff will schedule volunteers and verify the volunteer hours worked. • The Volunteer Services office staff will load the corresponding number of reward points to the volunteer’s personal card. • Reward points will only be issued to the volunteer doing the work (no other family members or friends). • Reward points are not transferable to other cards or volunteers.
Your Card Number 9
Guidelines for Use of Reward Points Rewards points can be used for park entry or annual vehicle permits, at any of the parks system’s five golf courses, two campgrounds, two waterparks, or on equipment rentals, facility rentals, mobile recreation rentals, or program fees with respect to the limitations outlined below. In some cases, identification must be provided for proof of residency. Use of Recreation Points Card does not assume Oakland County residency rates.
Park Information & Amenity Overview
Addison Oaks 1480 W. Romeo Road Leonard, MI 48367 248-693-2432 Park Supervisor: Katie Pardy Camping, boating, fishing, hiking, mountain bike trails, equestrian trail, disc golf, geocaching, meeting and banquet facilities
Catalpa Oaks 27725 Greenfield Road Southfield, MI 48076 248-424-7081 Park Supervisor: Doug Ammon Six soccer fields, baseball diamond, softball diamond
Glen Oaks 20500 13 Mile Road Farmington Hills, MI 48334 248-626-2600 Park Supervisor: Doug Ammon 18-hole golf course, golf lessons, golf leagues, pro shop, clubhouse, meeting and banquet facilities
Groveland Oaks 14555 Dixie Highway Holly, MI 48442 248-634-9811 Park Supervisor: Boyd Brokenshaw Camping, beach with waterslide, boat and kayak rentals, bike rentals, 18-hole mini golf course, skateboard area
Highland Oaks 6555 Milford Road Highland, MI 48356 248-858-0906 Park Supervisor: Boyd Brokenshaw Hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, archery deer hunting
Independence Oaks 9501 Sashabaw Road Clarkston, MI 48348 Park: 248-625-0877 Park Supervisor: DJ Coffey Hiking, picnicking, fishing, youth group camping, geocaching, 14 miles of trails, swimming, boat rental and launch, cross- country skiing, ski rental, ice fishing
Independence Oaks, cont. Wint Nature Center: open year round 248-625-6473 Supervisor: Lynn Conover Program Registration: 248-858-0916
Lyon Oaks 52251 Pontiac Trail Wixom, MI 48393 Banquet Center: 248-990-7709 Pro Shop: 248-437-1488 Park Supervisor: Aaron Bush 13-acre fenced dog park, six miles of hiking trails, cricket field, 18-hole golf course, driving range, golf lessons, golf leagues, pro shop, clubhouse, meeting and banquet facilities
Orion Oaks 2301 Clarkston Road Lake Orion, MI 48360 248-858-8906 or 248-625-0877 Park Supervisor: DJ Coffey 14-acre dog park with lake access, fishing, 10 miles of trails, hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, archery deer hunting, geocaching
Red Oaks Park Supervisor: Matt Pardy Golf Course: Seasonal 29600 John R Road Madison Heights, MI 48071 Pro Shop: 248-541-5030 9-hole golf course, golf lessons, golf leagues, pro shop, clubhouse
Dog Park: open year-round 31353 Dequindre Road Madison Heights, MI 5.2-acre fenced dog park
Nature Center: open year-round 30300 Hales St. Madison Heights, MI 48071 248-585-0100 Naturalist: Sarah Hudson Program Registration: 248-858-0916
Waterpark: Seasonal 1455 E. 13 Mile Road Madison Heights, MI 48071 248-858-0918 Wave-action pool, triple-flume waterslide, river ride, children’s water playground
Rose Oaks 10400 Fish Lake Road Holly, MI 48442 248-858-0906 Park Supervisor: Boyd Brokenshaw Fishing, 10 miles of hiking and equestrian trails, geocaching
Springfield Oaks 12450 Andersonville Road Davisburg, MI 48350 Golf Course: 248-634-2261 Reservations: 248-858-0916 Park Supervisor: Steve Whaley 18-hole golf course, golf lessons, golf leagues, pro shop, clubhouse
Activity Center 12451 Andersonville Road Davisburg, MI 48350 248-634-7899 Historic Ellis Barn, Oakland County Fairgrounds
Waterford Oaks 1702 Scott Lake Road Waterford, MI 48328 Waterpark: 248-858-0918 BMX: 248-858-0915 Park Supervisor: Mike Boyd Bicycle motocross track (BMX), hiking trails, waterpark, platform tennis, accessible playscape
Waterford Oaks Administrative Building 2800 Watkins Lake Road Waterford, MI 48328 Administrative Offices: 248-858-0906 Activity Center: 248-858-0916
White Lake Oaks 991 Williams Lake Road White Lake, MI 48386 248-698-1233 Park Supervisor: Darlene Rowley 18-hole golf course, golf lessons, golf leagues, pro shop, meeting and banquet facilities
Park Locations
Below is a map of park locations and activities at each property. All of our park names end in Oaks and most of them are named for the township where they are located.
