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. The SWLA Refuge Complex Friends group is always looking for new members!

Friends Group

Friends of Southwest Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges and Wetlands is a non-profit organization of volunteers, committing to the mission and support of the U.S. FWS Refuge System, notably the Southwest LA NWR Complex.

To join the Friends of Southwest Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges and Wetlands group or attend a meeting call the refuge at 337-598-2216 for current information. To learn about the Friends group visit the About the Friends page.

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers and student interns provide much needed assistance with refuge programs.  They are often able to complete work that the refuge staff would be unable to do.  The hours, work assignments, etc. are tailored to meet the needs of both the refuge and the volunteer or intern.

Volunteer Opportunities include: Visitor Center Operations-opening/closing, raising and lowering flag, greeting and assisting refuge guests in person and via phone, resource interpretation, restocking of Center literature and restroom supplies; Facility Maintenance- removal of garbage, sweeping/mopping, replace light bulbs, minor installations/repairs, window cleaning; Grounds Maintenance-mowing, weed-eating, sign installation/repairs, carpentry, and painting;  General Refuge Assistance-assist staff members within all refuge program areas as needed.

Volunteers/Interns are most needed at the SW Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges during busy fall/winter (mid-August to mid-December) and spring/summer (mid-February to mid-June) seasons.  Recreational Vehicle pads are available for resident volunteers committing to a minimum of a 2 month period and volunteering 24 hours/week per individual.  Refuge housing may be available to qualified interns. 

To apply, please complete the VolunteerApplication for Natural Resources Agencies and either email it to or mail it to:

SW LA NWR Complex Headquarters

Attn:Volunteer Coordinator

1428 Hwy 27

Bell City, LA 70630