Volunteer programs provide many options

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.

For information, go to the Kitsap County news release. For registration, visit the website of WSU Kitsap County Extension.

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.

Weed Warriors pledge to track down and eliminate noxious weeds that invade and alter natural habitats for native species. Click here for sign-up form.

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.

3 thoughts on “Volunteer programs provide many options

  1. Stillwaters Environmental Education Center in Kingston is always looking for volunteers! Whether you want to work in our citizen science monitoring program, outside on the trails, on events or on educational programs, we encourage interested people to phone or email and we can get you the information you need to start!

  2. Thanks for adding this. I thought about Stillwaters yesterday when I was putting this together, but I was not sure how much volunteer work is being done outside the center itself. I believe Carpenter Creek and Carpenter Lake are among the longtime efforts. Is that where the citizen monitoring is being done?

  3. Thank you Chris! Yes, there is a lot of volunteer work currently happening on and around campus. The monitoring work is centered around Carpenter Creek and the estuary. It has been a baseline for the removal of the culvert at South Kingston and continues with more than just the stream monitoring projects- we now do benthic studies and are monitoring the flow in and out of the estuary.
    At Carpenter Lake, we conduct bird monitoring monthly and continue to steward the trails. In fact, there is a trail clean- up party this Saturday, March 22, 10am -noon led by Kingston Parks, Trails and Open Space committee volunteers.

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