Ways to Get Involved
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. Master new skills. Meet new friends. Enjoy a sense of accomplishment from doing your part to further wildlife conservation for the pleasure of generations to follow.
There are a variety of volunteer opportunities at Florida Panther and Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuges! Volunteers contribute hundreds of hours each year to help meet the Refuges' mission. If you have a desire to help, we need you. We will make an assessment of how to match your desires to assist with what it takes to safely and effectively fill our needs. Please contact Refuge Headquarters to complete a volunteer application and we'll get to working together to continue conserving Southwest Florida!
Mail: 12085 State Road 29S Immokalee FL 34142
What do volunteers do?
Monitoring: Environmental conditions and wildlife are monitored on an on-going basis. Everything from birds to amphibians, habitat, andare monitored at the refuge. Some existing knowledge is helpful to complete these tasks. Training may be available.
Facilities Maintenance: Buildings, signs, and trails take effort to maintain. Adopt a trail, help inventory and maintain refuge signs, keep our headquarters grounds looking great, or donate your carpentry skills.
Habitat Maintenance: Help keep refuge lands looking pristine and inviting to visitors. Go on litter patrol or search for and pull invasive plants. Several restoration projects need on-going plant removal.
Administrative Support: There is plenty to do in the office, too! Help with data entry, organization, scanning historic documents, etc.
Conservation Events and Activities: On occasion the refuge seeks volunteers to participate in conservation activities such as tree planting, weed-pulling, trash pick-ups, or distributing "living with wildlife" information to nearby neighbors. Contact the refuge to be added to our email list of upcoming activities notifications.
Education and Outreach: Sharing the stories of wildlife and conservation is an important part of ensuring a future full of land stewards and refuge support. There are many ways to contribute, from behind the scenes or in the spotlight...
Behind the Scenes: Use your photography and videography skills to photo document refuge wildlife and activities or contribute images or video to the refuge website or Facebook page. Like to write? Prepare interest stories for the web, newsletter, or press.
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. Learn more about our local partners:
Audubon of the Western Everglades: https://audubonwe.org/
Avian Research and Conservation Institute: https://www.arcinst.org/
Big Cypress National Preserve: https://www.nps.gov/bicy/index.htm
Conservancy of Southwest Florida: https://conservancy.org/
Defenders of Wildlife: https://defenders.org/
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission: https://myfwc.com/
Florida Forest Service: https://www.fdacs.gov/Divisions-Offices/Florida-Forest-Service
Florida Invasive Species Partnership: https://www.floridainvasives.org/index.cfm
Florida State Parks: https://www.floridastateparks.org/
Florida Wildlife Federation: https://floridawildlifefederation.org/
Illinois College: https://www.ic.edu/
Naples Botanical Garden: https://www.naplesgarden.org/
Naples Orchid Society: https://naplesorchidsociety.org/
Naples Preserve: https://www.naplesgov.com/parksrec/page/naples-preserve
Naples Zoo: https://www.napleszoo.org/
Southwest Florida Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area: https://www.floridainvasives.org/Southwest/
Southwest Florida Water Management District: https://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/
University of Florida: https://www.ufl.edu/
Environmental education opportunities are typically offered November-March, including annual Refuge Open House on the third Saturday of March. Interpretive panels are located at the hiking trailhead and along the 0.3 mile accessible inner loop trail.