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.


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.

From its start in 1903, the National Wildlife Refuge System has owed its very existence to concerned citizens eager to protect America's natural resources.

More than 42,000 people volunteer their time and ideas each year with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Whether they work on the land, in a visitor center or with youth, they contribute to the conservation mission that reaches back more than a century. Become a volunteer to contribute your strength on behalf of America’s natural resources.

What do our volunteers do?

Various opportunities exist at the refuge for volunteers to gain valuable and rewarding experience. Volunteers assist refuge employees by working in such fields as:


The refuge manages 10,000 acres of land. Much of what is done is based on the sound judgement of our refuge biologist. Therefore, we need assistance. There is much data that needs to be monitored and recorded.


At the core of the refuge are our maintenance workers. Volunteering in maintenance is great way to see the refuge like never before. Maintenance volunteers spend much time outside, but also helping with projects of various degrees around the refuge.


Through such activities as guided hikes, talks and programs, volunteers help visitors understand and appreciate both the natural and cultural history of the refuge as well as provide information on the recreational and educational opportunities available.

How do I apply?

Download and complete the volunteer agreement (PDF). Group leaders can fill submit a volunteer agreement (PDF) and volunteer group sign-up form (PDF). Fill out and return to the refuge via mail or email. This application will be forwarded to appropriate refuge staff who will determine if you have the skills necessary for the position. If you need further information, contact the volunteer coordinator by phone (989-759-1669) or email (shiawassee@fws.gov).

Contact by mail:

Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge
6975 Mower Road
Saginaw, MI 48601 

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.

The Friends of the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge is a supporting non-profit dedicated to ensuring the success of the refuge.

Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge also partners with local universities to perform research.

We also have local conservation partners to help work on projects to accomplish management goals.

We extend our reach through the work of the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program.


Visitors are encouraged to contribute to citizens science projects like found on ebird and iNatualist. 

Education Programs

The Michigan Junior Duck Stamp Program is available year round for youths kindergarten to 12th grade. The program is a mixture between science and arts. The program also features an annual art contest allowing students to enter their version of waterfowl (duck, goose or swan) by mail by the deadline of March 15.

The refuge also offers onsite and partnered events such as the Annual Great Saginaw River Kid’s Free Fishing Day.