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.

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Volunteering 

Our Partners 

Outreach

Careers and Internships

Volunteering

Volunteers at Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge provide their talents and energy to help in many different ways. From invasive species invasive species
An invasive species is any plant or animal that has spread or been introduced into a new area where they are, or could, cause harm to the environment, economy, or human, animal, or plant health. Their unwelcome presence can destroy ecosystems and cost millions of dollars.

Learn more about invasive species
removal to answering visitor inquiries at the information desks, from hiking trails to helping with school programs, volunteers are invaluable to us for all of the support they provide! By volunteering you'll gain knowledge about the refuge and its purpose and will become part of a community of people dedicated to the stewardship of wildlife and natural landscapes. If you have questions about the refuge's volunteer program, please contact the volunteer coordinator.

To start the process of getting involved, please complete the Natural Resources Volunteer Application and email it to the Volunteer Coordinator at minnesotavalley@fws.gov or mail it to: Minnesota Valley NWR, Attn: Volunteer Coordinator, 3815 American Blvd. East, Bloomington, MN 55425.

Once received, we will be in touch with you to schedule a volunteer interview to get to know you a little more, discuss interests, and see where the best match may be.

Potential volunteer opportunities:

Biological Projects

  • Invasive species removal
  • Maintain pollinator gardens
  • Monitor bird feeders for Project FeederWatch
  • Seed collection

 

Community Outreach

  • Assist with outreach programs and events
  • Guide nature programs such as Nature Smart Library program
  • Provide on-site translations for events and programs
  • Help in Fishing in the Neighborhood programs

 

Visitor Services

  • Adopt-a-Trailhead
  • Assist with environmental education programs
  • Lead programs as an interpretive guide
  • Become a trail ranger and share trail reports
  • Donate your photography and videography skills
  • Support behind the scenes as an office assistant
  • Interact with visitors at our information desk and Friends’ nature store 

 

RV Volunteers

Primary responsibilities will be staffing our two visitor centers with opportunity to support additional duties that may include but are not limited to: maintenance projects, habitat restoration, and contributing to scientific studies.

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Outreach

The Community Outreach Program strives to reduce barriers and increase opportunities that connect urban audiences with the nature in their neighborhoods. Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge offers a variety of outdoor education and recreation opportunities, both on the refuge and in the community, ranging from library demonstrations to fishing and snowshoeing programs to habitat restoration. The Meet Your Wildlife Neighbors outreach trailer is also available and is a fully equipped nature experience on wheels.

Educators interested in engaging their students in outdoor learning through field trips or on-campus exploration, visit the Education page for resources and information.

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Careers and Internships

Careers

If you are interested in a conservation career with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, visit the USFWS Careers site for useful resources and tips on how to land a job. 

Current Job Openings:

 Internships

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge is a premier training ground for the next generation of conservation professionals. Minnesota Valley provides three unique opportunities for professional development:

  • Refuge Youth Internship Team is a year-long 12-member conservation-focused employment opportunity for local high school students that follows a Work/Learn/Play model. Emphasis is on habitat restoration, community engagement, and first-time outdoor recreation experiences within the context of conservation careers. 

*Openings typically announced in May and August.

  • Environmental Education Teaching Internship is a year-long practical training program for beginning professionals focused on curriculum development, partnership coordination and leading field trips for K-8th grade students.

*Openings typically announced annually in July.

  • Refuge Apprenticeships provide recent college graduates a 2-year mentored experience in biology, visitor services or community outreach and engagement.

*Openings typically announced biannually in October. Next opening 2024.

The Refuge works with many local and national organizations to make these internships possible including Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Trust, StepUp Achieve Twin Cities, Hispanic Access Foundation (HAF), American Conservation Experience (ACE), Scientists Eagerly Acquiring Knowledge (SEAK), and Conservation Corps of Minnesota and Iowa (CCMI).

For more information about internships and seasonal employment opportunities at Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, contact Internship Coordinator Christopher Dunham at christopher_dunham@fws.gov

For additional opportunities, visit the USFWS Careers site and Careers in Conservation for federal as well as non-profit resources. 

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