Volunteers: Sign Up Online
Volunteers are Important
Do you enjoy the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge? Do you like meeting new people, being outdoors, having fun? Well...the Friends of Great Swamp and the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge invite you to join our volunteer team.
Volunteers play a vital role in helping the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service fulfill its mission of conserving, protecting and enhancing America’s fish and wildlife and their habitats.
In fiscal year 2010, 184 volunteers donated 15,145 hours to the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, significantly expanding educational and visitor service programs and providing invaluable assistance to the refuge staff.
Did you know...
“Each year the Volunteer Program becomes more and more important to the Service. As budgets become tighter and our workloads increase, we find ourselves relying more heavily on our partners and volunteers.”
1999 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Volunteer Report
Become a Refuge Volunteer
A wide range of volunteer opportunities exist, although many are seasonal. Attendance at one of the volunteer orientation programs is recommended, but you don’t have to wait for the next scheduled program to get started.
Many upcoming volunteer activities are listed on the Calendar of Events and new volunteers are always welcome.
Listed here are a few of the volunteer opportunities available at Great Swamp. Download the entire Description of Volunteer Opportunities to get an idea of where help is needed. Then complete the Volunteer Interest Profile form and mail it to us — or drop it off in person during visitor center hours.
The Refuge needs your help...
come and join us!
Wildlife Observation Center Staffing: Greet visitors and introduce them to the refuge and the boardwalk area. Spring and fall — outdoors.
GardenKeepers: Help plan and maintain display gardens at the visitor center. Scheduled work days during the growing season and various other times as needed.
Invasive Plant Control: Join volunteer crews for scheduled chemical and manual control of invasive species. Scheduled work days from May through October.
Mowing: Assist refuge staff mowing lawns around the visitor center and other refuge locations. Spring through fall. Equipment training provided.
Visitor Center/Nature Shop Staffing: Greet visitors and introduce them to the refuge and visitor center.
Outreach: Staff displays and exhibits at off-refuge events and festivals; give talks to various community organizations; set up library displays.
Publicity: Help publicize events and programs at Great Swamp. Write press releases or informative articles.
How much of my time is required?
The amount of time you volunteer is up to you. You may volunteer on a regular basis for a few hours a week or month, help out during spring and fall migration seasons, or at a special event.
Who may volunteer?
No special skills are needed to be a refuge volunteer. While there is no age limit, anyone under 18 must have written parental approval. Anyone 16 or younger should be accompanied by an adult.
Is there volunteer training?
The Friends conduct volunteer training sessions in the spring and fall and all volunteers or prospective volunteers are welcome to attend. There is also specific on–the–job training for visitor services volunteers, such as those in the Nature Shop or volunteers staffing the Wildlife Observation Center.
Where do I start?
Take a look at a few of the volunteer opportunities listed in the next column. Download and complete the Volunteer Interest Profile form and mail it to the Friends offices. Our volunteer coordinator will get back to you.