Get Involved


Volunteers make the impossible happen!



 Refuge volunteers assist refuge staff in a number of ways. Duties are assigned based upon refuge needs, your skills, your availability, and your request. Volunteers are needed for special events, general office duties, trail maintenance projects, biological surveys, or with assisting the hydrologist. For most positions volunteers must be 18 years of age.


  • Lawn mowing at Headquarters during spring, summer, fall – weekly/biweekly
  • Landscaping trail head entrance areas during spring, summer, fall – weekly/biweekly
  • Grooming butterfly gardens – monthly
  • Leaf blowing boardwalks/trails - monthly
  • Power-wash boardwalks –once a year
  • Clean and/or install signs and interpretive panels – as needed



  • Cut or maintain trails to habitat management sites
  • Bird or plant surveys
  • Assist with citizen science surveys (Christmas Bird Count, July Butterfly Count)


 Visitor Services

  • Special Events – many different needs from checking in guest for tours,  assist with walks and tours, information desk during events, talking with visitors (street fairs), setup and take-down, pre-event preparations. 
  • Assist with and/or establish on- and off-site educational programs.
  • Greeting and assisting visitors with trail information at the headquarters during busy seasons.


If you are interested, please complete the following volunteer application and service agreement and mail to Visitor Services - GDSNWR, 3100 Desert Road, Suffolk, VA 23434.


 More information

Friends of the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

The Great Dismal Swamp Coalition is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting a better understanding and appreciation for the natural environment of the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge by enhancing public awareness and interest, and encouraging people to visit the refuge and share in its educational programs.

For a membership and/or donation form, please  click here.