Helping track and care for wildlife in both urban and rural areas of the U.S. is vital to a thriving ecosystem. And it doesn’t take a huge sacrifice to make a big difference.
Lose yourself in the woods.
(Volunteer Commitment: Full day and/or ongoing)
Forest Preserves and national and state parks are a means of saving, restoring and protecting land for all its inhabitants. If your town has a forest preserve, there’s likely a volunteer program in need of help. The National Park Service offers ways to help ranging from trash cleanup, to seeding, weeding and other restoration. Maintaining a flourishing forest requires a modest commitment and a love of the outdoors.
Help Protect the Prairies.
(Volunteer Commitment: 30 minutes/day and up)
Like forests, prairies house an abundance of plant and animal species, but their geology is primarily treeless flatlands and/or water. Volunteers at The Nature Conservancy help ensure we protect the homes of everything from butterflies and toads, to beavers, snakes and fish. And the process is as rewarding as it is educational.
Conserve Fish and Fowl.
(Volunteer Commitment: a few hours/week and up)
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has nearly 42,000 volunteers with roles ranging from banding birds and raising fish to conducting wildlife surveys, leading tours, photographing natural and cultural resources, performing administrative duties, restoring fragile habitat and more. Generally, no special skills are required to be a volunteer. On-the-job training is provided as needed.
A Wild Life in the City.
(Volunteer Commitment: Flexible)
Programs like Washington DC’s City Wildlife help coordinate volunteers to assist professionals in tracking wild animals who are invading metro areas due to depleted habitats. Participants get hands-on experience managing a rescue center for sick or abandoned animals and develop a keen appreciation for the species.
Keep an Eye Out and a Bag Handy.
(Volunteer Commitment: 10 minutes/day)
You don’t have to volunteer directly with an organization to Create the Good in you local habitat. Next time you go for a stroll or take the dog for a walk, bring an extra bag to fill with any garbage you find along your path. You can take that a step further by sorting your haul to identify compostables and recyclables. Learn more about that from the EPA.
Find even more volunteer opportunities in your community below.
Start a community garden, choose to ride the bus, help clean a river. When you get out and get green, the earth will pay us all back generously for generations to come.
Volunteer opportunities don't have to take a lot of time. You can fit service into your daily routine and make a difference in a matter of minutes.
Cell phones, books, glasses, cars - your non-traditional charitable gifts can make an extraordinary difference.