How can I help at the Center?

There are many ways to volunteer at the Urban Ecology Center! 

We offer ongoing volunteer opportunities for people who'd like to help out on a recurring basis as well as public opportunities to accommodate varied schedules and interests.

To determine the best fit for your schedule and skills, sign up for one of our virtual volunteer orientations or in-person orientations. You'll learn all about the various ways you can help out at the Center and find the volunteer opportunity that best suits your time and talents! We host virtual volunteer orientations at all three of our branches at a variety of times. Click the button below to see the schedule and find a session that's convenient for you!


Virtual Volunteer Orientation Schedule 

In-Person Orientations




Ongoing Opportunities

Interested in volunteering on a regular schedule? If you have a morning, afternoon or full day free on a weekly or monthly basis, there may be a regular volunteer opportunity that is a great fit for you. If you have a particular skill or talent that you are looking to share, the perfect project might be waiting for you at the Center.

Regular volunteer opportunities include:

  • Community Science: Our Community Science program helps create connections between academic research and the community-at-large. Volunteers go through training to learn how to conduct cutting-edge research, from studying the physiology of migrating birds to discovering the winter quarters of threatened snakes. Community Science volunteers work with bats, bugs, plants, snakes, turtles, mice, and a host of other critters!

  • Reception: As the face of the Urban Ecology Center, reception volunteers greet visitors and answer general questions about the Center. Reception volunteers also answer and direct phone calls, promote membership, and help out with the equipment lending program.

  • Neighborhood Environmental Education Program (NEEP): Each branch of the Urban Ecology Center partners with schools within two miles of the branch for an entire year, allowing our environmental educators the chance to design programs that reinforce science concepts taught in class with hands-on outdoor activities during multiple visits. Volunteers can assist educators with the field trips by belaying for rock climbing programs, driving 15 passenger buses, helping kids get in and out of canoes, opening bug boxes and helping give students individualized attention on their field trip. Learn more about NEEP here.
  • Special Events: Help out at our events and festivals as we provide opportunities for the community to come together surrounding issues that are important to us. Volunteer activities range from working with kids at craft and face painting stations, to leading walks through the park, to greeting visitors, passing out food, and much more!
  • Photographer at UEC events and programs: Are you an experienced or a beginner photographer/videographer? Help us capture our mission by taking photos and/or video at Urban Ecology Center programs and events. 
  • Young Scientists Club: Young Scientists Club is our after-school drop-in program for school-age children. Students and volunteers who participate in Young Scientists Club help to steer activities based on their own interests. Volunteers help kids stay engaged in activities whether it be yoga, gardening or cooking the food they grow.


Public Opportunities

If you are looking to volunteer once, or are interested in squeezing occasional volunteering into an already busy or irregular schedule, we invite you to be a part of our occasional volunteer projects. No prior experience is needed for these activities as you will be guided by and learn from knowledgeable Urban Ecology Center staff.


These Opportunities Include:

  • ROOT (Restoring Our Outdoor Treasures):* Come get your hands dirty and help us restore our outdoor treasures together! Help replace invasive species with native plants, trail maintenance, erosion control, and more. Most often we will be outside, so come prepared to go out and dress for the weather. Days and times are available at all three of our branches. Click here to view upcoming times.
  • Park Rangers: To allow for more volunteer engagement in a safe way, Park rangers is now a self-lead volunteer opportunity. Volunteers are encouraged to pick up trash on their own in the parks we manage or parks near their homes. This opportunity is ideal for people needing service hours for school or the courts. Reach out to Davita Flowers-Shanklin, Volunteer Program Manager (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), for more information.

Still Have Questions?

If you still have questions about volunteering at the Center, please contact us: Davita Flowers-Shanklin, Volunteer Program Manager, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




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