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Florida

The Disney Wilderness Preserve: Volunteer for The Nature Conservancy

Be a part of our groundbreaking conservation effort at The Disney Wilderness Preserve.


Volunteers

Butterfly chasers, Buck and Linda Cooper have conducted butterfly counts at the Conservancy's Disney Wilderness Preserve for 14 years.

Volunteering at The Disney Wilderness Preserve

Check for upcoming volunteer opportunities here.

•Native Plant Projects
•Invasive Plant Control
•Wildlife Monitoring
•Building/Grounds Maintenance
•Data Entry
•Outreach Projects

When are volunteers needed?

Our volunteer opportunities are seasonal and our work days are sometimes scheduled just a week or two ahead of time. We mostly offer on-call projects for which we announce our needs, find out who is interested, and sign them up for that specific project or work day. It adds variety to our volunteer experience and gives volunteers opportunities without tying them down to a schedule.

How do I apply, and do I need to commit to a certain amount of hours?

No application is required to be on our Volunteer eNews list. Before participating in a work day or project, individuals need to complete a volunteer application. By doing so, they are not committing to a specific job or amount of hours but are welcome to respond to any opportunity announced in the Volunteer eNews. Volunteers are trained for all activities, sometimes on the job, sometimes in a scheduled class beforehand.

What ages may volunteer?

Our volunteer program is suitable for ages 18 and above. Teen children may occasionally participate if accompanying a parent or guardian who is a registered volunteer.

What is the time schedule?

Since the DWP Volunteer Program is a need-based program, volunteer work days and time frames vary according to the type of project and the number of people needed. Tasks might require a few hours, a full day, or a commitment for several months. We understand this type of program may not fit everyone, especially a person who seeks to obtain a specific number of hours within a short time frame or someone who wants to volunteer for a few hours at regular intervals of their own choosing to “do anything needed.”

Do I need experience or a college degree to participate?

Our volunteer activities do not require a degree and only occasionally require specialized knowledge or experience. Certainly any knowledge in applicable subjects makes volunteering at DWP more interesting, but only a short session of training is needed for most of our volunteer projects and is often done on the job. Alert observations, attention to detail, patience with repetitious work, and physical staying power are the most useful skills. Volunteers who continue in the program and become proficient in various tasks are deeply appreciated and are often requested by staff for specific projects. Outreach volunteers must possess a working knowledge of the preserve’s cultural and natural history.

How hard is the work?

Most of our volunteer projects involve field work, varying from light to strenuous. It is important for field volunteers to be healthy and able to work in wilderness habitat, often in the sun and heat. Extensive walking is often required. A limited number of tasks are done indoors. Job descriptions are announced beforehand, and volunteers are informed concerning the level of physical effort necessary.

Will I get to work with animals?

Monitoring of wildlife, which may include observing protected species in order to collect data, is mostly done from a distance using binoculars. Since our wildlife is not in captivity, physical interaction is avoided and, in most circumstances, not permitted by law unless an individual is licensed.

Please email visitdwp@tnc.org or call 407-935-0002, ext. 102 to discuss whether DWP has a good match for your interests, time and talents.

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