Volunteers are essential to the Blue Ridge Center's operations and mission. We welcome volunteers in the following categories -- or in other areas where you can help:
If you are interested in working with us, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out our volunteer information sheet.
Landscape & Trails
Maintaining our 900-acre preserve provides numerous opportunities for unique outdoor construction, renovation, and clean-up projects, such as:
- Clearing Trails - Clearing fallen trees and debris from hiking trails
- Sign Cleanup - Cleaning dirt and vegetation off of interpretative and trail signs
- Bridge Building and Maintenance - repairing old wooden bridges, replacing floor boards and hand rails
- Demory-Wortman House Gardens and Pathways - landscaping for an historic farmstead; constructing two stone pathways from the Demory-Wortman House to parking areas
- Native Plant Garden - maintaining small native plant garden in front of Demory-Wortman House; replacing mulch, removing weeds and invasive plants
- Heirloom Garden - assist in setting up "Old Roots, New Shoots" exhibit, a living outdoor exhibit featuring heirloom vegetables and herbs
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Education & Programming
Volunteers are needed to lead and co-lead educational programs offered by the Blue Ridge Center. Available roles may include:
- Education Volunteer: Aid with environmental education programs such as Birds of the Ridge, Wild and Wonderful Habitats for Birds, Adventures of Farming, Science and our Food Supply, the Wonders of Wetlands, and more. Volunteers should have experience working with people of all ages and must not mind working outdoors for 2-3 hours at a time.
- Community Outreach Volunteer: Volunteers will not only aid in programs on Blue Ridge Center property, but also at local schools, community events, festivals, fairs, etc. We are looking for volunteers with experience in working with multiple age groups and who do not mind working outdoors for 2-3 hours at a time.
- American Sign Language Volunteer: We are seeking interpreters fluent in American Sign Language. Interpreters would aid in developing a monthly outdoor program for the deaf. Volunteers would also attend community events at local schools, fairs, festivals, etc. Volunteers should have experience working with people of all ages and not mind working outdoors for 2-3 hours at a time.
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IT, Website, & Database Management
We are looking for assistance in managing our electronic presence on our website, Facebook, and email. Additionally, we are working to more effectively manage our contact database.
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Cultural Preservation & History
Discover and preserve the past. The Blue Ridge Center's land preserve was a vibrant community in the 19th century. The following roles are available to help maintain our ties to the past:
- Clearing vegetation from historic structures - in order to maintain historic cabins' structure and free of pests and small animals, vegetation and debris must be cleared on a regular basis
- Inspection of historic structures - a full structural inspection, checking for cracks, leaks and any damage to historic cabins
- Docent/Tour Guide - Blue Ridge Center is now seeking volunteer docents, to give historical tours around the Farmstead Loop. Volunteers should have experience working with people of all ages and must not mind working outdoors for 2-3 hours at a time.
- Deed Research and Oral Histories - Continuing deed research of Blue Ridge Center property and surrounding area. Conducting interviews with Blue Ridge Center neighbors, collecting oral histories.
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Bring your child or grandchild for a week of camping, stream cleanup, farm animal tending and other trail maintenance work. We supply the food – you supply the muscle power and the fun. Sponsored by American Hiking Society.
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Internship OpportunitiesThe Internship Program at the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship is designed to provide students and recent graduates with experience in two separate areas: (1) the operation of a non-profit educational organization or (2) the operation of a small-scale, direct-market organic farm.
Preference will be given to candidates who are graduate students, undergraduate students, or have graduated from college within twelve months of beginning the internship; however, consideration will be given to all applicants over the age of 18. Internship applicants must be authorized to work in the United States. General Information: Part-time and full-time seasonal internships (ideally at least 10-12 weeks in duration) at the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship’s 900-acre nature preserve are available in the following areas:
- Environmental Education: Naturalist interns teach environmental education programs to students and visitors, prepare educational curriculum, and give guided nature tours of the BRCES’ 900-acre nature preserve. Preferred candidates will have a background in biology, ecology, or environmental studies.
- Cultural-Historical Education: Cultural-historical interns teach students and visitors about the rich cultural-history of the BRCES property and the greater northern Blue Ridge region. Internship responsibilities may include giving tours of the BRCES’ Historic Farmstead Loop, assisting with a public archaeology dig, or helping to develop new cultural-historical programs. Preferred candidates will have a background in anthropology, archaeology, or history.
- Nonprofit Management: Nonprofit management interns help create various marketing and public relations materials, assist with the coordination of special activities and assist in all aspects of fundraising. Preferred candidates will have a background in communications, marketing, or business.
- Organic Farming: Farm interns working at Mountain View Farm gain experience in sustainable agriculture and horticulture, assisting with the daily care of a diverse farm animal population, preparation of bedding plants and planting, care and harvest of field crops. Interns also gain experience in public relations by administering farm tours and other public outreach programs. Experience in farming is a plus, but not necessary.
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