National Wildlife Refuge System

Lend a Hand at a National Wildlife Refuge

San Diego Ban Refuge park ranger Debby Good helps young volunteers plant coastal sage scrub plants.
Credit: USFWS

Summer days hanging a bit heavy now?  Whatever your age or abilities, you can find something fun and valuable to do at a national wildlife refuge near you. Use the map here to find a refuge or the map here to find a Friends group. Lots more volunteer opportunities here, including refuges where you can stay for a few weeks or months at a time – either in refuge cabins or your own RV (resident volunteer opportunities here).

Refuge volunteer Josraya del Valle engages kids outdoors in Puerto Rico.
Credit: Lilibeth Serrano/USFWS

At Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland, a volunteer workshop will be held on Saturday, Aug. 9 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. to update new and seasoned volunteers on current refuge projects. The workshop will show what has been happening on the refuge, with updates on the biological program, the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument, new interpretive exhibits in the visitor center, and more. This training session is open to current volunteers as well as any member of the public interested in becoming a Refuge volunteer.

Child build birdhouse
Greg Gaser, a member of Friends of Humboldt Bay Refuge, CA, helps a child build a birdhouse.
Credit: Friends of Humboldt Bay

Friends of Alaska Refuges volunteers have led bird walks in Kotzebue, worked with Native Alaskan students in Arctic Village, staffed an education table at Oceanfest in Anchorage, pulled noxious weeds along the Dalton Highway, and compiled photography exhibits celebrating the 100th anniversaries of Yukon Delta and Alaska Maritime Refuges.

Wood Stork
Even the smallest fish brings a smile on fishing day at Seney Refuge, MI, where volunteers help organize activities and serve dinner to all the anglers.
Credit: USFWS

At Seney National Wildlife Refuge in Michigan, volunteers helped the refuge stage the 25th Annual Children’s Fishing Day, dedicated to connecting children, their families and the community with the outdoors. The refuge provided free fishing poles and lead-free gear at three locations along Fishing Loop Drive.

Volunteers plant grasses at Big Branch Marsh Refuge, LA.
Credit: Steve Hillebrand

Last updated: July 25, 2014