Credit: Ken Sturm/USFWS
Alldredge Academy students planted red spruce on Cabin Mountain
The Refuge was established to insure the ecological
integrity of Canaan Valley and the continued availability of its wetland,
botanical and wildlife resources to the citizens of the United States.
There are plenty of opportunities to help and to be involved, as we
work towards this goal. Schedules can be worked out to accommodate
the volunteer’s needs. The following is a list of current
volunteer projects on the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge.
Wild School Day
The Refuge will host a Wild School Day in September. This is an event that will require lots of participation
to work! The event will start at 9:00 a.m. and will end about 1:00
p.m. There will be about 12 stations and the kids will rotate between
stations, spending 15 minutes at each station performing hand-on activities.
Stations last September included; raptors,
Quick! Frozen Critters, Fish and Fishing, beginning birding, silent night hunters (owls), migration game, law enforcement, and snakes. The stations will be set up next to
the Visitor Center. We hope to have about 90 6th graders attend. We look for volunteers to help with:
Logistics - help us set up and tear down
Work Camper Volunteers - The refuge has a house or an RV pad where volunteers may reside while providing service. Duties may vary depending on the refuge’s need and the volunteer’s background. Typically duties include staffing the visitor center, light maintenance (mowing, trail work), special events (preparing and staffing) and clerical support (assist with bulk mailing, flyer production, etc.). For an idea of other possible duties, check this volunteer page on the refuge website. Please let us know what you are most interested in.
Volunteers will contribute three seven-hour days per week in exchange for lodging and utilities. Those using the RV pad may use the laundry room that is in the house. Use of common areas in the house (laundry room, kitchen, living room, bathroom, etc. comes with a responsibility to care for it and keep it clean for all. Any problems must be reported to the Deputy Manager.
Forest Restoration Project. - Tree planting days typically happen in April and September. The next date is September 15, 2012. The group will meet at the Refuge Visitor Center on Rt. 32 each day at 9 am. This is part of the Refuge’s effort to restore some of the beautiful, biologically important, high elevation forest. Balsam fir and red spruce will be planted. We will start with a discussion of the historic role of this forest, and why we are working to restore it. Then we will carpool to the work site and plant some trees! Bring snacks and water. Lunch is provided by WV Highlands Conservancy. Dress for the weather, in layers. This program is sponsored by the Central Appalachian Spruce Restoration Initiative (CASRI). More hands are always welcome. Please join us!
Visitor Center attendant - This is
the refuge’s greatest need for volunteers. Can you spare one
day or two half days per month to help us provide information to visitors
about what they can do on the refuge? Candidates should enjoy talking
to people, and present a clean and neat appearance. Training will
Adopt a Trail. The staff and the Friends
of the 500th are looking for able-bodied people interested in helping
to maintain and improve the trails and trail system of the Refuge.
The next training for new volunteers will be Saturday, May 15, 2010 at 9 am. Training will be provided. Volunteers will work in pairs or small
groups. Each group will adopt a defined stretch of trail. They will
be responsible for minor maintenance, blazing the trail where appropriate and checking the trail three
times per year. Major maintenance needs will be reported the Refuge
managers. Click here for a Trail Maintainer's
Adopt a Highway. The Refuge has adopted
a two mile stretch of highway along Rt. 32 in front of our office
and visitor center. Volunteers are wanted to assist staff in this
effort. In 2010 the clean-up days will be April 29th, July 8th and October 14th, meeting at the Refuge Visitor Center at 8:30 am.
Develop a butterfly checklist for the Refuge.
This can include actively capturing, identifying and mounting example
specimens for Refuge archive and visitor’s center. Volunteers
would receive equipment and training to identify and mount specimens.
Timing would be from May – September or October. Information
collected would include: Date, location of capture/sighting, species.
All species sighted during each outing would be recorded to detail
the times of year each species can be found on the Refuge.
Photo identification book of wildflowers on
the Refuge. Volunteers would be equipped with a camera and
film to photograph flowering plants on the Refuge. Photos would be
edited by volunteers and printed at the Refuge office. Flowers can
be organized by color or other key features. Book will be displayed
at visitor’s center.
Photograph Refuge trails for interpretive products
and visitor information. The Refuge needs good photos of
Refuge wildlife observation trails for publications, reports and website
information. Volunteers would use Refuge camera and film. Photos should
include overlooks, scenic views, visitor’s walking trails, etc..
Mount and label herbarium specimens.
The Refuge has a backlog of pressed plants that need to be properly
mounted and labeled for permanent storage in the refuge herbarium.
Volunteers with some plant identification skills preferred, although
most plants are already identified. Once mounted each plant must be
entered into a data base to track the Refuge herbarium collection.
Slide inventory and data entry. The
Refuge needs help organizing its slide inventory. Slides must be properly
organized and entered into a data base for easy retrieval and tracking.
Credit: Vern Patterson
Dr. Ben Stout leads a walk from White Grass Ski Touring Center to Freeland Run
Weekend Walk Guides - To qualify for
this position you must have some specialized knowledge of some aspect
of the natural environment (i.e. birds, wildflowers, nature photography,
etc.). Training in trail presentation techniques will be provided.
Walk leaders can schedule one walk per month, or one walk per quarter
Special Event Volunteer - These individuals
help with traveling exhibits and special events on the Refuge. Candidates
should enjoy talking to people and present a clean and neat appearance.
Volunteers will help visitors enjoy and learn from interactive exhibits,
provide refuge information and help with logistics.
Education Volunteer - Are you interested in working with kids? Sharing what you know about nature? Volunteers will help with field trips for school children, scouts, church groups, etc. You may help plan activites, or just help implement the plan.
Maintenance Volunteer - Volunteers
work with maintenance staff to keep facilities and equipment in good
working order. Please do not volunteer for this position if you have
had a back problem.
Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge is managed by the U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service, an agency in the Department of the Interior,
for the people of the United States as part of the National Wildlife
Refuge System. The Service is the principal agency through which the
federal government carries out its responsibilities to conserve, protect
and enhance the nation’s fish, wildlife and plant resources.
The mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System is “to administer
a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management,
and where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife and plant
resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit
of present and future generations of Americans.”