Volunteering Opportunities

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Too many to list all—Scroll down the page!


Found a new volunteer effort?

  1. Check it against Guidelines and against Volunteer Service Opportunities that have already been approved.
  2. Submit an approval request form if the opportunity is new and meets Guidelines.
Report here! TMN Hours Entry Login  ||  Get VMS Help here! VMS Links

Volunteer Opportunities at Hummer/Bird Celebration

Get lots of volunteer hours working the MCTMN Native Plant Sale at Hummer/Bird Celebration! 

Help is needed with:

  • Propagating plants
  • Organizing and labeling plants before the sale
  • Visits to nurseries to select plants
  • Transporting plants and equipment
  • At the cashier’s table
  • As sales assistants, providing plant information
  • Set-up and break down on sales days

Sign up for the time-slots you prefer at the August meeting or online. For more information, check your roster and email Janet Price, or call  713-202-7639.

Other Opps at HBC—Want to work at our Chapter Outreach booth? Want to work for ANWR, Welder, or one of our other Partners? Want to help staff the NPSOT Butterfly Tent? Watch this space for more information coming soon!

Aransas Pathways Pollinator Gardens—Updated!

Volunteers Wanted—The Aransas Pathways Ivy Lane Birding Site, Connie Hagar Cottage Sanctuary, and Linda S. Castro Nature Sanctuary in Rockport will have a continuing need for volunteers for pollinator gardens, prairie restoration, and adding local native plants to the trails. Call or text:

  • Ivy Lane—Neli Spurrell, call or text 214.597.8751. Workdays: 1st and 3rd Mondays 8-10 am; 1st Saturdays 10-11 am after guided nature walks
  • Connie Hagar—Laurel Cahill, 361.244.0970 or Pam Larson, 361.205.2553
  • Castro Sanctuary—Laura Clark, call or text 361.205.2251

VMS Opportunity listing – RM: Aransas Pathways (list the property where you volunteered in Description)

Outreach Booth Staffing

Volunteers will promote TMN or provide nature-related activities for kids from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm at DeLeon Plaza in downtown Victoria.

  Feb 4  Mar 18  Apr 22-Anita  May 20  Jun 17  Jul 8
  Feb 11  Mar 25  Apr 29  Jun 3  Jun 24
  Mar 4  Apr 8  May 13  Jun 10  Jul 8

Contact Anita Brunsting with the date(s) you are interested in covering and to arrange to get the booth and any materials from Anita. VMS Opportunity listing – CB: Chapter Business/Recruiting or PO: Other Events/Partners if you are working with kids.

Lamar Whooper Watch

The International Crane Foundation (ICF) and Dr. Liz Smith want to gather data about the whooping cranes that are using Lamar peninsula. Volunteers are needed to monitor cranes at various locations and report date, time of day, number of cranes, estimated age (adult, juvenile), bands, and behavior. Data may provide insight into changing behaviors of these urbanized birds. This project will gather data over several winters. Since birds have left for their summer home in Canada, monitoring is not likely to be needed until the fall of 2017. Email Ray Kirkwood or call 361-332-8703 to volunteer. VMS Opportunity listing – FR: Bird Populations.

Check out other Partner Pages:

Aquarium at Rockport Harbor

The Aquarium needs hosts who will commit to two 3-hour shifts a month and have a real interest in the Aquarium. Please contact Annette Hegen at 729-0182. VMS Opportunity listing – PO: ARH docent

Aransas First Opportunities

Aransas First is a 501(c)3 corporation acting as a Land Trust. Its purpose is to identify, acquire, and protect sensitive Coastal Bend habitat essential to the nurture of birds, wildlife, and people as well as to increase public awareness of ecosystems unique to the Live Oak Peninsula/Ingleside Barrier through education, access, and participation. Volunteers are needed to develop/clear/mow trails, remove invasive vegetation, and clean up as needed at Aransas First properties:

