We could not be who we are without our volunteers.

Our volunteer donated 8,042 hours at Trout Lake Nature Center last year.

Multiplied  by $22.14 per hour

(the value of a volunteer hour)

8,042 hours x $22.14* = $178,049,88

*Based on the Independent Sector, a coalition of non-profits, foundations and corporate giving programs 2013

Trout Lake Nature Center’s volunteers are the heart of its programs and facilities. With a very limited staff, volunteers are essential to keeping facilities functioning, fresh and clean. They also play a key part in every education program and event.

Volunteers maintain buildings, replace worn parts, keep equipment running and even clean the bathrooms and kitchens. We also train volunteers to meticulously clean our animal exhibits.

Area Eagle Scouts have helped by screening in the picnic shelter, mapping trails and working to build the new turtle shelters.  Both Boy and Girl Scout troops have participated in service projects at the TLNC and continue to be important partners.

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Trout Lake Nature Center strives to be inclusive and encourages a greater diversity of people as volunteers. Carlton Palms, a local program for autistic people comes weekly to clean bathrooms, wash and vacuum floors, spread mulch, pull weeds and more. They help to keep our buildings clean after use by students and visitors. Learning is also an important element of each visit. They learn about wildlife, plants and TLNC’s live specimens and their needs and enjoy walking the trails looking for turtles, alligators, birds and snakes.

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Interested in becoming a volunteer? Below is a list of volunteer opportunities available. Opportunities are only limited by your imagination.

Crafts: Assist with setting up or teaching craft skills. Complete prep work for student crafts, such as preparing water bottles to become aquifer models and terrariums or turning toilet paper tubes into binoculars.

Critter Care: Assist with the care of the live specimens and maintenance of their habitats. This could include feeding, cleaning or regularly handling the animals to used to people.

Education: Work with school groups, the community and adults to educate them about the wonders of Florida and its natural ecosystems. We strive to each how each of us can have an impact and make a difference.

Events: Staff educational booths at community events and share TLNC’s mission with others. Encourage children and their parents to learn about Florida’s natural resources through hands-on activities, offering information on animals, plants, reptiles and more.

Fundraising: Work with our staff and the TLNC Board to develop, organize and conduct fundraising events or activities. Assist in finding various sources of funding and income. We also need assistance with writing grants for TLNC.

Gardening: General gardening around the premises.

Graphic Design: Develop graphics for use in a variety of digital media. Layout publications, kiosks and displays and assist with the development of presentation materials.

Greeter/Open Hours: Welcome visitors, staff buildings and display areas and share information about Trout Lake Nature Center—its trails, displays, wildlife and programs.

Habitat: Enhance habitat for wildlife on Trout Lake property. Help eradicate invasive plants, create and maintain open areas or meadows.

Hospitality: Plan, shop, cook, set up and cleanup for special events and activities at TLNC such as Friday Night Naturalist programs, volunteer meetings, festivals or celebrations.

Interpretation/Information: Help create and maintain TLNC’s kiosks and information areas.

Library: Organize and maintain TLNC’s nature library.

Maintenance: Assist with the maintenance of trails, facilities and roadways. Work includes trimming vegetation, mowing and weed eating grassed or vegetated areas, repairing roads, and maintaining buildings and equipment.

Membership: Assist in maintaining membership records, sending dues notices and recruiting new members.

Office/Administrative: Assist with office tasks such as copying, filing, setting up phone tree, logging volunteer hours and other data entry.

Photography/Video: Taking photos at TLNC events and programs for use in brochures, kiosks, displays, website, Facebook, etc.

Technology/Social Media: Assist TLNC in upgrading technology, establishing and maintaining an electronic presence, etc

Website: Provide additions to existing website such as species database, interactive material, video clips, etc.

Writing: Assist with developing written material for press releases, website, online entries, background and promotional information, flyers, newsletters, grants, kiosks and other needs.

Other: A wide variety of skills can be used to help TLNC. Let us know about any special skills or knowledge you have

If you would like more information on becoming a TLNC volunteer, please fill out the form or call us at 352-357-7536.