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Get Involved

Make a difference and get involved!

From its start in 1903, the National Wildlife Refuge System has owed its very existence to concerned citizens eager to protect America's natural resources. 

More than 200 nonprofit Refuge Friends organizations support national wildlife refuges and approximately 42,000 people volunteer their time and ideas each year to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Whether they work on the land, in a visitor center or with youth, they contribute to the conservation mission that reaches back more than a century.  

Volunteer: Get Up & Get Out at the Refuge
The refuge is looking for volunteers interested in helping to protect and enhance the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge! We are in need of every kind of volunteer, including those who can help lead nature tours; conduct wildlife and plant surveys; maintain nature trails; do construction and maintenance projects; assist with environmental education programs; greet visitors; and much more!  

The refuge has volunteer opportunities for RVers that for three days a week per person, the refuge provides sites with full hookup, utilities, washer-dryer and a gathering area set within the refuge.  A minimum of three months and no longer than six months commitment is required.

Volunteers are welcomed all year around and there are many activities you can participate in that match your skills, talents and abilities.  

PROJECTS (open to volunteers)

Invasive Plant Eradication Fall

Invasive Plant Eradication Spring

Milkweed Seed Collection  (rare TX milkweed) – July/August

Monarch Butterflies in schools - Fall and Spring


Environmental Education Assistant


EE Activity Leaders

Volunteer Coordinator


Awards Luncheon & FOB Annual Meeting – Flying X Ranch 8936 S FM 1174 Bertram 78605

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Lunch is provided.  You must register at


Volunteer Orientation – Refuge Headquarters 24518 FM 1431 Marble Falls 78654

Monday, November 9, 2015

Receive an introduction to refuge staff, the friends group, tour the facilities, instructions on forms, how to report volunteer hours, a safety briefing, and a quick certification on refuge mowers and some hand power tools. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes as some of this will be outside.  Bring a lunch.


Friends Workshop – Learn to be a Leader: Doeskin Ranch 10645 S FM 1174 Bertram 78605

Saturday, November 14, 2015 – 9:30am – 12:30pm

Be equipped to lead tours at the Refuge.  Your instructor is retired refuge manager Deborah Holle. Trails will be hiked so wear adequate shoes or boots, dress in layers, bring a jacket, rain coat and hat.  Bring your binoculars, snacks, water and lunch.


Balcones Christmas Bird Count

Monday, December 14, 2015 – 6:00am – 6:00pm


Sparrowfest 2016 – Flying X Ranch 8936 S FM 1174, Bertram 78605

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Sparrow identification workshop celebrates its 12th year! Birders of all levels will meet before dawn for a light breakfast then break into groups for a workshop or disperse to usually off-limit areas of the Refuge with experienced leaders.

Birders will meet back at "the X" for lunch and a talk by Dr Byron Stone, President of the Texas Ornithological Society. The afternoon will be another series of workshops and field trips.  The day will end with dinner at the Flying X while birders exchange their day's experiences.

Discounted overnight accommodations are available at the Marble Falls Best Western at a rate of $69/night.  Tell them you are there for the SparrowFest Event.


Balcones Songbird Festival

April 22 – 24, 2016

REGISTRATION OPENS FEBRUARY 15, 2016!  All manner of volunteers are needed to make this festival the best in town.  Email the or call (512) 965-2473 to volunteer.


Bridges to Birding Environmental Education Programs – Doeskin Ranch 10645 S FM 1174 Bertram 78605

April 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 2016 and May 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 2016 – 8:00am – 12:30pm each day

Use the information, crafts and props to teach students about the wonders of birds.  Contact Jane Brunclik at or by calling (512) 466-8313.


Going Buggy Environmental Education Programs – Doeskin Ranch 10645 S FM 1174 Bertram 78605

April 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 2016 and May 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 2016 – 8:30am – 12:30pm each day

There really are good insects that are vital to the various habitats around us including the pollination of food we eat!  Use the information, crafts and props to teach students about insects.  You can sign up by emailing Jane Brunclik at or by calling (512) 466-8313.


Artist in Residence

Virtual Geocache Course

First Saturday Hikes

Orienteering course for kids

Seasonal Guided Plant Tours


Wildlife Drawing

For more information about volunteering for the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge contact the volunteer coordinator at 512-339-9432 x 70 or visit for volunteer opportunities on federal lands. 

Friends of Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge
The Friends is a non-profit organization whose mission is to support, complete, and enhance the refuge and to promote its use for recreational, educational, and scientific purposes. This dynamic group of volunteers dedicates their time helping sponsor special events, leading nature tours, conducting environmental education and supporting habitat protection efforts.  Learn more about the Friends of Balcones Canyonlands Refuge and become involved! 

Page Photo Credits — Collecting samples / USFWS
Last Updated: Oct 23, 2015
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