About Us

Volunteer Opportunities

Join us in advancing our mission through on-the-ground conservation work!

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, contact Montezuma Audubon Center Director Chris Lajewski, 315-365-3588, clajewski@audubon.org.

The Montezuma Alliance for the Restoration of Species and Habitats (MARSH!) is part of a larger effort to restore, protect, and enhance wildlife habitat within the 50,000-acre Montezuma Wetlands Complex. The MARSH! program would not exist were it not for the strong coalition of partners and dedicated volunteers. MARSH! supports the habitat restoration efforts of the USFWS, NYSDEC, and Montezuma Audubon Center and activities are held approximately four times a month from April through October that are comprised of habitat monitoring, native vegetation plantings, invasive species removal, wildlife surveys, and native seed collecting in grassland, forest, and wetland habitats. Contact Chris Lajewski, 315-365-3588, clajewski@audubon.org, for more information.

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 Lake Ontario in New York 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 New York since 1984 so having them back in this part of the state 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 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 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 spring volunteering, please email our Director of Conservation Jillian Liner at jliner@audubon.org

Volunteer Opportunities in New York City

For the Birds! Program of NYC

For the Birds! is an environmental education program that teaches awareness and appreciation of nature through the study of birds. During a 4, 8, or 16 week session, public and private school students in elementary, middle, and high school 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 would love to continue building our program with the help of our dedicated volunteers!

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Lily Lasovick, For the Birds! Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator, at lily.lasovick@audubon.org or 212-979-3114.

Volunteer Opportunities on Long Island-

Coastal Stewardship

Each spring, we host a series of hands-on volunteer events to help protect beach-nesting and migratory coastal bird species. Volunteers have the opportunity to help install symbolic fencing around piping plover nesting habitat, join beach clean-ups, build wooden shelters for nesting terns, and travel to and help locate and GPS tern nests on Great Gull Island. Events take place on select weekends from March through June. Please email NYcoast@audubon.org or call 516-922-3200 for more information and to sign up to volunteer for our spring events.

Be a Good Egg Outreach Program

“Be a Good Egg” is an outreach initiative that strives to reduce human disturbance threats to Piping Plovers and other beach-nesting bird species. We host “on the beach” outreach events on weekends in June and July, during which we table at the entrances of priority Long Island beaches and encourage beach-goers to share the shore with birds. We provide visitors 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 keep dogs off of nesting beaches.

Please email NYcoast@audubon.org or call 516-922-3200 for more information and to sign up to volunteer for this exciting outreach program. Prior to these outreach events, we’ll ask new volunteers to complete a brief online training webinar.

Photo: Kerri Dikun

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