Ways to Get Involved
Whether you want to further conservation, learn more about nature or share your love of the outdoors, you’ve come to the right place. National wildlife refuges provide many opportunities for you to help your community and fish and wildlife by doing what you love.
National wildlife refuges partner with volunteers, youth groups, landowners, neighbors and residents of urban and coastal communities to make a lasting difference.
Find out how you can help make American lands healthier and communities stronger while doing something personally satisfying.
Volunteers: Gain new experiences and meet new people while helping to advance wildlife conservation.
Friends: Join neighbors in helping refuges restore habitat and expand access to green space.
Landowners: Learn how you can partner with the Fish and Wildlife Service to voluntarily restore land.
Local Groups: Find out how communities can work with refuges better for wildlife and people.
Youth: Explore paid and unpaid opportunities to learn and develop leadership skills."
Discover for yourself what tens of thousands of volunteers have learned: Volunteering for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is fun and rewarding in many ways. Master new skills. Meet new friends. Enjoy a sense of accomplishment from doing your part to further wildlife conservation for the pleasure of generations to follow. Check out these volunteer opportunities:
MARSH! – The Montezuma Alliance for the Restoration of Species and Habitats is part of a larger effort to restore, protect, and enhance wildlife habitat on nearly 50,000 acres in the Montezuma Wetlands Complex. We formed this volunteer program to support the habitat restoration efforts of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Montezuma Audubon Center and other partners at Montezuma. This group works on controllingin grassland, shrubland, forest, marsh and river. The work is hands-on as we cut and pull invasive species, collect native seeds, and replant with natives that will be more beneficial to wildlife & less harmful to Montezuma habitats overall!
Visitor Center/Nature Store
If you are a people-person, then you will love volunteering at the Visitor Center and/or the Lodge Nature Store. Greet visitors and orient them to all the refuge has to offer. The Visitor Center and Store are open April 1 - November 30. Each person is trained by refuge staff and gets on-the-job training with long-time, expert volunteers.
You are welcome to volunteer once per month to once or twice per week; the choice is yours! We are particularly looking for weekend volunteers, but there may be weekday options available. The visitor center and nature store shifts run 10:00AM to 3:00PM daily.
Some knowledge of birds and wildlife is helpful, but not necessary. You will learn something new every time you volunteer, guaranteed!
Family Nature Club Lead
We are seeking a nature-loving or nature-curious family to be the lead family for the Family Nature Club at the refuge. The lead family will develop and lead nature-inspired activities once a month and encourage participation by other families. The lead family will train with refuge staff and will eventually be responsible for holding the activities on or off the refuge. Interested, but want to share the experience? Contact us. The more the merrier!
Rove the refuge, greeting visitors and letting them know where to go for the best wildlife viewing. Or lead a program (a hike, a birding venture, a talk) about nature.
Work with visiting school groups or go into the classroom to provide programs meeting their needs. Assist with the refuge’s summer program for youth.
The refuge hosts two or more special events each year. Assist refuge staff or take lead to plan and implement an event.
Help keep our grounds and facilities appealing and safe for visitors. Assist refuge staff in the field by mowing and/or operating heavy equipment (experience necessary, refuge-required training provided)
Volunteer to take photographs at refuge events and program and of staff and other volunteers at work in the fields. Share your wildlife and habitat photos with us for use in our publications (credit always given to the photographer).
Social Media Coordinator
Maintain the refuge's Facebook page. Knowledge and skills of Social Media tools required. Refuge-specific training provided.
Nature does not recognize human-made boundaries. In order to conserve our natural and cultural resources effectively, we must work with others to bridge these boundaries. Partnerships foster creative solutions to challenging situations and often the results are greater than the sum of the parts. Learn more about our local partners.
- New York State Department of Environmental Conservation https://www.dec.ny.gov/
- Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex https://friendsofmontezuma.org/
- Montezuma Audubon Center https://ny.audubon.org/montezuma
- Ducks Unlimited https://www.ducks.org/
- The Nature Conservancy https://www.nature.org/en-us/
- Cayuga Lake Scenic Byway https://cayugalake.com/
- Booker T. Washington Community Center https://btwcc.org/
- Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cayuga County https://blogs.cornell.edu/ccecayuga/
- State University of New York College of Environmental Science & Forestry https://www.esf.edu/
- Cornell University https://www.cornell.edu/
Open the door to a potentially life-changing experience. If you land a student internship, a fellowship or a volunteer opportunity at a
Montezuma NWR occasionally offers internship opportunities. You may apply for an internship in order to gain college credit; we will work with your professor to design you work accordingly. Paid internships may be obtained through the Service’s partnership with the Student Conservation Association (https://www.thesca.org/). Internships at Montezuma offer well-rounded experiences, giving you the opportunity to work on projects related to our biological program, visitor services, and refuge maintenance.
Youth Conservation Corps (8-week summer employment)
The Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) is a summer employment program for young men and women to work, learn and earn together to complete needed conservation and maintenance projects on public lands. The work is planned to provide youth with a better understanding of their environment and the management of our natural resources, as well as job experience.
Crew Members (for ages 15 – 18 years)
You must be willing and able to do hot, sweaty, dirty work outdoors. Typical work includes trail maintenance, painting,removal, construction-oriented projects, sign posting, landscaping and weed control, trash pickup, and more. As part of your experience, you will also participate in staff-led programs that will engage and educate you about natural resources, conservation careers, and outdoor skill.
Save your form as a pdf file and send to firstname.lastname@example.org, or Montezuma NWR, YCC Crew Leader, 3395 US-20, Seneca Falls, NY 13148
The Crew Leader will be responsible for directing a group of Crew Members on specific work projects relating to fish and wildlife habitat management, species conservation and environmental education. Major duties include:
- Coordinate 8 weeks of a summer program
- Lead crew members in a variety of land resource improvement projects such as habitat restoration, plant/animal surveys, property maintenance, and educational field trips
- Incorporate messaging of the environmental value of each task
- Provide a safe and efficient work environment
- Drive crew to and from work sites
Crew Leader Requirements: Cumulative of 1-year supervising youth (summer camps, teaching, scouts) and/or bachelor’s degree in social/human behavior, education, health care, or similar field. Must have valid NY driver’s license, and pass a background check. Other beneficial qualifications include a degree in biology, environmental science or similar field; first aid/CPR; bounds of energy and ability to work in heat; and a strong desire to educate youth in conservation!
Submit résumé, cover letter, and three professional references. Be sure to include: dates of employment or volunteer work, whether it was full-time or part-time, and a description of duties.
Send application materials to:
email@example.com, or Montezuma NWR, YCC Crew Leader, 3395 US-20, Seneca Falls, NY 13148