St. Catherine Creek National Wildlife Refuge
Southeast Region
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Get Involved! Make a Difference!

Photo Credits: Charman Cupit/USFWS

Did you know that 200 years ago there were an estimated 392 million acres of wetlands in Colonial America? Did you know that in that 200 years we have lost almost 53% of those wetlands? Would you like to learn more interesting facts such as this? St. Catherine Creek National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1990 to provide habitat for migratory waterfowl in the Mississippi Flyway. The refuge consists of 24,442 acres, 90% of which is wetland habitat. Join us and become a part of the vital conservation efforts in southwest Mississippi!

Volunteers are a crucial part of the National Wildlife Refuge System! We depend on our volunteers to support many of our activities. We value the time and effort they contribute! More often than not, our volunteers come as coworkers, but leave as friends and family.

About the Refuge: St. Catherine Creek National Wildlife Refuge is located approximately 10 miles south of Natchez, Mississippi on Pintail Lane. The refuge has over 18 miles of riverfront, bordering the Mississippi River on the west and the Homochitto River on the south. There is a full-time staff of 7 employees. Directions from Natchez, MS: Continue on Hwy 61 South towards Woodville/Baton Rouge for 10 miles. Turn right onto York Road; continue 2 miles. Turn left onto Pintail Lane. Headquarters is the first building on the left.

Volunteer Requirements: Volunteers must be 16 years of age or older unless accompanied by an adult. All volunteers are required to complete a Volunteer Services Agreement. Any volunteer who will have unsupervised access to sensitive materials/files, employee offices, computer network, etc. must successfully complete a background check prior to beginning their volunteer service.

Local Volunteers

Most of our local volunteers are also members of the Friends of St. Catherine Creek Refuge, but we encourage anyone in the community to sign up as a volunteer. Local volunteers offer support for refuge events such as Refuge Day, National Trails Day, as well as an annual birding festival each summer.

Local volunteers also provide ongoing service by picking up litter and reporting deficiencies when they are visiting the refuge. Friends Group members also schedule work days throughout the year to provide necessary maintenance on the Magnolia Hiking Trail and other maintenance projects. Volunteer projects also include butterfly garden maintenance, carpentry for nest boxes, grounds maintenance, visitor center operation, leading weekend tours and planning and staffing special events.

Resident Volunteers

St. Catherine Creek NWR offers two RV camper pads with full hookups to volunteers who are interested in living at the refuge while volunteering. Volunteers must commit to a minimum of a 3 month stay and a minimum of 24 hours volunteer service per person per week. Volunteers will have access to garbage and laundry facilities.

Volunteer tasks for resident volunteers include working at the Visitor Center front desk, selling hunting and fishing permits, answering general refuge questions, assisting staff with operation and maintenance tasks, assisting staff with visitor services and environmental education programs, etc.

We accept applications year-round, but winter months are much more popular, with most reservations being made by the end of summer.

Applications can be found on volunteer.gov.

Interns

We are currently seeking visitor services interns who will assist with visitor center operation, visitor services and environmental education programs. Internship dates are flexible, but typically last 12 to 16 weeks. Internships are available year-round.

The internship is tailored for an individual interested in learning about careers within the visitor services and education with federal, state, or private parks, refuges, nature centers, etc.

Duties:

Staff visitor center (75%)- Greet visitors, provide refuge information, answer telephones, sell annual public use permits, respond to visitor correspondence, distribute brochures, public use data entry.

Outreach events (5%)- Plan, coordinate and staff outreach events. Canoeing experience is desired, but not required. Canoe tours are usually a part of outreach events

Environmental Education (5%)- Deliver formal environmental education programs as needed. Assist members of the Friends Group with Science in the Swamp, a science-based program offered monthly at the refuge.

Outreach Development (10%)- Assist staff in creating and/or updating refuge brochures. Offer assistance in updating refuge website and facebook page.

Biological (10%)- If the intern is interested in the biological program at the refuge, opportunities will be made available to work with the biologist on projects of interest to the intern. If not, duties would fall back to staffing the visitor center.

We strive to make this internship as beneficial to you as you are to the refuge!

Intern Work Schedule: Intern will work 7:30am to 4:00pm Monday-Friday. This is subject to change if you are working on a biological project or a special event is being planned.

Living Arrangements: A 3-bedroom 1-bath house is available for interns. There is a common kitchen, living and laundry area. Intermittent researchers and other interns are subject to share the house with interns at any given time. All bedding, linens, and kitchen necessities are provided. The house is located approximately 1/4 mile from the headquarters.

Intern Stipend: A $20/work day stipend will be paid. This amounts to $100/week.

Interns interested in this position should contact Charman Cupit at (601) 442-6696.

L: Volunteers lead canoe tours at Swamp Lake; C: Intern leads students in the Migration Game; R: Volunteer provides trail maintenance. Photo credits: Charman Cupit

For more information about volunteer opportunities at St. Catherine Creek NWR call Charman Cupit at (601) 442-6696.

Last updated: September 17, 2013
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