The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge needs YOU — your talents, your enthusiasm, and some of your time!
Volunteers at Okefenokee NWR have always been an integral part of the staff. They assist with numerous projects ranging from boat and canoe trail maintenance to presenting interpretive programs. Volunteers have been instrumental in the accomplishment of a number of refuge projects and activities.
Help make a difference! Volunteers play a vital role in helping the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service fulfill its mission of conserving, protecting and enhancing America's fish and wildlife populations and their habitats.
The Okefenokee NWR volunteer programs seeks to combine the interests of the volunteer with the work needed to be accomplished in order to achieve a productive partnership, one which will ensure the preservation of resources within the refuge.
The program is actually made up of three smaller programs, each adding its own uniqueness to the overall operations of the refuge. The programs are made up of the following: General Volunteers, Resident Volunteers, and Internships. Each program offers hands-on, working experience in the day-to-day activities of the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.
This program represents our most critical area of operations. Volunteers perform duties in three areas of refuge operations: Visitor Services, Environmental Education, and Maintenance.
Visitor Services - May include giving out information to the general public at the Richard S Bolt Visitor Center, operating the Friends group (Okefenokee Wildlife League) sales operation, or conducting interpretive programs for the general public (offered seasonally).
Environmental Education - another area of visitor services where volunteers can help. During the Fall and Spring months, many school groups request programs to be conducted at the refuge or an in-school visit from a park ranger/refuge volunteer. During the summer months, library programs and other off-site educational programs often keep staff, volunteers, and interns busy.
Maintenance - volunteers assisting with maintenance are often in the outdoors clearing upland or water trails, building/repairing/maintaining visitor facilities like boardwalks and platforms, cleaning facilities throughout the refuge, and many other tasks. Carpentry skills and experience with small tools, mowers, etc are very helpful when performing these types of tasks.
The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge volunteer program has something to offer everybody. Volunteers can choose those activities that they feel will meet their needs even if some of the activities encompass more than just one area of refuge operations. Applications for the general volunteer program are accepted year-round.
This program offers a unique opportunity for recreational vehicle and/or trailer volunteers to live and work at the refuge. It is only open to those volunteer candidates who own their own trailer and/or RV. Volunteers commit to work at the refuge 24 hours a week for a couple and 32 hours a week per person, for a minimum of three months.
In exchange for their services, the refuge provides a full hook-up trailer pad, propane plus access to garbage and laundry facilities. Volunteers perform work in the same area of operations as do our general volunteer staff, i.e. visitor services, environmental education and resource management.
Resident Volunteer positions available year round, visit Volunteer.gov for more information.
No special skills are needed to be a volunteer at Okefenokee NWR. While there is no age limit, anyone under 18 years must have written parental approval. Organized group participation is welcome and encouraged.
Volunteers are welcome regardless of race, religion, age, gender, nationality, or disability. U.S. citizenship is not required. The only criteria stipulated when considering the above programs is ownership of your own trailer and/or RV when applying for the Resident Volunteer Program.
For an application and more information about any of the above volunteer programs contact the
Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge Volunteer Coordinator at (912-496-3200) or write:
Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge
2700 Suwannee Canal Road
Folkston, GA 31537
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Okefenokee has the great distinction of not only being a part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, but also the National Wilderness Preservation System. This designation is given to federal lands that are affected primarily by nature and where people are only visitors. Managed using minimum tools, Wilderness Areas are places where visitors can experience unconfined and solitude recreation.