  • Aransas Woods
  • Cove Harbor Boardwalk and wetlands
  • Myrtle Street Wetland
  • Woods Beachfront and Dunes-Mustang Island

Call Earl Matthew at 361-790-3074 to volunteer or get more information. VMS Opportunity listing – RM: Other Locations

Aransas Pathways Opportunities

Aransas Pathways is a project to develop birding sites, kayak launch sites, and trails  within Aransas County. They just completed a new birding trail at the edge of Rockport. If you’d like to get involved in the next project, check your roster and contact Fred Lanoue. VMS Opportunity listing – task-dependent

Boggy Nature Park, Port O’Connor

Boggy Nature Park is approximately 85 acres on Boggy Bayou outside Port O’Connor, TX. Immediate needs are: Identifying plants, suggesting wildlife habitat improvements, and TMN counsel and advice in supporting these unique public lands. Long-range work might include planting native plants, removing any invasives, and improving public access. This effort would be ongoing. If you want to be in on the ground floor of habitat improvement and park enhancement, check your roster and contact Joe Wiatt. VMS Opportunity listing – task-dependent.

Goose Island Opportunities

Gardens: Volunteers needed for planting  and garden maintenance. Check your roster and contact KarenLee Rystad or Patrick Hartigan VMS Opportunity listing – RM: Goose Island

New Birding Observation Platform: Volunteers are needed to help with planting and maintenance. VMS Opportunity listing – RM: Goose Island

Invasives Removal: Help is needed to get rid of invasive species at Goose Island State Park. VMS Opportunity listing – RM: Goose Island

Contact Janelle Rand for more information, to volunteer for a project, or to find out other volunteer opportunities at Goose Island.  To join Friends of Goose Island, contact Mrs. Betty Stiles.

MCBNC Butterfly Garden

Help is needed in the Butterfly Garden at the Matagorda County Birding Nature Center in Bay City. This garden has been neglected for several years, and volunteers can help with clearing out overgrown plants and weeds, replanting with appropriate native plants, and regular maintenance. Monthly 3rd-Saturday workdays are scheduled at the Nature Center, or volunteers can choose their own time to work. Contact Janet Price for more details. VMS Opportunity listing – PO: MCBNC

Matagorda Bay Nature Park Opportunities

Work with Students: If you can help, contact Park Program Coordinator Mike Mullenweg by email or at 979-863-2603. VMS Opportunity listing – PO: MBNP

Butterfly Gardens: We also have ongoing opportunities, one of which is the maintenance of our butterfly gardens.  We are looking for someone help with the designing, planting, labeling, weeding, lab and seasonal upkeep of our garden. VMS Opportunity listing – RM: MBNP

Visitor Center Staffing: Volunteers will greet customer as they enter our visitor center on Matagorda Beach, help explain displays and exhibits in the Natural Science Center, answer phones, and help in the park store. VMS Opportunity listing – PO: MBNP

Mission-Aransas NERR Opportunities

Bay Education Center, Rockport: Docent Volunteers are needed to staff the Bay Education Center on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. VMS Opportunity listing – PO: Mission-Aransas NERR

Estuary Explorium, Port Aransas: The Mission-Aransas NERR has a new volunteer opportunity in Port Aransas, much like the Bay Education Center in Rockport. As a Docent at the Explorium, you can make a difference in educating the public about the importance of estuaries. The Estuary Explorium is housed in the old library space in the UTMSI Visitors Center. VMS Opportunity listing – PO: Mission-Aransas NERR

Wetlands Education Center, Port Aransas: Volunteers are needed to lead guided tours of the Wetlands Education Center on Tuesdays at 10:00 am. VMS Opportunity listing – PO: Mission-Aransas NERR

Volunteer with with the Mission-Aransas NERR! VMS Opportunity listing – task-dependent

Palacios Prairie Wetlands Project

Palacios is developing 26 acres into the Palacios Prairie Wetlands adjacent to the Navigation District and Trull Foundation marshes. The property includes marsh, uplands, and grassland habitat. It was rife with invasive species. The area as proposed is to be developed into a “native Texas ecosystem.” We have several tasks we would like to accomplish:

