Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers Needed

Included below are upcoming volunteer opportunities with our sponsoring agencies and other organizations that may be of interest to our members.

These may be both short- and long-term volunteer opportunities and may require training to participate.


Friends of Pocahontas
Volunteer opportunities with FoPSP are posted on Meetup.com.  You can find specific information for each event, RSVP, and view the calendar of events. Weekly opportunities include:
  • Firewood Stocking: Thursdays at 8:30 a.m. (Contact FoPSP for meeting location.)
  • Invasive Plant Control:  Help remove invasive plants at this weekly session. Infomation is on Meetup.
  • Adopt-a-Highway Litter Pickup:  Sundays at 10:00 a.m. Meet at Horner Forest Trail parking lot on Qualla Rd. Bring your own gloves. Bags and safety vests are provided.

Nature Center Volunteers
Pocahontas State Park
Contact the park office at (804) 796-4255 or Andi Clinton at
(804)-796-4484 (O) adrianna.clinton@dcr.virginia.gov
Rockwood Nature Center
Contact  Lisa Trapp (lmtrapp13@gmail.com),
Director of Rockwood Nature Center,
by email or call (804) 745-8360.

Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas (VABBA2)
The second Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas is a survey of all bird species breeding in the state. Data collected will help map the distribution and status of Virginia’s breeding bird community in order to better inform our natural resource and conservation decisions. Volunteers collect information not only on the identity and number of birds they observe, but also evidence of breeding behavior. The Atlas use a series of breeding codes to describe the different types of breeding behavior that may be observed (See  Handbook and Materials  for more details). Survey data will be entered into the Atlas' eBird portal.


Pocahontas Chapter Projects
Follow the links for each project below to learn more and contact the project leader.
PSP Nature Center/CCC Museum Assistant
July 29th, August 12th, or August 19th * 9:45am - 4:30pm

(You can sign up for either one 3 hour shift, or for the whole 6 hour shift.)
CONTACT: katharine.bryan@dcr.virginia.gov
Help staff the Nature Center or Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Museum at Pocahontas State Park. All you need is a love of nature and/or history and the willingness to share that love with others.  Duties at both facilities include: Greeting park guests with a smile, providing park information, and answering questions related to Pocahontas State Park. We provide training and manuals to help you along with staff eager to share what they know.

Both facilities are open from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. and we ask that you arrive at least 15 minutes early. At the Nature Center, you may have the opportunity to give brief educational talks on the live animal exhibits. Again, eager staff, training and additional information is provided.

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was responsible for creating many of America's national and state parks, including Pocahontas. This museum dedicated to the group is the only of it's kind in Virginia and holds many interesting artifacts and stories. We have plenty of resources, trainings, and manuals which can assist you with further research.

VMNs may record volunteer hours under the approved project "Pocahontas State Park - Education."

Upcoming Pochontas SP Opportunities
This is advance notice of some upcoming volunteer opportunities, VMN assistance is appreciated by the Park Staff.

Jul 10-14 - Teen Week 2017 - 8am –5pm TEEN WEEK (half day volunteers appreciated as well!) Where 10-30 teens get dropped off at 9am and work till 2pm, then 2-4 they do fun stuff like archery, canoe paddle, orienteering, and
guided tree ID hikes.

July 24th – August 11th Monday – Friday 8am – 4pm Youth Conservation Corps (half day volunteers appreciated as well!) 15 or 16 youth will work for three weeks here at Pocahontas and also have fun time, this is often the first time these youth have been out in the woods or done any physical labor. They learn what it feels like to build and accomplish tasks and gain self-confidence. They also get a $500 stipend when they finish the program.  I’ve attached the rough YCC schedule, but all the projects can be moved around to match a volunteer leader’s schedule.

August 18th 8am- 12:30pm YMCA CIT Leadership Youth (~20) Canoe paddle and trash/invasive species removal, Volunteer Dale Baker will lead the group, need one more if not two leaders.

Aug 21 - Senior Citizens Day
Sep 10 - Grandparents Day
Oct 21 - Park after Day

And we need more volunteers to take the helm and staff the Contact Station, the Nature Center, and help with building brand new trail!

For more information, contact Andi Clinton at adrianna.clinton@dcr.virginia.gov

Environmental Stewardship Day Camp

     Pocahontas Virginia Master Naturalists, please join us August 14-18 for the Environmental Stewardship Day Camp at the Pocahontas State Park Heritage Center.  This camp is geared towards 10- to 13-year-olds and runs from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. each day. 

At present, 14 children are registered to attend.  VMN Rosalind Ryan needs your help as an extra set of eyes and ears, as well as possibly leading various crafts/discussions.  She is seeking 2-4 VOLUNTEERS for each day of the camp to help with supervision. Several groups have been scheduled to come in during the week for classes.

Please sign up through the Sign-Up Genius notification (that you may have received in a separate email). Also, you may email her directly (rosalindryan@msn.com) to request the link or discuss a topic that you would like to present.

The basic schedule is as follows:

Day 1 - Monday:  Birding
     During our birding day, we will have a guest speaker from the Audubon Society, participate in a birding hike, visit with a wildlife rehabilitator and birds of prey, dissect owl pellets, make bird feeders, create journals and backpacks, as well as create a bird painting with the guidance of a local artist.

Day 2 - Tuesday:  Wilderness Survival
     On our second day of camp, we will be making solar ovens, participating in a guided wilderness survival hike, creating fire starters, canoeing, fishing, orienteering, making survival kits, as well as participating in a scavenger hunt.

Day 3 - Wednesday:  Plants and Insects
     Children will attend a plant talk and tree i.d. hike, plant flowers in the park, learn about insects, build mason bee homes, participate in a bug hunt, attend a wildlife photography session, make terrariums, as well as take home ladybug larvae to raise.

Day 4 - Thursday:  Habitats
     We will begin the day with a Leave No Trace activity, move on to animal adaptations, participate in dip netting, archery, plaster cast animal tracks, water filter activity, making toad abodes, as well as updating journals.

Day 5 - Friday:  Celebration
     This day will be our end-of-week celebration.  The children will participate in games, swim, and attend a cookout/awards ceremony.

The schedule is subject to change.  

Please consider signing up to help out even if it's for just one 3-hour slot.
VMNs should log volunteer hours in the Management System under the approved project "Pocahontas State Park - Education." (And don't forget to double-up your hours on the State Park website!)

Notes from Nature
This is a great web-based citizen science project year round!

Participants will transcribe label information from high-resolution images of herbarium specimens using an online interface at NotesfromNature.org . The herbarium specimens are from Virginia and include both native and non-native species.

Specifically, the participant will use a web browser and navigate to http://notesfromnature.org.  They will click on the link for “Plants” and then click on “Plants of Virginia”.  NotesfromNature.org may cycle various expedition themes within the Plants of Virginia section, such as “Ant Plants of Virginia” or “Pollinator Plants of Virginia”.  Once you are within the Plants of Virginia section, an image of an herbarium sheet will be displayed and the participant will need to transcribe the data from the label into the web form as specified within NotesfromNature.org.  It is recommended to create a username and password for the site where the participant can track what they have done throughout the project.

There will be opportunities for local and in-person transcription events.  These events will most likely be arranged by a local herbarium involved with the herbarium specimen imaging project.  When these events occur, communications with event information will be disseminated on how master naturalists can participate.

Prior to participating in this project, volunteers must complete the Continuing Education Webinar training, Digitizing Virginia’s Herbaria for Research and Education (14 October 2016). Instructional documents are provided as part of the online training.

Record volunteer hours in the VMS project: Notes from Nature: Plants of Virginia