Volunteering at the Cape Cod Canal

Volunteers play a critical role in the successful day-to-day operations at the Cape Cod Canal. Year-round volunteers work hard to improve aesthetics, help ranger staff with wildlife management & habitat improvement, maintain facilities and provide visitors with valuable information. Without their support, the Cape Cod Canal would not be the beautiful and safe place to recreate that we all enjoy.


Volunteer Park Attendants are responsible for the day-to-day operations and maintenance of the Cape Cod Canal’s Midway Recreation Area from Memorial Day Weekend in May through Columbus Day in October.

Midway Recreation area sits across the street from the Cape Cod Canal. It offers a great place for travelers to get out and stretch their legs, use restroom facilities, and enjoy a picnic.

The large field behind the restrooms has a swing set, volleyball net, horseshoe pit and a large picnic shelter with grills and fireplace that is available for group reservations.

Park Attendants are responsible for cleaning public restroom facilities, emptying trash & recycling receptacles, interacting with visitors, picking up loose litter, wiping down picnic tables & benches and reporting safety issues. Schedule is a rotating 4 days on, 4 days off. 8:00 am – 8:00 pm (*or sunset, whichever is earlier).

USACE provides Park Attendants with an RV site at Midway Recreation Area, complete with water, electricity (50 AMP), sewerage hookup, picnic table, fire ring, security lighting and trash removal service. Internet is not provided by USACE. But hook-up is available at the RV site’s pedestal to existing Comcast/Xfinity subscribers.

2023 Volunteer Park Attendant Positions:
We are currently looking to fill 2 volunteer Park Attendant positions (couples or singles) for the 2023 recreation season. Please email elisa.d.carey@usacce,army.mil prior to Dec 23, 2025, if interested.


Pollinator garden volunteers have been instrumental in the construction and maintenance of 4 pollinator gardens along the Cape Cod Canal. We are always looking short term or long-term volunteers who are interested in helping to maintain our current gardens. As well volunteers to help us install more gardens.

• Days & Times are flexible
• Individuals and Groups
• No experience necessary
• Tools and training provided

2023 Pollinator Garden Volunteer Positions:
• Herring Run Recreation Area Pollinator Garden needs volunteers to help weed and water from May – October. Area includes steps and herring run viewing area. As well as planted area in front of the public restroom building.
• Buzzards Bay Recreation Area Pollinator Garden needs volunteers to help water and weed from May – October.


The Cape Cod Canal Visitor Center offers exhibits, brochures, films and Ranger-guided programs about the Cape Cod Canal’s history, features and operations. It is open to the public May-October. A team of volunteers works with Park Rangers to help with the daily operations of the facility. Tasks include meeting and orientating visitors, answering questions, playing the film for visitors, tracking visitation, operating a register for a small bookstore, restocking brochures, wiping down exhibits, vacuuming, helping prepare ranger programs and other small tasks as needed.

If you enjoy life-long learning and sharing that with others, this is for you. Additional opportunities for volunteers include leading guided tours, leading school programs, exhibit development and maintenance.

2023 Cape Cod Canal Visitor Center Positions:
Looking for volunteers interested in filling a 4-hour shift, 1 day a week. Starting in May 2023. Shifts are either from 9:15am-1:15pm or 1:15pm-5:15pm. Training, volunteer vest, and name tag provided. For more information, Contact Park Ranger Samantha Gray at 978-318-8622 or samantha.a.gray@usace.army.mil.


Each October our recreation season comes to an end. And our wonderful park attendants and seasonal staff move on to new adventures. With their exit comes the closing of trash receptacles and the never-ending battle of picking up after people who do not carry out their trash with them.

Waste Warriors not only help us with keeping the park beautiful in the off-season, but also play a roll in keeping the grounds sanitary as many visitors choose to leave their dog waste behind.

Waste Warriors options:
• 1-time group clean up
• Groups with a regular schedule (weekly, monthly ..) at one recreation area or multiple
• Individuals/friend/family who walk the canal frequently and want to clean up along the way

Supplies provided by US Army Corps of Engineers (grabbers, gloves, bags)

Sorting & Data collection projects for home school groups.

Spring & Summer clean-ups available as well.


The U.S Army Corps of Engineers, Cape Cod Canal hosts multiple community events each year. Each event has its own individual needs for volunteers. They can range from set-up and break-down to trash clean up to handing out information to visitors. Special event volunteers get to interact with their community and participate in all the fun each event has to offer… all while giving back to their local public lands.

2023 Special Events:

22ND Annual Cape Cod Canal Clean Up
Saturday April 22, 2023

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Cape Cod Canal partners with AmeriCorps Cape Cod to create this event, rain or shine. Event includes large scale trash clean-up along the Canal’s 14 miles of service road/shoreline, as well as hosting hands-on activities for participants.

Volunteers are needed to assist with trash clean-up, assist with hands on activities, event set-up and break-down, weighing trash bags collected. More information to come as the event date approaches.

National Public Lands Day
Saturday, September 30th, 2023

National Public Lands Day is our nation’s largest single day volunteer event on public lands. At the Cape Cod Canal, we host a fall trash clean up. Individual and groups volunteers are needed to help clean up trash at different recreation areas and along the canal service roads and shoreline.

Great opportunity for high school students and scouts to gain volunteer hours. More information to come as the event approaches.


What is Adopt-A-Recreation Area?

The Cape Cod Canal Adopt-a-Recreation Program is a collaborative partnership between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and community groups designed to preserve and maintain the Cape Cod Canal’s 8 recreation areas and 2 interpretive trails, and to clean the 14 miles of shoreline along the Cape Cod Canal.

Neighbors and community groups volunteer their time to improve their chosen recreation area.

Adopters can work on a variety of projects including gardening, trail maintenance, removing invasives, painting and repairing park structures, litter clean up and just generally making sure the park is in order and safe for public use.

Adopters will work with the Adopt-A-Recreation area program coordinator to identify an area and need, and create a plan & schedule customized for your group and adopted area.

The USACE provides support, technical expertise, tools and supplies and a sign with your group’s picture and name displayed at your adopted area.

What is the commitment?
The time commitment is completely up to the community group. Groups participate in a 6-month trial period to see if the group maintains interest. After the trial period, a schedule will be set up with the program coordinator according to the group and park’s needs. It can be as easy as attending our 2 annual clean up events or as intense as coming once a week. Your group could volunteer seasonally in the summer when visitation is at its highest or help in the spring or fall buffer seasons. We are grateful for any time commitment, so it really is up to you.

How much does it cost?
It’s Free! We provide all the tools and supplies necessary to complete your tasks. Alternatively, you can make a tax-deductible donation.

A couple of examples of current Adopters
Cape Abilities adopted the Recreation Area around the Cape Cod Canal Visitor Center to help develop and maintain an interpretive pollinator garden, as well as pick up loose litter, set-up/take-down Story Walks, etc.

Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School, Environmental Science Program adopted the Sagamore Hill Trail to help maintain and improve the trail and develop self-guided interpretive hikes on the flora and habitats found throughout the trail system.

For more information on any of the positions mentioned above please contact Volunteer Coordinator Elisa Carey.
Email: elisa.d.carey@usace.army.mil
Phone: 978-318-8591