  • Identify species as they sprout as native or invasive and respond appropriately
  • Propagate and plant native vegetation

Contact the Projects chair if you are interested in becoming Chapter liaison for this project. VMS Opportunity listing – RM: Other Locations

Port A Nature Preserves Invader Removal

David Hyde, the director of the Port Aransas Parks and Rec. Department is instituting a volunteer program to remove invasive plant species from the nature preserves in Port Aransas. These work days will be scheduled about once a month, so if you wish to get on the email list, contact him at dhyde@cityofportaransas.org or 361.749.4111. To get there after leaving the ferry, turn right at the first traffic light (Cut-off Road), go one block and turn right on Port Avenue. Stay on Port Avenue and eventually you will wind up at the Pavilion. Please come prepared with the kind of clothing and footwear you would wear to go birding in the boonies. Bring gloves. We will work to kill the Brazilian Pepper Trees and perhaps other tasks that will enhance the preserve. VMS Opportunity listing – RM: Other Locations

Texas Zoo Opportunities 

Check out Volunteering at the Texas Zoo for information. Email ContactVMS Opportunity listing – task-dependent

Insect Opportunities

Monarchs

TPWD Nature Tracker—Monarch Watch

Help monitor and support the Monarch butterfly and earn volunteer service hours at the same time! TPWD’s new Monarch Butterfly page contains a lot of  information with links to projects and other organizations. Note the Pollinators of Texas Fact Sheets and Texas Monarch and Native Pollinator Conservation Plan.

  • Report Monarch sightings at Journey North
  • Create butterfly habitats
  • Identify and propagate Texas milkweeds

Check out other Nature Tracker volunteer opportunitiesAll TPWD Nature Tracker VMS Opportunity listings – FR: TPWD

Tejano Wetlands Monarch Waystation

We’ll do some site preparation and plant the Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) at Formosa-Tejano Wetlands.  We will also discuss the scope of the Monarch Habitat Restoration Project at Tejano and future volunteer opportunities with the project. Watch this space for more information as plans develop.  If you have questions, check your roster and contact Bob Friedrichs. VMS Opportunity listing – RM: Tejano Wetlands

Bring Back the Monarchs Campaign

Monarch Watch, (Univ. Kansas) is still looking for native milkweed seeds for their “Bring Back The Monarchs” campaign. For information on how to contribute to this effort:
http://monarchwatch.org/bring-back-the-monarchs/milkweed/seed-collecting-processing

Mike Quinn, Austin – TMN State-approved project. VMS Opportunity listing – RM: Other Locations

Bees and Wasps of Texas

The purpose of this  project of the Texas Native Bee Co-op and TPWD  is to improve understanding of the distribution of pollinator bees and wasps in Texas, an important conservation issue. To participate, register with iNaturalist and then join project “Bees and Wasps of Texas” VMS Opportunity listing – FR: Insect Life

Take photos of bees and wasps, recording location, date, and time of day.  Upload data and photo by logging in to iNaturalist project “Bees and Wasps of Texas.” Click  “Add observations to this project.”  Fill in the form and upload the photo.  If you know what the critter was, type that into the “What did you see?” field.  If you don’t know, click “ID Please?” and the “Species Unknown” Button.  Add any comments about the site, and information such a what the critter was doing, or feeding  on.  Save using the button at bottom of the form.

Professionals and competent amateurs follow entries and enjoy helping you improve your species ID skills.  Paul Meredith  of Mid-Coast TMN is one of the site’s two curators, so he will be reviewing entries as well.  If you have problems, check your roster and  contact him; he’ll help.  Also, see the pollinator ID resources on this website for ID help.

