Ways to Get Involved

Whether you want to further conservation, learn more about nature or share your love of the outdoors, you’ve come to the right place. National wildlife refuges provide many opportunities for you to help your community by doing what you love. National wildlife refuges partner with volunteers, youth groups, landowners, neighbors and residents of urban and coastal communities to make a lasting difference. Find out how you can help make American lands healthier and communities stronger while doing something personally satisfying.


Discover for yourself what tens of thousands of volunteers have learned: Volunteering for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is fun and rewarding in many ways. Learn new skills, meet new friends and enjoy a sense of accomplishment from doing your part to further wildlife conservation for the pleasure of generations to follow. Check out our latest volunteer opportunities on volunteer.gov.

Volunteers assist refuge personnel in achieving management goals by working in a wide variety of volunteer jobs including visitor services, biology, maintenance and environmental education. For further information, write or call Neil Vincent, Volunteer Program Coordinator at neil_vincent@fws.gov or 618-998-5933 ext 1.

Be a part of the effort. Become a volunteer!

Our Partners

Nature does not recognize human-made boundaries. In order to conserve our natural and cultural resources effectively, we must work with others to bridge these boundaries. Partnerships foster creative solutions to challenging situations and often the results are greater than the sum of the parts.

The National Wildlife Refuge System is committed to building partnerships which encourage conservation and protection of our natural and cultural resources. Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge works with a variety of partners to conserve refuge lands. Partners include River to River Cooperative Weed Management, Williamson County Tourism Bureau, Illinois Tourism Bureau, Girls Scouts of Southern Illinois, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Take Pride America and other non-profit groups.

Individuals can get involved with the refuge by joining the Friends of Crab Orchard Refuge. The Friends of Crab Orchard Refuge is a non-profit citizens' organization dedicated to working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and community to achieve the optimum use of the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge for wildlife conservation, recreation, agriculture and industry. The Friends work to promote and assist in the development of educational activities and facilities to enhance environmental education on the refuge. They also assist with funding of designated projects. Friends board members also act as a liaison between the general public and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Education Programs

Open the door to a potentially life-changing experience. If you land a student internship, a fellowship or a volunteer opportunity at a national wildlife refuge national wildlife refuge
A national wildlife refuge is typically a contiguous area of land and water managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  for the conservation and, where appropriate, restoration of fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

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, fish hatchery or other U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service site, you’re bound to come away with new insights and excitement about conservation. During the summer season, Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge hosts a Youth Conservation Corps. This is a summer youth employment programs to engage young people in substantial work experience. Youth Conservation Corps programs are generally 8 to 10 weeks long and crew members are paid the minimum wage for a 40 hour work week. The Land of Lincoln AmeriCorps is another youth opportunity at Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge.