Get Involved

Volunteer at Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge.

Share your special talents and skills as you assist refuge staff. You could help collect biological data, perform light maintenance work, or help out with special events. You can invest as much time as you like, from a few hours to several days. If you’re interested in, contact the refuge volunteer coordinator at (989) 777-5930.


Volunteering at the Refuge



The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge needs YOU -- your talents, your enthusiasm and some of your time!

What do volunteers do?
Various opportunities exist at the refuge for volunteers to gain valuable and rewarding experience. Volunteers assist refuge employees by working in such fields as:

Biology Job: The refuge manages 10,000 acres of land.  Much of what is done is based off the sound judgement of our refuge biologist. Therefore, we need assistance.    There is much data that needs to be monitored and recorded.  

See Biology Assistant Info Sheet for more information (PDF - 613KB).

 Maintenance Job: At the core of our refuge is our maintenance workers. Volunteering in maintenance is  great way to see the refuge like never before. Maintenance volunteers spend much time outside, but also helping with projects of various degrees around the refuge.

See Maintenance Job Info Sheet for more information (PDF - 502KB).


Volunteer 13 by Lionel D. Grant

Through such activities as guided hikes, talks, and programs, volunteers help visitors understand and appreciate both the natural and cultural history of the refuge as well as provide information on the recreational and educational opportunities available.

We need "Wildlife Guides" to work with visitors at the observations decks along the auto tour route, the Wildlife Drive and "Interpretive Guides" to help out at the refuge headquarters on weekends. Click on the following to download information about the Wildlife Guide (PDF file - 68 KB) or Interpretive Guide (PDF file - 66 KB).

Environmental Education:

Assisting refuge staff with school programs, day camps, teacher workshops, and special projects are but a few of the volunteer duties at the Green Point Environmental Learning Center in Saginaw or at the refuge.

Resource Management:

Qualified individuals may assist wildlife biologists in such areas as wildlife surveys and other projects.


Volunteers may help refuge employees in general tasks such as landscape maintenance, sign installation, gate painting, and construction. Also, opportunities exist for those with skills in such disciplines as plumbing and carpentry.

Adopt a Trail:

Volunteers "adopt" a trail and help maintain it by cutting back or removing small brush, picking up litter and letting refuge staff know when major repairs need to be done.

Adopt a Flower Bed or Pond:

Volunteers "adopt" one of the flower beds or small ponds at the refuge headquarters, Green Point Environmental Learning Center or Woodland Trailhead at Stroebel Road and maintain it throughout the year. Gardening/pond experience and your own tools are necessary.

volunteer 12 by Lionel D. Grant


Special Projects:

Volunteers may work independently in the areas of photography, photo collections, journalism, and other fields.

Where do volunteers work?
The Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge headquarters is located south of Saginaw. The Green Point Environmental Learning Center is at 3010 Maple Street in Saginaw. Most volunteers work in and/or out of these buildings. The Woodland Trail is located at the east end of Stroebel Road off of Center Road.

When do volunteers work ?
Many of the projects take place during the week when refuge staff are available. Some volunteers donate their services on weekends when most of the special events take place.

Why do people become volunteers ?
Volunteers realize various benefits from working at the refuge. Being involved with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, an agency dedicated to the principle of resource conservation, is both satisfying and rewarding. Others find the duties fulfilling and challenging as old talents are employed and new skills acquired. To most, however, the motive is enjoyment, as volunteer work can be just plain fun.

Who may apply?
Our volunteer program is open to all. Those under 18 years of age, however, need written permission from their parent or guardian.

How do I apply ?
Click the following to download the 
Volunteer Application (PDF file - 278 KB) and Volunteer Agreement (PDF - 242KB). Group leaders can fill submit a Volunteer Agreement from and Volunteer Group Sign-up Form (PDF - 351KB). Fill out and return to the refuge via mail, fax (989) 791-3621 or email. This application will be forwarded to appropriate refuge staff who will determine if you have the skills necessary to work with them. If you need further information, contact the Volunteer Coordinator at 989-759-1669.