Help the Conservancy meet the information needs of Central Park's 40 million annual visitors from all over the world. Whether they are from far-away places, or are New Yorkers who use the Park regularly, many need help navigating the Park, or have general interest questions. Enhance their experiences by greeting, guiding and informing them, whenever possible, about the importance of Central Park Conservancy's role in the Park and much more. Training is provided, and we ask for a two-year commitment to the Greeter/Guide program.
- Greeter – work with a partner or on your own in pre-designated areas of the Park greeting visitors, giving directions, answering Park-related questions, providing information about upcoming events, and teaching good Park stewardship or supporting Conservancy staff at one of the Visitor Centers.
- Tour Guide – lead public and custom walking tours throughout the Park, helping visitors discover Central Park's history, ecology, and design.
Training and Commitment
All positions require some prior knowledge of the Park and completion of mandatory training. Training includes a group interview, several classroom sessions, and multiple one-on-one mentoring shifts in the Park with experienced Greeters. Tour Guides must complete the mandatory training and volunteer as a Greeter for a minimum of six months prior to being considered for the Tour Guide program.
Greeter/Guides are asked to commit three hours per week (must be the same day and time-slot each week), for a minimum two-year commitment. Shifts are available during the morning and afternoon, seven days a week. Volunteer programs take place year-round, rain or shine, except in extreme weather conditions.
Application to be a Central Park Conservancy Greeter includes attending a mandatory group interview and then, if accepted into the program, successful completion of the training and peer mentoring.
If you are interested in interviewing to be a Greeter/Guide please apply to be on the wait list by clicking on the link below, creating a profile (if new to CPC volunteering), then clicking the Sign-Up tab. Then scroll down to 2. Greeter/Guide Program, choose Greeter/Guide Interview - wait list, then click on the Sign Up button (please do not click on "Add me to the back up list"). You will not receive an automatic response, but you will be signed up to be contacted once the next Greeter/Guide group interview and training dates are set.
Apply online! If you have previously created an online volunteer profile, please do not create a new one. If you do not remember your log-in information, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find out more about volunteering as a Guide, read this profile about one of our current volunteers:
Whether raking leaves, painting benches, helping with horticultural projects or guiding visitors, the Conservancy's dedicated volunteers make a difference in Central Park every day. Consider that in 2011, about 2,000 individual volunteers donated more than 40,000 hours of their time to the Park. Ina Rosenthal is one of those volunteers. For more than a year, Ina has been giving her time to the Conservancy as one of 60 Greensward Guides. She greets Park visitors, giving them directions, informing them of upcoming events, and talking to them about the Conservancy's mission.
Q: How did you begin volunteering with the Conservancy?
A: When I moved to New York City 20 years ago, I was a big power walker. I got to know Central Park really well, walking all the different paths. I thought it'd be great to volunteer as a tour guide, but at the time I was busy working as an actor. Once I had the time to commit, I started volunteering as a Greensward Guide — not a tour guide as I had first planned, but a similar role. I just thought that if I use the Park every day, I should give back to it.
Q: What do you get out of volunteering?
A: I come home invigorated. I get to meet and help visitors from around the world, and they're so grateful. They hug you, they kiss you, they take your picture. I get so much satisfaction out of it — more than I expected. I mean, where else would I have the chance to help a young man find a romantic place to propose to his girlfriend — or talk to two Russian monks?
Q: What's the most common question you get from visitors?
A: "Where's Strawberry Fields?"
Q: We thought you'd say, "Where's the bathroom?"
A: That's the second most common.
Q: What suggestions do you have for visitors this time of year?
A: Walk to the Lake, sit on one of the benches and just admire the view. Oh, it's just breathtaking. New Yorkers travel the world to see views that they could just as easily walk into Central Park and see. We're so lucky that the Conservancy restored the Park to what it is today and what was envisioned by the designers more than 150 years ago. I think Frederick Law Olmsted [the Park's co-designer] is smiling somewhere. And believe me, I understand it took a lot to get him to smile.
Interested in volunteering for the Conservancy? Learn more about how you can give back to your Park.