The St. Clair Parks and Recreation Department has developed a new volunteer program as a way to help maintain the parks.

The Park Ambassador program involves volunteers picking up trash, note any maintenance concerns, report acts of vandalism, interact with park users, promote safety and a positive use of parks, according to Park Board President Dana Collins-Messex.

The ambassador position is a six-month commitment that requires orientation prior to starting.

The program “gives the public an opportunity to promote the community stewardship and bridge the communication between the community and our parks,” Collins-Messex said during the Oct. 30 park board meeting.

“The Park Ambassador program sends a message that the community cares about its parks.”

Once trained, volunteers are expected to visit a park once a week to assess the overall condition, report unusual activity and send an email with that information once a month to a program adviser.

Collins-Messex said the goals of the program are to assist the Parks and Recreation Department with general maintenance and to help deter crime and vandalism at the parks.

“The park restrooms were vandalized again this month, so hopefully by encouraging the community to take the proactive approach, they will attempt to help us deterring the crime and take more pride in those parks,” she said.

Children are encouraged to join because “It shows community pride, and enables them to be leaders in the community, and provides them with volunteer hours for awards, scholarships and admittance into organizations,” Collins-Messex said.

So far, eight residents have signed up for the program, she added.

Church groups, teams and businesses are welcome to join in addition to individual volunteers.

For more information, call City Hall at 636-629-0333.