US Army Corps of Engineers
Portland District Website Website


Three volunteers wait to greet visitorsIf you're enthusiastic, enjoy new people and want to protect parks, then you might want to be a volunteer!

Volunteer park hosts inform visitors, register campers, assist at entrance stations, conduct customer comment surveys, open and close parks, pick up litter, perform minor maintenance and support interpretive programs. Hosts live in the parks and inform Park Rangers about emergencies or visitor complaints. Volunteer hosts must work at least 20 hours per week, and stay in the park during certain hours to assist visitors as needed. In return, RV sites with full hookups are provided. Current Corps of Engineers openings are listed at the Volunteer Clearinghouse.

Natural Resource Volunteers assist the Corps throughout the year with natural resource management activities. Volunteers are often recruited volunteers from the community for special events such as: Earth Day, SOLV Beach and Riverside Clean-Up, Down By the Riverside and National Public Lands Day. Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, church members, school groups, and other community groups have helped with litter clean-ups, trail work, non-native plant removal, habitat improvement and tree planting.

How to volunteer

Willamette Valley:
Ron Colletti, 541-942-5631

Rogue River Basin:
Joya Szalwinski, 541-878-1079

Bonneville Lock and Dam
(Columbia River):

Ryan Braaten, 541-374-8820
Learn about joining Bonneville's Volunteer Program

The Dalles Lock and Dam
(Columbia River):

Amber Tilton, 541-506-7857

John Day & Willow Creek dams
(Columbia River):

Greg Volkman, 541-506-7899

Online volunteer applications:
Fillable PDF

Volunteer Clearinghouse

The National Volunteer Clearinghouse links prospective volunteers with Corps of Engineers lakes in the Pacific Northwest and in 39 other states.

Visit or call 1-800-VOL-TEER (865-8337).

By the numbers ...


Volunteers in 2015


Hours worked by volunteers


Operating projects


Savings to the Corps

Volunteers can earn annual passes

The Corps of Engineers has established a volunteer pass program, recognizing volunteers who have served a minimum of 100 hours at Corps-managed areas to receive an Annual Day Use Pass, which waives all day use fees. This token of support helps show our appreciation for our volunteers by encouraging their use of Corps parks.

Volunteers can accumulate hours toward a pass at multiple Corps projects; volunteer hours will be verified and entered by the project volunteer coordinator into a centralized database. After providing 100 hours of service, volunteers will be individually eligible for a free Annual Day Use Pass from the local project where they completed their 100th hour. Only one Annual Day Use Pass may be earned per volunteer per year.

For more information, visit the Natural Resource Management Gateway or review this program memo.

A woman poses with two dogs in a field of grass. A mountain with snow is in the background.
A woman, holding a baby, stands next to the Columbia River. The Bonneville Dam is behind them.
A woman poses in a grassy field with two large dogs. A snowy mountain is in the background.
A woman in a hard hat holds a baby in a bonnet near Bonneville Dam.
Erik Petersen, Willamette Valley Project operations project manager
Erik Petersen, Willamette Valley Project operations project manager
Dam Safety Inspection
Great Shake Out Day for Earthquake Preparedness at Bonneville Lock and Dam
Great Shake Out Day for Earthquake Preparedness at Bonneville Lock and Dam
Natalie Ehrlich, District geotechnical engineer, enjoys sleuthing when doing dam risk assessments. "It gives me a chance to really get to know our dams, digging through old construction photos, design documents, and exploration logs," she said.

"(This) involves evaluating the seismic risk to our existing rockfill embankment dams. The original dam designers did not know about the high seismic risk we live under in the Pacific Northwest, and I help to evaluate and mitigate that risk."
Kenji Yamasaki, geotechnical engineer, has been with the Portland District for a year and a half and performs geotechnical designs and evaluations of soil structures, such as embankment dams and retaining walls.
Yamen works in our Water Management section and is one of two reservoir regulators who are responsible for scheduling release plans used by Corps dam operators as a guide for our 13 dams in the Willamette Valley. They do this by using weather forecasts, hydropower demands, water quality, environmental and recreational considerations.