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. We work with volunteers, youth groups, landowners, neighbors and residents of local 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.

Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge has a strong team of more than 100 volunteers who donate their time and talents to a variety of programs. Volunteers lead environmental education programs, conduct wildlife surveys and assist with research projects, host at the visitor center, conduct water quality monitoring, lead wildlife excursions, maintain the grounds and much more. The required time commitment varies with each position or project. Some positions may only require a few hours per week, others much more.

For those who would like to make their summer home among the bald eagles, trumpeter swans and loons, we have a Resident Volunteer Program. Currently two campsites are available for the field season that occurs from May through October. In exchange for the campsite, resident volunteers must commit to two months and work 24 hours a week. If you enjoy nature and making a difference on your public lands, why not become a member of the refuge team. For more information contact Volunteer Coordinator Janice Bengtson or call 218-844-1756.

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers will provide support to visitor center staff in a variety of duties including providing information to the public, presenting interpretive programs and carrying out light maintenance of key public use areas.Duties include welcome and orient visitors, providing accurate information...
Welcome visitors and provide information about the refuge and surrounding area.
The purpose of the photographer is to take high quality photos documenting refuge events, environmental education activities, resource management activities (including staff and volunteers) and the flora and fauna of the refuge. These images may be used in social media, websites, flyers and more....
The purpose of environmental education is to enhance student experience and knowledge through hands-on activities and programs designed to meet education standards. Volunteer will assist leader with activities primarily for school groups with a focus on partner schools who visit three times/year....
The purpose of environmental education is to enhance student experience and knowledge through hands-on activities and programs designed to meet education standards. Volunteer will lead activities primarily for school groups with a focus on local partner schools who visit three times/year. Grade...

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.

Friends of Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge is an energetic organization passionate about fostering a wild future for the wetland management district wetland management district
A wetland management district is a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service office that manages waterfowl production areas in one or more counties. Waterfowl production areas are small natural wetlands and grasslands that provide breeding, resting and nesting habitat for waterfowl, shorebirds, grassland birds and other wildlife. The Fish and Wildlife Service acquires waterfowl production areas under the authority of the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp Act, primarily using funds from the sale of Federal Duck Stamps. The Refuge System’s 38 wetland management districts comprise thousands of waterfowl production areas – almost all in the Prairie Pothole Region of the Northern Great Plains.

Learn more about wetland management district
and national wildlife refuge national wildlife refuge
A national wildlife refuge is typically a contiguous area of land and water managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  for the conservation and, where appropriate, restoration of fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

Learn more about national wildlife refuge
. Established in 1991, it has grown to be an active advocate and volunteer force for the refuge. This nonprofit organization champions an environmental educational program, special events, volunteer program, habitat restoration efforts and more. The group supports the work of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and serves a conduit to connect the community to the resource. Friends of Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge operates a nature gift store in the visitor center, supports an active education program and produces a quarterly newsletter.

Learn more about the accomplishments and how to join the Friends of Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge.

Office Manager Nancy Fischer can’t wait to share more about how you can help leave a legacy of conservation stewardship. Give her a call at 218-844-1767.

Learn more about our local partners: 

  • American Bird Conservancy
  • Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
  • White Earth Nation
  • Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Park Rapids Chamber of Commerce
  • Lake Country Scenic Byway
  • North Country Trail
  • Pelican River Watershed
  • Pine to Prairie International Birding Trail

Education Programs

Tamarac Refuge staff along with volunteers of the Friends of Tamarac offer on-site environmental education programs. To learn about becoming a partner school or programs available contact Visitor Services Manager Kelly Blackledge at 218-844-1757 or Kelly_Blackledge@fws.gov.    

Activities - Education Programs

Families walking through woods
Nature Explorations for children 3 – 7 years old every Wednesday. Listen to a story, go for a hike, make a craft. These programs are free! Please register your through the Friends of Tamarac website or facebook page.