Volunteer Opportunities in Syracuse, New York
Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps Hundreds of community volunteers have become environmental stewards of Onondaga Lake since the formation of the Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps in summer 2012. The Corps is an expanding organization of community volunteers who are contributing to restoration projects that are creating or improving wildlife habitat in the Onondaga Lake watershed. The Corps seeks to inspire future stewards of Onondaga Lake and its watershed through a hands-on, experience-based program that offers citizens and organizations the opportunity to participate in activities that help restore and sustain Onondaga Lake and its value as an Important Bird Area.
If you are interested in volunteering, or for information on upcoming events and past projects, click here.
Volunteer Opportunities in Upstate New York
Lake Ontario Piping Plover Monitoring-Piping Plovers were observed at Sandy Island Beach State Park and Lakeview Wildlife Management Area in 2015 and we are hoping they will continue to return. Those were the first sightings of a plover on the Lake Ontario in NY in decades! The Great Lakes population of the Piping Plover is federally endangered and most of the population breeds in Michigan. Piping Plovers haven’t nested on Lake Ontario in NY since 1984 so having them back in this part of NY during breeding season is incredibly exciting.
We are looking for scouters to go out weekly during the spring months and see if birds have returned to the shore. If plovers return, we will may need volunteers to help monitor them throughout the summer. We welcome volunteers who can help out one day or multiple days! Volunteers play a critical role in conservation by helping to ensure disturbance is at a minimum. We will provide a training and brochures that you can share with beach visitors. Access to the sites varies by site and might involve a long walk on the beach or a boat so volunteers need to be comfortable with those forms of transport.
If you are interested in this opportunity for the spring volunteering, please email our Director of Conservation Jillian Liner at firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteer Opportunities in New York City
For the Birds! Program of NYC
For the Birds! is an elementary education program that teaches environmental awareness and appreciation of nature through the study of birds. During a 4, 8 or 16 week session, public and private school students in grades 2 through 4 learn about their natural environment through classroom lessons, outdoor field trips, and a conservation project designed to improve bird habitat in the local community. For the Birds! exposes students, usually for the first time, to the idea that their own neighborhoods provide valuable habitat to birds and other urban wildlife.
Thanks to our strong volunteer corps, For the Birds! is taught in all five boroughs and has been a flagship environmental education program of Audubon New York for nearly two decades. We'd love to continue building our program with the help of our dedicated volunteers!
Volunteer Opportunities on Long Island-
Be a Good Egg Outreach Program
Since 2013, staff and volunteers have been working to increase the awareness of and reduce threats to beach nesting birds by encouraging beach-goers to pledge to “share the shore” with Piping Plovers and other beach nesting bird species. During our “on the beach” outreach days, we set up a tent and table at the entrance to busy Long Island beaches and talk to as many beach-goers as possible about beach nesting birds. We provide beach-goers with pamphlets and brochures about beach nesting bird biology, our conservation work, and information on how to reduce disturbances to birds. Then, we ask beach-goers to sign our “Be a Good Egg” pledge and therefore agree to stay out of fenced-off nesting areas, keep trash off the beach, and to keep dogs off of nesting beaches. Prior to these outreach events, we’ll ask new volunteers to complete a brief online training webinar.
Please contact Kaley Donovan (email@example.com) for more information and to sign up to volunteer for this exciting outreach program.
- Saturday June 10th (9 a.m. – 3 p.m.): Good Egg at Stehli Town Beach in Bayville, NY
- Sunday June 11th (9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.): Good Egg at West Meadow Beach in Setauket, NY
- Saturday June 17th (9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.): Good Egg at Point Lookout Beach in Point Lookout, NY
- Sunday June 18th (9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.): Good Egg at Lido Beach in Lido Beach, NY
- Saturday June 24th (9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.): Good Egg at Sunken Meadow State Park in Kings Park, NY
- Sunday June 25th (9 a.m. – 3 p.m.): Good Egg at Centre Island Town Beach in Bayville, NY
- Saturday July 1st (9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.): Good Egg at Jones Beach State Park, Field 2 in Wantagh, NY
- Sunday July 2nd (9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.): Good Egg at Lido Beach Town Park in Lido Beach, NY
- Saturday July 8th (9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.): Good Egg at Sunken Meadow State Park in Kings Park, NY
- Sunday July 9th (9:30 a.m.– 3 p.m.): RAIN DATE, Good Egg at West Meadow Beach in Setauket, NY
- Saturday July 15th (9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.): Good Egg at Point Lookout in Point Lookout, NY
- Sunday July 16th (9:30 a.m.– 3 p.m.): Good Egg at Jones Beach State Park, Field 2 in Wantagh, NY
2017 Coast Volunteer Events, Long Island, NY
Spring Volunteer Events
To sign up for the events below, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Saturday, April 1st at 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.: String Fencing Volunteer Day (ages 14+): Join us for our annual string fencing volunteer event: an opportunity to roll up your sleeves, get out, and help our threatened and endangered birds! We will work with the DEC to put up string fencing and signage around Piping Plover nesting sites at Centre Island and Stehli beaches in Bayville, NY. This symbolic string fencing reduces disturbance to nesting birds and chicks. Please meet us at the Theodore Roosevelt Center Sanctuary and Audubon Center in Oyster Bay before we head out to the field. We'll provide all equipment and work gloves (but feel free to bring your own). Please bring sunscreen, water, and wear close-toed shoes and weather-appropriate clothing. This event will happen rain or shine.
- Saturday, April 22nd at 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. (rain or shine): Town of Oyster Bay Beach Clean Up: Please help clean up trash from Stehli Beach, which is home to nesting Piping Plovers. This event is part of a larger International Coastal Cleanup Day effort to remove debris from our shores and is organized by the Town of Oyster Bay. The Town will provide gloves and trash bags. Please meet Audubon NY staff at Stehli Beach in Bayville, NY. This event will happen rain or shine.
- Saturday, April 29th at 10 a.m.: Tern Shelter Building Volunteer Event (Ages 14+): Please help us build 60 “teepees” to provide shelter for Common Tern (NYS Threatened) and Roseate Tern (federally and NYS Endangered) chicks. Later, Audubon New York staff will deliver the shelters to Great Gull Island, which has the largest nesting concentration of Roseate Terns in the Western Hemisphere and the largest concentration of Common Terns in the world. This shelter building event will take place inside the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center in Oyster Bay, NY. Please bring your own power drill if you have one.
- Saturday, May 27th at 8 a.m - 5 p.m.: Great Gull Island Stewardship Day: Have you ever wanted to learn how to use a GPS unit? Do you enjoy spending time outside and protecting endangered bird species? If so, this event is for you! Audubon New York and the Long Island Sound Study are offering a unique volunteer stewardship day to help monitor Common Terns (NYS Threatened) and Roseate Terns (federally and NYS Endangered) on Great Gull Island. We will take a boat over to the island from the Orient by the Sea marina in Orient, NY at 8 AM and return at 5 PM. We have limited space on the boat so please be sure to register in advance by emailing email@example.com.