‘Go green’ with these volunteer options

Parks systems, river clean-ups, urban gardens and research in nature are just a few volunteer opportunities available to environmentally-minded residents in Greater Dayton.

Parks systems, including Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Park District, Five Rivers MetroParks and the Miami County Park District, all rely heavily on volunteers.

- Alison Pifer, volunteer coordinator at Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Park District, said duties typically include helping at large-scale events and summer camps, monitoring bluebird nest boxes and picking up trash during park clean-ups. Pifer said people with an area of expertise, such as hiking, also can volunteer for the speaker series.

- Five Rivers Metro Parks has an array of volunteer needs, including in the gift shop, outdoor recreation, park maintenance, historical restoration, gardening, conservation, animal care and trail building.

- The Miami County Park District needs volunteers to help during special events such as the Hug the Earth Fest in May or Fall Festival in October. Any group of five or more people also can call the park district to get assigned a community service project, ranging from painting fences and picking up trash to planting trees and clearing honeysuckle, said Jessie Chernetski. Call 937-335-6273 to volunteer.

- The Great Miami River Clean Up will be held in July this year from Indian Lake to Franklin. Find your area location online.

At the Garden Station in downtown Dayton, everything the art park and community garden is able to achieve is done so through a volunteer force, said Lisa Helm, project manager. Email DaytonGardenStation@gmail.com. The available volunteer duties are vast — from facilitating tours for school groups; helping to mulch; event publicity; helping at an event or farmers markets; organizing the community garden clubs; construction projects; and more.

Glen Helen, a 25-mile network of footpaths maintained by Antioch College, depends on volunteers to carry out its programs, events and initiatives that help preserve the land — from fundraising and mailings to trail maintenance and handyman work. The Marianist Environmental Education Center has a 100-acre nature preserve that volunteers can help maintain, said Tara Poling, program coordinator. There are also research opportunities, such as identifying butterflies within transects, or volunteers can work inside helping to curate the library’s offerings and organize a summer art and education exhibit.

- The Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm seeks volunteers to serve as trail guides to lead school field trips and weekend nature programs focused on habitats, wildlife and farming; helping at the front desk and nature store; administrative support; and maintenance or groundskeeping.

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