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.
Seney National Wildlife Refuge annually relies on the annual contributions of over 60 volunteers. Many volunteers staff the visitor center information desk and help visitors plan their day. They also staff activity booths during special events, lead school and nature programs, conduct wildlife surveys, assist with maintenance projects and a variety of other tasks. Volunteers make a huge difference at the refuge!
Volunteers normally serve on a regular basis, such as one weekly four-hour shift at the visitor center and typically commute from the local area and nearby towns. We also welcome occasional volunteers for special projects. Trailer pads with hook-ups may be available for volunteers interested in working 20-40 hours weekly. Interested resident volunteer applicants need to be relatively self-sufficient and able to take care of their own facility maintenance.
During the summer, monthly training opportunities or social gatherings are a chance for volunteers, interns and staff to get to know one another.
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. Check out our station's latest volunteer opportunities below.
We routinely search for volunteers in the following areas.
- Visitor Center Operations – staffing the front desk and operating the bookstore for our friends group.
- Data Entry
- Special Events
- Environmental Education
- Leading Programs
- Tour Bus Driver
- Distribution of Materials – brochures, fliers and publications
Contact the visitor services staff to volunteer at email@example.com or call 906-586-9851.
Residential volunteers are volunteers who spend several weeks or months working at the refuge in exchange for a place to park their RV or camper. Volunteers are expected to work 20 to 40 hours each week.
- Volunteers sort and deliver recyclables to appropriate collection points.
- Work one to two shifts at the Visitor Center Front Desk per week.
- Assist with maintenance.
- Works to fill other areas (listed above) where volunteers are needed.
To apply for a resident volunteer position at volunteer.gov.
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.
Friends Group Information
The Seney Natural History Association is a non-profit organization that has helped fund programs at Seney National Wildlife Refuge since 1987. Profits from the Marshland Bookstore sales, membership dues and generous donations help the friends accomplish their mission.
The mission of the friends is, “To promote a better understanding and appreciation of the natural history and natural environment of the Seney National Wildlife Refuge, by working in cooperation with refuge staff to support its mission.”
Seney Natural History Association
1606 Refuge Entrance Rd.
Seney, MI 49883
- Dr. Charles Goebel, The Ohio State University School of Environment and Natural Resources
- Dr. Daniel Kashian, Wayne State University, Department of Biological Sciences
- Dr. Nancy Seefelt, Central Michigan University, Department of Biology
Refuge staff members are available to come and speak to your group. Programs are available on a variety of topics concerning the refuge, plants and animals living in the area or other topics.
Open the door to a potentially life-changing experience. If you land a student internship, a fellowship or a volunteer opportunity at a, fish hatchery or other U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service site, you’re bound to come away with new insights and excitement about conservation.
Seney National Wildlife Refuge not have a Youth Conservation Corps crew the summer of 2023. Please check back in 2024 to see if thie opportunity is available. This is a wonderful opportunity for youth to learn new skills and gain an introduction to employment opportunities within the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Projects may include but are not limited to:
- Nature trail maintenance and construction
- Observation deck and boardwalk maintenance
- Building, sign, and grounds maintenance
- Weed control
- Visitor Services
- Learn about the different jobs in the Fish and Wildlife Service and the conservation of natural resources
- Environmental Education
Participants will do hard physical work and may be exposed to insects, poison oak and ivy, adverse weather, and difficult working conditions. Some jobs may not be fun or may be a bit monotonous, but in the end all past participants have noted that they enjoyed the experience and are glad they had the opportunity.
This eight-week program pays minimum wage and will start in early June and run through early August. If available, an equal ratio of men and women will be selected for these positions by a random drawing which will be held in late April.
Participants must be between the ages of 15 and 18. Applicants are not eligible if they turn 19 prior to the end of the program in August and must be 15 by the starting date in June.
YCC Enrollees are considered federal employees and as such, Federal agencies may request information regarding the vaccination status of selected applicants for the purposes of implementing other workplace safety protocols, such as protocols related to masking, physical distancing, testing, travel and quarantine. COVID 19 vaccination is not currently required, but that may change depending on the course of ongoing litigation.
Visitor Services Internships
The refuge offers numerous recreational opportunities including driving tours, roads open to hiking and biking opportunities, paddling opportunities, bird watching, nature observation, hunting, fishing and photography. The goal of the visitor services staff is to inspire guests to care about natural areas ensuring their protection for years to come. Interns provide tours, create interpretive materials, operate the visitor center and much more.
Apply to the Friend’s internship program. (Not available in 2023)