Vehicle Permits are required for parks with day use facilities and dog park locations including: Addison Oaks, Groveland Oaks, Highland Oaks, Independence Oaks, Lyon Oaks, Orion Oaks, Red Oaks and Rose Oaks.
Parking fees are not collected at golf courses or waterparks.
Seventy percent of the acreage managed by the Parks Commission is undeveloped natural area.
The natural communities within our parks fulfill critical ecological roles including maintaining water quality, providing wildlife habitat and landscape connectivity, stabilizing soil and providing floodwater retention.
Oakland County Parks and Recreation's, natural resources management program focuses on an ecosystem approach to ensuring the health and function of 21 distinct natural communities, including 1,200 acres of open water resources and adjacent wetland habitat.
Support restoration management of natural areas
Control and remove invasive plant species
Disperse native plant seed
Oakland county parks system Parks Commission We are governed by the Oakland County Parks and Recreation Commission which was established by Public Act 261 of 1965. This 10-member board includes representatives from: the County Executive Office (1), the Water Resources Commissioner (1), the Oakland County Road Commission (1), three (3) County Board of Commissioners and four (4) members of the public that are appointed by the Board of Commissioners.
Organizational Chart The Parks Commission oversees department spending, but we are managed daily by the Administrative Management Team (AMT) which consists of the Executive Officer, Manager of Operations, Chief of Park Operations – North District, Chief of Park Operations – South District, Chief of Business Operations, Chief of Recreation Programs and Services, Chief of Facilities Maintenance and Development, Supervisor – Planning & Resource Development and Supervisor – Communications & Marketing.
DEPARTMENT POLICIES Social Media The Communications and Marketing department maintains all social media sites on behalf of OCPR.
You may like Oakland County Parks and Recreation on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @OCParksAndRec and on Instagram at OaklandCountyParks from your personal accounts.
You should refrain from providing your own commentary or engaging in conflicts with others about OCPR services online. Communications and Marketing monitors OCPR’s online presence and follows up directly with individuals who express concerns online.
If you have an idea, photograph or suggestion for social media, send it to [email protected].
Safety and Security If you see anything suspicious or out of the norm for your volunteer site, notify the supervisor.
Emergency Response Be aware of emergency protocols for your volunteer site. These may include, but are not limited to, facility-specific procedures for the following situations:
• Bomb threat • Evacuation • Medical emergency • Facility Emergency Response Plans, including details related to environmental compliance
If you have questions about any of the protocols listed above, ask the on-duty supervisor for more information.
Volunteer Communications Email and phone communication—Oakland County Parks and Recreation communicates with volunteers primarily via phone and email. Therefore, it is essential to keep your contact information updated. If you have a change of email address or phone number, use VicNet to update this information.
Oakland County Parks and Recreation Website—The Oakland County Parks and Recreation website is a great source of information. You can learn about special events, available activities, upcoming projects and improvements, conservation initiatives, as well as expand your knowledge about the various parks and trails. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com for more information.
Drug Free Workplace Any unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession or use of a controlled substance in the workplace is strictly prohibited. As an Oakland County volunteer, you must notify your supervisor of any criminal drug statute conviction no later than five days after such conviction. Violating this policy subjects you to appropriate personnel/disciplinary action, up to and including termination, and/or other remedial measures as the individual circumstances warrant.
Sexual Harassment The County of Oakland continues to be committed to equal employment opportunity and prohibits any form of harassment, remarks or other abusive conduct directed at employees because of their race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, genetic information, sexual orientation, disability, weight or any other reason. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination and all employees are protected from sexual discrimination under the County’s policy, as well as federal and state law. Volunteers who feel they have been victims of such harassment may bring such matters to the attention of their immediate supervisor.
Workplace Violence Volunteers shall not commit acts of violence or make threats of violence against co-workers, managers, supervisors, members of the public or persons in the workplace. This is required to protect the safety of our workforce, our workplace and the public, as well as to promote high standards of conduct, integrity, efficiency and harmony in the workplace. The County will not tolerate any form of violent act or threat of violence.
Closing We hope you found the information in this handbook useful. Please feel free to provide comments or suggestions on this handbook to the Volunteer Services Office at [email protected] or 248-975-9717.
Remember, we work to protect Oakland County’s greatest treasure. Our parks offer all the beauty of nature right outside your door. We hope you will take time to get out, get involved and discover each of our 13 parks!