Volunteer Opportunities

What a Difference You Make!

Our volunteers are our backbone.  We are a small nonprofit partner of the National Park, making a big difference.  We operate with one part-time Director who also volunteers – there’s just way too many exciting projects that we want to get done!

Do you want to help preserve or interpret history?  Do you have a few extra hours on your hands or a talent you’d like to use for a worthy cause?  Maybe you’re  interested in preserving the resources of the Park or would like to meet new people who share your passion. If so, we have many jobs to suit many skills and time availability.

Preserve Historic Sleeping Bear would love to welcome you to our active volunteer program. There were 1297 volunteers in the park last year!  Every year our volunteers contribute thousands of hours of time.  The total Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore VIP (Volunteer in the Park) hours was just over 35,000 hours. That’s a value of $750,313 – or the 16 equivalent full-time employees. What a difference you make!  When you volunteer for PHSB you’ll also enjoy benefits of our volunteer recognition program.  Read about some of our great friends in the volunteer spotlight.


Step 1  Get started by clicking the VOLUNTEER button and complete our online sign-up form.

Step 2  We’ll be in touch with you and look forward to your working with us!

We have a fantastic Project Volunteer Corps.  We usually hold three – four large project weekends to tackle a variety of projects.  Learn some skills or bring your expertise and we’ll put you to good use.  We do everything from jacking up buildings, red-redirecting drainage around a structure, remove deteriorated boards, re-glaze and repaint windows, and do stone masonry. Come help us clear debris, hammer nails, paint a building or operate a brush hog!  It is also essential to have qualified builders and carpenters that can lead a project.Time commitment: From a few hours to two days per project depending on your availability.

Preservation: Individual Projects

If you prefer working by yourself or at your own pace and time, there are often projects you can help with. Time commitment: It’s up to you!

Olsen House Volunteer/Docent

The historic Olsen Farm History Center is open to the public during peak times of the year. Consider being a docent who welcomes visitors to the house, provides basic interpretive information and answers questions. The house is currently open from late June – August. Time commitment:  a minimum of two 2 hr. shifts during the summer -  more if you’re available. Or sign up as a substitute.

Board Member or Committee Member

We know you’re out there!  You’ve been in business as a financial planner, or perhaps you’re a great event organizer.  Maybe you are a retired builder or tradesman?  Please contact us if you have an interest in applying for a position on the board, or working on a board committee.  Call Susan at 231-334-6103 or email: phsb@leelanau.com.

Historic Farm Tour Guides

We’ll train you to lead interpretive tours around the park of historic areas.  Perfect for retired teachers!  Ability to learn facts, walk distances, be enthusiastic and speak well to groups. Time commitment: Several hours of training plus two hours per tour.


Sign up to be caretakers of one of these historic structures as a family or business.


Sign up to be caretakers of one of the landscape areas to keep clear from native and encroaching vegetation.


Many different areas of study could be suitable for an intern experience helping us at PHSB.

Office Work

Help with mailings, registrations,  database maintenance, etc. Time commitment: About 2-3 hours for a mailing per project.

Port Oneida Fair

We need people to set up and tear down for the event; serve ice cream; park cars; serve as greeters; help with interpretation or be a demonstrator of an 1800s skill or craft.   Serve on PHSB’s planning committee for the event.  Time Commitment: 3 hour time slots Friday and/or Saturday the 2nd weekend of August.   Demonstrators need to commitment to at least one day of the even t9 am – 4 pm.

Port Oneida 5K Barn to Barn Trail Run/Walk

Join our planning committee for this PHSB fundraiser. Or help at the event on the course, directing parking, staffing registration, serving food.   Time Commitment:   4 hours between the hours of 7:30 am and 11:30 am.

Port Oneida Picnic and Auction

This fundraiser for the Port Oneida Fair needs volunteers to help serve the dinner, provide music, set up and tear down. Time Commitment: 3 hours


Is photography a hobby of yours? We need people to snap photos of all the action taking place during our many projects and events. Photos are needed for grants, newsletters, website and archiving projects. Time Commitment: Varies, but estimate three hours to cover an event or project.

Oral History

If you have a passion for history and preserving the memories of the past, you can help interview, record and document descendants of the historic properties in the park. 


Help Preserve spread the word by keeping our brochures and flyers stocked in appropriate businesses, stores and community buildings. Time commitment: From 30 minutes to cover your town, up to a full day to cover Leelanau County.


Volunteer Signup


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