Volunteers are the lifeblood of visitor services at Black Bayou Lake NWR. Local and resident volunteers staff the visitor center and operate the nature shop, present educational programs, lead guided walks, do maintenance and much more.
Volunteers receive an orientation to the refuge and additional training as required for their volunteer work. Many refuge volunteers are also members of our award-winning refuge support group, Friends of Black Bayou, Inc.
Volunteer docents are needed 7 days a week -- 8 am - 4 pm weekdays, 9 am - 5 pm Saturdays, and 1 - 5 pm Sundays.
Friends of Black Bayou
Members of Friends of the Black Bayou, Inc., a community support group, is the lifeblood of the refuge. FoBB Members and other volunteers provide thousands of hours of services for the refuge, from docent work to facility maintenance. FoBB members have literally raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to create the major destinations at the refuge.
FoBB was formed in 1997 by people with a love for the natural beauty of northeast Louisiana who wanted to improve, preserve and share this special place with the world. The group was honored as the Friends Group of the Year by the National Wildlife Refuge Association.
In 2004, FoBB was named the Refuge Friends Group of the Year by the National Wildlife Refuge Association. More than 1000 contributors and volunteers, families and businesses, friends and neighbors, have provided financial and moral support. Local media, government, corporations, foundations, and civic groups have also partnered with FOBB and has helped to make Black Bayou Lake NWR the beautiful slice of Lousiana it has become.
The Black Bayou welcomes singles or couples traveling in recreational vehicles to become resident volunteers on the refuge.
These volunteers commit to at least one month working a minimum of 24 hours per week. In exchange, the refuge provides full hookups on special pads built next to the Black Bayou. This is not a campground and RV pads are available only to resident volunteers.
The Black Bayou Wildlife Refuge welcomes campers with a wide range of skills. Resident volunteers have staffed the Visitor Center, done outdoor conservation or maintenance work, performed web design and even developed of natural science curriculum in conjunction with the school district.
How to Volunteer
To volunteer in general or inquire about becoming a resident volunteer at Black Bayou Lake NWR, contact Public Use Specialist Nova Clarke at (318) 387-1114. A resident volunteer application is available online.