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.

More than 200 nonprofit Refuge Friends organizations support national wildlife refuges, whether they work with a single refuge, a refuge complex or an entire state. Friends members are crucial to conserving and protecting our nation’s wildlife and teaching millions of Americans that their actions today determine the conservation legacy of tomorrow. 

More than 42,000 people volunteer their time and ideas each year to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Whether they work on the land, in a visitor center or with youth, they contribute to the conservation mission that reaches back more than a century. Become a volunteer or Refuge Friend to contribute your strength on behalf of America’s natural resources.

Volunteers are an integral part of St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge. They assist with numerous projects ranging from wildlife inventories to presenting interpretive programs, and their help has been instrumental in the accomplishment of a number of refuge projects and activities.

The St. Vincent NWR Volunteer Program seeks to combine the interests of the volunteer with the work needed to be accomplished in order to achieve the preservation of resources within the refuge.

Each program offers hands-on, working experience in the day-to-day activities of the St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge.

Who May Volunteer?

No special skills are needed to be a volunteer at St. Vincent NWR. However, on the job training is provided. 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.

Local and recreational vehicle camper volunteers can assist with public hunts, monthly island tours, special events, marine turtle nesting surveys, the red wolf island propagation program, and a wide variety of office and/or outdoor tasks.

Volunteer time commitments can range from a one-time or once a year event, such as a beach cleanup or festival, to occasional, seasonal, or year round weekly volunteer schedules. 

How to Apply

Prospective volunteers should contact the Refuge Manager at our administrative office and request a U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service volunteer application. Applications are accepted year-round.

General Volunteers:

Volunteers perform duties in three areas of refuge operations: Visitor Services, Environmental Education, and Resource Management.

Volunteers perform many duties such as both formal and informal interpretation, staff the refuge office, provide information to the general public, and facilitate our general hunt program.

Environmental Education is focused more in its interpretation. Volunteers are trained to lead school groups in activities that are designed to educate the students about the world around them. Education Volunteers form the backbone of the refuge's volunteer outreach activities, and as such they must undergo more specialized training than those who only work in visitor services.

Volunteers Resource Management is a broad term that encompasses many different jobs. Volunteers performing resource management duties do a lot of different things. They assist our wildlife biology staff with wildlife monitoring activities, and they assist our maintenance staff with trail improvements and minor construction projects.

The St. Vincent NWR General 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. 

Resident Volunteer Program:

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 32 hours a week, for a minimum of thirty days.

In exchange for their services, the refuge provides a full hook-up trailer pad plus access to garbage and laundry facilities. Volunteers perform work in the same area of operations as does our general volunteer staff, i.e. visitor services, environmental education and resource management.

Resident Volunteer positions usually begin by late September and run through the first of May.