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. Muscatatuck provides many opportunities for you to help your community by doing what you love. Refuge staff partner with volunteers, youth groups, landowners, neighbors and community residents to make a lasting difference for wildlife and people. Contact us to find out how you can help.
Volunteers assist with many activities at Muscatatuck in the biological, maintenance and visitor services area. Working hours are flexible and, for long-term, full-time volunteers, housing and/or trailer sites may be available.
Interns assist refuge staff with management work and research projects, usually during the summer months. Most internships are unpaid with free lodging provided. An internship at the refuge is a great way for students hoping for a career in wildlife conservation to get valuable experience.
Two Volunteer Work Days are held each year - the Earth Day Cleanup in April and the National Public Lands Day in September. Youth groups are always welcome to do service projects on the refuge and in past years many Boy Scout Eagle projects have taken place here. We are always glad to work with volunteers and if you are interested in the opportunities here please give Donna Stanley a call at 812-522-4352, extension 12 to discuss possible options.
Volunteers make Muscatatuck a better place! Discover for yourself what tens of thousands of people 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.
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 who include: the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, the Jackson and Jennings County Visitor Bureaus, the Jackson and Jennings County Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Purdue Extension Jackson County, Sycamore and Oak Heritage Conservancy Land Trusts, the Pollinator Partnership, Ducks Unlimited, and the Wild Turkey Federation.
The Muscatatuck Wildlife Society, an active non-profit Friends group, assists refuge staff in many ways including funding management and visitor service projects, maintaining the historic Myers Cabin and barn, supporting special events, managing the visitor center nature store and printing "Duck Tales,” a refuge newsletter. Many friends members also volunteer at the refuge doing educational, interpretive, biological and maintenance projects. For more information on the Muscatatuck Wildlife Society, call or email the refuge.
The refuge offers a variety of learning and interpretive programs throughout the year. Each March, adult learners are invited to participate in a Master Naturalist Class, an eight-session program on Indiana natural history. Each May the refuge hosts the annual Wings Over Muscatatuck Bird Festival, a weekend of many kinds of bird and nature activities for people of all ages. A Family Fishing Workshop is held each April, and in June, the refuge hosts the Take A Kid Fishing event. Citizen science participation opportunities include the Christmas Bird Count on January 1st, the Big Sit during Refuge Week in October, and a Butterfly Count in July.
The refuge also hosts conservation field days every year for local school districts where third and fourth graders visit to learn about wildlife and conservation topics by doing interactive activities.
Indiana students in grades K-12, including home-schooled students, are invited to participate in the Junior Duck Stamp program. The Conservation through Art contest involves learning about waterfowl and wetlands by drawing a pictures of a native duck, goose or swan.
The refuge hosts a Youth Conservation Corps program, better known as YCC, every summer for high school-age youth between 15-18 years of age. Youth workers are chosen by random drawing and paid the Indiana state minimum wage for approximately 8 weeks. YCC enrollees work as a team to accomplish outdoor projects on the refuge including trail maintenance and rehabilitation, control, bird population monitoring, litter pick-up, and other special projects. They also participate in environmental education programs. Work starts the first week of June and lasts through mid-July. Applications can be made now and must be returned to Muscatatuck by April 15.