I don’t have any of the tools listed for a work day. Can I still be helpful?
Most definitely! We have a supply of tools, which we always bring to work days. We ask volunteers to bring their own tools to supplement ours, and many people are simply more comfortable using tools that they are familiar with.
What do I need to bring with me?
Wear tough outdoor clothing that can get grubby. Long sleeves and pants in pale colors will help you spot and remove ticks, which can be prevalent during certain times of the year. We recommend sturdy boots with good ankle support for most projects. Some projects involve working or walking in mud and muck; for these, wear shoes that can take it, and bring a dry pair for the ride home. Bring a bag lunch and plenty to drink. We suggest wearing a backpack or fanny pack so you can carry them hands free. We provide extra drinks and snacks.
I live downtown and don’t have a car. Can I still help?
If you request it, we will try to arrange carpools with other volunteers or with staff who are attending the project. We can’t always find you a nearby match, but we’ll try!
I feel bad driving great distances to help the environment. Don’t you have any projects closer to Baltimore/DC/Frederick?
Since our preserves are havens for rare species and most rare species don’t favor metropolitan areas, our time on the land entails long drives for our DC/Baltimore members, volunteers and staff. If you are looking for a volunteer placement closer to home, check out www.volunteermatch.org and specify your desired travel distance.
What if I need to leave early?
In most cases that’s just fine. Our work days are all-day affairs to make the most of our travel and preparation time. If you need to leave early, just tell us when you sign up, or as soon as possible. If we're working far from the parking area with no marked trails, we’ll plan to escort you out.
Are your work parties suitable for kids or families?
In principle, kids and families are always welcome! In practice, some projects are suitable for kids, and some aren’t. So much depends on a child’s age and maturity and how closely the parents supervise. We’ll let you read the project descriptions and decide for yourself; please call us if you have questions or want to chat about it. While young children do slow down the work somewhat, they bring such a fresh wonderful perspective, so we're glad to have them along!
What about inclement weather?
Since we’re not always able to reach volunteers to inform them of last-minute changes and cancellations, make sure to call the volunteer leader if you are uncertain whether the work day is still on schedule.