Get Involved!

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“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.” – John Wesley

  • Volunteering at Sherburne

    The spirit of volunteering at Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge is brought to life by the words of John Wesley. Our team of volunteers are the life energy of the refuge and their dedication, time, and effort has had an incredible impact on not only the refuge, but the community as well. The refuge has a robust volunteer program that continues to expand. Almost 400 volunteers have made large contributions to the following programs and/or activities: environmental education, interpretation, wildlife observation, wildlife photography, maintenance, biology, habitat restoration, administration, and more. 
     
    The Sherburne volunteer crew regularly contributes over 6000 hours of volunteer work annually- that is the equivalent to 3 full-time staff members! The refuge is fortunate to have a wonderful group of volunteers who share the mission of the US Fish and Wildlife Service- working together to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.  
     
    So, what is a Volunteer? 
    An individual who performs hours of service for a public agency for civic, charitable, or humanitarian reasons, without promise, expectation or receipt of compensation for services rendered, is considered to be a volunteer. The Refuge has incorporated many volunteers through the national Retired Senior Volunteer Program locally based in Elk River, MN. Children under 18 may volunteer for certain positions given signed permission by their parents on the Volunteer Services Agreement form.
     
    Who can be a volunteer? YOU!
    Our volunteer team welcomes you to join us! See below for more information on current available volunteer roles and how to get started.

  • Maintenance

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    • Check hiking trails for litter, obstructions, or repair
     
    • Clean up litter at kiosks, fishing areas, canoe access points, and parking lots
     
    • Adopt a Refuge Road!
     
    • Perform mowing, weed whipping, and invasive species removal
     
    • Complete carpentry projects and repairs  
     
    • Become certified on certain heavy equipment to assist with maintenance projects (must volunteer for at least one year before moving into this role) 
     

  • Interpretation, Events, and Community Outreach

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    • Become a “Roving Wildlife Interpreter” and interact with visitors on the Prairie’s Edge Wildlife Drive.
     
    • Represent the refuge at community events and festivals
     
    • Assist at annual refuge events including Wildlife Festival!
     
    • Lead guided tours and programs for the public on a range of topics
     
    • Donate your wildlife photography and videography skills 
     
     

  • Environmental Education

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    • Help with school programs at the refuge or at local schools 
     
    • Work with students from neighboring communities 
     
    • Assist or lead programs for visiting groups
     
     
    • Engage your sense of wonder! 
     
     

  • Administration

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    • Greet and welcome visitors to the refuge 

     

    • Research and compile information

     

    • Answer and direct phone calls
     
    • Staff the Eagles Nest Nature Store 
     
    • The Friends of Sherburne are the Refuge’s non-profit partner. For volunteer opportunities and to learn more about the Friends, visit them at their website.
     
     

  • Biology

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    • Join our seed collector team and enhance your knowledge of native wildflowers
     
    • Help with habitat restoration projects
     
    • Early riser? Perform bird surveys with our biology staff
     
    • Monitor water quality of the St Francis River and wetlands throughout the refuge
     
     

  • How to Apply

    If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please fill out the volunteer application and volunteer services agreement form. You will be contacted for an interview and orientation session by the Volunteer Coordinator within 2 weeks of submitting your application. Paper forms are available upon request.

    For questions, contact the Volunteer Coordinator at Jessica_Nelson@fws.gov or 763-389-3323 x 104. Thank you for supporting your National Wildlife Refuge!

  • Already a Volunteer?

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    Log-in to your Volgistics Profile