Managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge is over 51,000 acres located along a 65-mile stretch of the Tennessee River in west Tennessee. Purchased in 1945 following the Migratory Bird Act, this area of land and waters were set aside for the conservation of migratory birds with a special focus on wintering waterfowl such as ducks, geese, and swans.
Duck River Unit is 28,000 acres which makes it the largest unit of the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge Complex. A vast variety of habitat can be found at this unit such as hardwood forests, croplands, wetlands and fallow grasslands following alongside the Tennessee and Duck rivers, making this a wonderful destination location for wildlife and nature enthusiasts alike.
There is a total of four staff members who work hard to restore and maintain optimal wildlife habitat on this 28,000 acre unit. Their workload picks up drastically during the summer months as the refuge begins to prepare for next year’s waterfowl winter migration and we could use your help! The refuge is looking for someone who has experience with facilities and grounds maintenance such as mowing and weed eating. If you do not have much experience in one of the fields listed but are interested in our location, please feel free to apply! The work crew at Duck River Unit are very easy-going and willing to help when needed. While this position is a lot of work, it is not all work and no play. The biologist at this location captures and bands wood ducks during the summertime and needs volunteers’ assistance, which is always a fun time. We ask that you work 24 hours per week, which gives volunteers four days off to explore the refuge you will be living on as well as other must-see locations in and around Tennessee.
Duck River Unit is a great place for wildlife observation, photography, citizen science and outdoor recreation. There is the Duck River Bottoms Overlook, Pintail Point Observation Blind and the Blue Goose Boulevard Interpretive drive which are fantastic locations for photography. There are several boat ramps scattered across the unit for boaters and kayakers to access both the Tennessee and Duck rivers. Fun fact about the Duck River, it is the most biologically diverse freshwater river in the United States, according to The Nature Conservancy and a National Geographic article. In short, if you enjoy fishing or aquatic wildlife in general, consider spending a summer with us. The refuge complex also offers scenic views to the hikers and bikers who stop in and visit.
In exchange for your volunteer service, Tennessee NWR will provide a covered, concrete camper pad with full hookups, free utilities, propane, a service vehicle, a laundry facility located adjacent to camper pad and any personal protective equipment needed. Singles or couples welcomed to apply. Volunteers are not required to stay from March to November, could work a segment of that duration if you wanted. If you have any questions, feel free to email me!