Our volunteers will find a welcoming, supportive, and appreciative environment here. Would you like to work in the peace of the Preserve, or do you prefer to work with a group of curious children? Would you like to help out for a day, or prefer to contribute year-round? Do you want to get exercise, or do you want to get creative? Whatever your interests are, we do our best to find ways for you to share your talents on your schedule.
There are many ways you can be a part of the exciting things happening at the Preserve:
- Maintain/create trails
- Plant native species around the Preserve
- Collect seeds for propogation in our greenhouses
- Assist with invasive species control
- Lead educational programs for children/adults
- Develop/write educational materials
- Create displays
- Assist with special events such as the Native Plant Sale or Family Weekend Open House
- Office/clerical support
- Research funding sources/write grants
- Share expertise (financial, legal, etc.)
Current volunteer needs
We are happy to be approved to offer outdoor service experiences for Calvin students, staff and faculty this fall. Without the ability to host community volunteers, we will greatly appreciate your assistance.
Native Plant Propogation
Join us as we collect and process native seeds for our annual plant sale and restoration projects, and plant natives and remove weeds in Venema Gardens. No experience is necessary; we provide simple training.
WHEN: Wednesdays at 2 - 5 pm, October 7 - November 18 (rain or shine - on rainy days we will process seeds indoors)
WHERE: Check in at the Bunker Interpretive Center entrance
Registration REQUIRED: Opportunities are limited to enable social distancing, so please contact Dena Baker (Native Plant Propagation Intern) at firstname.lastname@example.org before attending. You are welcome to come late or leave early as your schedule allows, just let Dena know your availability so she can greet you when you arrive.
Be prepared: Please bring a water bottle and mask. Dress in layers for the weather. Tools are provided but bring your own work gloves if you prefer. Restrooms, water and hand sanitizer will be available.
Join us as we remove invasive species, maintain the trails, and plant natives and remove weeds in restoration areas.
WHEN: Wednesdays at 1 - 4 pm, September 23 - November 11
WHERE: Check in at the Gardeners Cottage in Venema Plaza & Gardens (opposite the Bunker Interpretive Center)
Registration REQUIRED: Opportunities are limited to enable social distancing, so please contact Jen Howell (Land Manager) at email@example.com or (616) 526-2576 before attending. You are welcome to come late or leave early as your schedule allows, just let Jen know your availability so she can greet you when you arrive.
Be prepared: Please bring a water bottle and mask. Dress in layers for the weather. Long pants/sleeves and closed-toe shoes are strongly recommended. Tools are provided but bring your own work gloves if you prefer. Restrooms, water and hand sanitizer will be available.
Ongoing volunteer needs
Volunteer are need to assist our Land Manager in restoration and monitoring projects.In return, volunteers will gain valuable work experience related to conservation and ecological restoration. Volunteers can look forward to hands-on experiences with practical aspects of natural resource management including native plant identification, ecological monitoring and practical strategies for controlling invasive plants common to the Midwest.
Educational program leaders
If you enjoy working with children and sharing your love of the outdoors, becoming a program leader may be for you. Leaders guide elementary school groups through the Preserve, presenting a variety of specifically designed environmental education programs. Leaders need to be knowledgeable about Michigan flora and fauna and/or be willing to learn, and must be able to communicate their knowledge in a professional and educational way. Prior experience teaching and/or working with children is preferred. Programs take place during the school year 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Time commitments vary. Training is provided.
Artists, crafters, and carpenters
We are often in need of talented people for various creative projects at the Preserve. For example, we would love to make more puppets and backdrops for our puppet theater, as well as props for teaching. Let us know how you would like to share your creative flair!
To be an adult volunteer
To help with any of the activities listed above, please complete an adult volunteer application. (Note to Mac users: you must complete this application using Adobe Reader, not Preview.)
To discuss other ways in which your talent may contribute to the mission of the Preserve, please contact Julie Wilbourn.