Bumblebee Watch

Despite their critical roles in agriculture and natural ecosystems, bumblebees have gone virtually unstudied in Texas. The last published review of species in the state was in 1913, nearly 100 years ago. There is a real need to evaluate the status of these insects in our state to assess how their populations are faring and if conservation actions are needed. A first step in this process is simply recording where species are today and if they still occur in the same places they did years ago. Contributing to this process can be as simple as casually snapping images of bumblebees on flowers, recording the date and location, and submitting the image online. Visit www.texasbumblebees.com to learn more about this endeavor and how you can contribute. VMS Opportunity listing – FR: Insect Life

Butterfly Count

Join NABA’s Butterfly Count Program so scientists studying butterfly distribution and population fluctuations will have the benefit of important data from our area. For more information about how to start a count and about the Count Program in general, please visit NABA’s website, www.naba.org, send an email to naba@naba.org, or call NABA’s national headquarters at 973-285-0907. Location of counts and contact information for their compilers is at http://www.naba.org/butter_counts.html. VMS Opportunity listing – FR: Insect Life

Bird Populations Field Research

Carbide Colony Bird Census: Dow-Seadrift

If you’re interested in helping conduct bird counts at the Dow-Seadrift plant, check your roster and contact Anita Brunsting. She will make arrangements for you to come during the week/business hours to watch the Dow safety video and sign a waiver.  This is your chance to visit a limited-access site; Anita is allowed to escort only 1-2 volunteers at a time. She plans on starting in February and going through the nesting/breeding season (Aug/Sept) as weather permits. The most likely days for counts will be Fridays-Sundays.  Dow also participates in the Christmas bird count, and Anita can arrange for you to participate in the count at the Dow site if you’re interested. VMS Opportunity listing – FR: Bird Populations

Gulf-Beach-Nesting Bird Conservation Program

Gulf Coast Bird Observatory (GCBO) and American Bird Conservancy are expanding our beach-nesting bird conservation to begin a protection, monitoring, and outreach program for nesting Wilson’s and Snowy Plovers and Least Terns in Brazoria and Matagorda Counties. This project will allow us to protect beach- and island-nesting sites for solitary and colonial nesting birds such as Wilson’s and Snowy Plovers with the long-term conservation outcome of maintaining or increasing their nesting success and long-term survival. As part of a larger project monitoring these species at multiple locations on the Texas coast, this project will directly contribute towards setting such goals for Wilson’s and Snowy Plovers locally and region-wide. VMS Opportunity listing – FR: Other Partners

A large part of this project is outreach to the local community to educate beach goers, fisherman, and other recreational users to inform them of beach-nesting birds. We are hoping to train several bird stewards who will work with Amanda to monitor the birds and help with outreach on busy weekends and holidays. The stewards will help make sure people don’t accidentally (or intentionally) wander into the posted areas and they will tell beach-goers about the birds, allowing them to see the birds and their young up close from a safe distance through a spotting scope and binoculars. VMS Opportunity listing – PO: Other Events/Partners 

If you are interested in helping with this project in 2017, please contact Amanda Anderson (aanderson2885@gmail.com) or Susan Heath (sheath@gcbo.org).

American Oystercatcher Monitoring

This project can be done wherever there are nesting oystercatchers. Nesting Season is February – July. The Gulf Coast Bird Observatory (GCBO) will provide data sheets & training, data repository & analysis. Online training video is in the works. Monitor nesting oystercatchers, fill out a  form, send in data. More information VMS Opportunity listing – FR: Bird Populations

TERN Rookery & Foraging Monitoring

The Texas Estuarine Research Network (TERN) seeks to engage the public through citizen science concerning two main topics: colonial waterbird rookery monitoring and waterbird foraging habitat monitoring. The Mid-Coast Chapter is helping Audubon to spread this program along the entire Texas Gulf Coast. Data collected through this monitoring program will provide valuable information for agencies and organizations working to protect birds and bird habitats. Details will be forthcoming at training sessions. VMS Opportunity listing – FR: Bird Populations

