I’ve been getting requests lately from people who would like to become more involved in the local environment, particularly with respect to streams and shorelines.
With spring almost here, it’s a good time to talk about volunteer opportunities.
Becoming a Kitsap County Beach Naturalist is one way to explore local beaches, learn about marine life and make a contribution to the community. Other opportunities are listed below.
Beach Naturalist classes will be held for the next six Thursdays at Poulsbo Marine Science Center, where participants will learn about clams, crabs, salmon and other animals and their essential habitats. Field trips are planned to Manchester State Park, Lion’s Park, Silverdale Waterfront Park, Kingston Marina and Kitsap Memorial State Park.
After training, volunteers can get involved in community projects such as research, education, restoration or other projects of one’s choosing.
The cost of the program is $65, which includes educational materials. Scholarships are available. Teens are welcome to attend, but students under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.
Other Kitsap County volunteer programs:
Stream stewards receive training for working in upland stream restoration projects (training in January and February).
Park stewards work as teams to preserve, protect and restore one or more Kitsap County parks with a focus on natural and cultural resources.
Adopt-a-Road volunteers are provided tools and gear for cleaning litter from local roads with recognition for their efforts.
Shore stewards pledge to protect streams, lakes, saltwater, salmon and wildlife on their own property or in concert with neighbors.
For a short-term commitment, organizers of Kitsap County’s annual Water Festival are still looking for volunteers for the April 15 event.
Other volunteer opportunities in Kitsap County
Hood Canal Steelhead Project involves restoration of the “threatened” species by the Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group
State and federal volunteer opportunities:
The “Puget Sound Starts Here” program of the Puget Sound Partnership provides a list of nonprofit organizations in need of volunteers.
Volunteer for Washington State Parks
Volunteer for Washington Department of Parks and Recreation
Volunteer for Washington Department of Natural Resources
Volunteer for Olympic National Forest
Volunteer for Olympic National Park
If you know of other volunteer opportunities open to the general public, feel free to list them in the comments section below.