Ways to Get Involved

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. Consider volunteering your time at the refuge or by joining the refuge Friends group.

Friends of Plum and Pilot Islands

The Friends of Plum and Pilot Islands (FOPPI) is a citizen-based, non-profit organization. The mission of the Friends of Plum and Pilot Islands is to partner with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to support the preservation, restoration, maintenance, and contemporary use of the historic resources on Plum and Pilot Islands, and to conserve and protect wildlife resources, while providing opportunities for quality wildlife-dependent recreation. Join them in shaping the legacy of Plum Island and Green Bay National Wildlife Refuge! For more information email friendsofplumandpilot@gmail.com


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. 

Step 1 Complete the Natural Resources Volunteer Application and email it to the Refuge Manager at GreenBayRefuge@fws.gov, or mail it to: Horicon NWR, Attn: Green Bay Refuge Manger, W4279 Headquarters Rd., Mayville, WI 53050.

Step 2 Once received we will contact you to set up a volunteer interview to get to know you a little more, discuss interests, and see where the best match may be based on currently available opportunities or to be placed on a list for opportunities that are available seasonally.

Step 3 Sign a volunteer services agreement which covers you as a volunteer and states your schedule and responsibilities and allows the refuge to count your volunteer hours for funding assistance with tools, project materials, and recognition.

Step 4 Work closely with refuge staff and other volunteers to shape the legacy of the Green Bay National Wildlife Refuge and enjoy the time giving back!

The refuge recruits annually for the following volunteer positions: Wildlife and Natural Resource Interpretive Guides, Cultural and Historic Resources Interpretive Guides, Wildlife Research Assistants, and Buildings and Grounds Maintenance Volunteers. Volunteers will be provided a comprehensive orientation and position-specific training, and official volunteer uniform items.
If you are interested in volunteering for projects on the refuge or have questions about processes, contact the Refuge Manager at GreenBayRefuge@fws.gov  

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.

Other historic or maritime sites in Door County include:

  • Door County Maritime Museum in Sturgeon Bay
  • Death’s Door Maritime Museum in Gills Rock
  • Jackson Harbor Maritime Museum on Washington Island

Each museum is partnered with the Service and Friends of Plum and Pilot Islands to articulate historic information, display historic items or provide the public opportunities to visit historic sites on the refuge. The Jackson Harbor Maritime Museum is home to several items that were once on Plum and Pilot Islands, including an ice breaking vessel named The Bull. Death’s Door Maritime Museum is home to the Fresnel lens that served the Plum Island Rear Range Light from 1889-2015. The Door County Maritime Museum hosts a county wide Lighthouse Festival each spring and fall, which offers the public an opportunity for guided tours of Plum Island.

Our partners include:

  • Friends of Plum and Pilot Islands
  • Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
  • Ridges Sanctuary
  • Door County Land Trust
  • Washington Island
  • Door County Visitor’s Bureau
  • The Nature Conservancy


Outreach opportunities to learn more about the refuge and volunteering opportunities include citizen science projects and interpretive programs and events. You can find staff and volunteers in the community at area volunteer fairs and festivals.

Education Programs

Opportunities for environmental education programs are available on a limited basis. We participate annually in the Ridges Sanctuary's Festival of Nature, and Door County Maritime Museum's spring and fall Lighthouse Festivals, where visitors are welcomed by staff and volunteers at Plum Island and aboard tour boats to learn more about these beautiful and important refuge units. If you are interested in having staff come to speak about the refuge, conservation, or our historic preservation work, please contact the Refuge Manager at GreenBayRefuge@fws.gov.

Refuge staff and volunteers work closely with teachers at the Washington Island School to support curriculum and provide service-learning opportunities. We hope to expand our environmental education programming to other Door County schools in the future!