Texas Quail Index

Quail decline is not just a Texas problem; the documented decline began in eastern and northern states over 40 years ago.The Texas Quail Index (TQI) is a large-scale demonstration designed to evaluate various indices of quail abundance statewide. The TQI program seeks to promote awareness and understanding in landowners and hunters concerning their quail population and the impact of management activities (both good and bad) on their property. The usefulness of the conclusions we can draw from these monitoring activities depends on the quality of the data collected. If you would like to participate, check your roster and contact Paul Meredith or Paul Swacina for information on how to get involved. VMS Opportunity listing – FR: Bird Populations

Texas Stream Team

Texas Stream Team is a network of trained citizen monitors and supportive partners working together to gather information about the natural resources of Texas and to ensure the information is available to all Texans. Established in 1991, Texas Stream Team is administered through a cooperative partnership between Texas State University, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Currently, hundreds of Texas Stream Team citizen monitors collect water quality data on lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands, bays, bayous, and estuaries in Texas.  More information… VMS Opportunity listing – FR: TPWD

Texas Invaders Volunteer Opportunity

Do you want to help slow the spread of harmful invasive plant species and reduce their ecological and economic damage? The first step is to locate where invaders have arrived and get that information to those who can do something about it. VMS Opportunity listing – FR: Other Partners

MCTMN Outreach

“TMN Tuesday” Class Series – Presenters Wanted

The Mid-Coast Chapter has been offering TMN Tuesday classes on the natural world at the Academy of Lifelong Learning (ALL) at Victoria College. We are now planning classes for the spring semester and we need you to be willing to share your knowledge of a topic and your love of the natural world with members of the public, to raise awareness of the Master Naturalist Program and to inspire others to join us. Classes will be 2nd and 4th Tuesdays January through May from 5:30 to 7:30 pm, unless the program you want to present requires a different schedule (example: field trip). Spring schedule:

  • January 10 & 24
  • February 14 & 28
  • March 14 & 28
  • April 11 & 25
  • May 9 & 23

Deadline for setting the spring schedule is November 23. Check your roster and contact Brigid Berger with your topic and the date you’d like to present! VMS Opportunity listing – TR: Other Organizations

Mid-Coast Chapter Speakers Bureau

If you are already making presentations to local groups as a Master Naturalist, or would like to, we would like know about you and be able to contact you if a group requests a speaker. Please contact the Outreach committee. VMS Opportunity listing – TR: Other Organizations

Victoria Advocate Guest Columnist

Paul and Mary Meredith, as Texas Master Naturalists, write a nature column for the Victoria Advocate. This activity relates directly to our TMN mission, “To develop a corps of well-informed volunteers to provide education, outreach, and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within their communities.” If you would like to write a guest column to appear in the paper, contact Paul or Mary. VMS Opportunity listing – PO: Other Events/Partners

Mid-Coast Website Writer

Know something that other Chapter members would like to know about? Write it up and send it to us.  Don’t think you can write? List what happened in chronological order, and we’ll write it up for you and get your okay before publishing. VMS Opportunity listing – PO: Other Events/Partners

Mid-Coast TMN Library Education and Outreach

Like to make posters? Talk to your local library and then go for it. Buy a science-project display board and create a static display to help with our TMN mission: “…provide education, outreach, and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within our communities.” The topic is up to you: teach about an environmental subject, display photos of TMN activities such as Matagorda Island Turtle Patrol; the sky is the limit. An additional benefit is the opportunity to publicize what we do and recruit for our Chapter. VMS Opportunity listing – PO: Other Events/Partners

Bird Rescue & Rehabilitation

Volunteers gather bait fish for food, transport birds, administer medications, and other tasks. VMS Opportunity listing – RM: Other Locations

Other Possibilities

Riparian Study—Chapter Project

Contact Kris Kirkwood for more information.


Make Your Own Volunteer Opportunity

Check out the Partners page, and contact the person at a place you’d like to volunteer.

Keep an eye out for new opportunities in your community, check the Volunteering Guidelines to see if they fit our TMN mission, and request Volunteer Service Approval.

"Be the change you want to see in the world." – Gandhi
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