Large group of volunteers with bag of collected prairie seed.
Volunteers at Kankakee Sands Seed collecting at Kankakee Sands © Alyssa Nyberg/TNC

Stories in Indiana

Volunteer in Indiana

Join the dedicated team of volunteers and interns making a difference in Indiana!

This page was updated on March 29, 2022.

As the pandemic continues to evolve, please review each volunteer opportunity or community event on the volunteer calendar for site-specific COVID-19 safety precautions. Thank you.

Volunteering in Indiana

Welcome to the volunteering hub for the Indiana chapter of The Nature Conservancy! We’re delighted that you want to get involved and give your time to help preserve the diverse landscapes and waterways of our Hoosier state. This webpage is intended to be your central resource for finding volunteering opportunities, learning about spotlighted roles and getting in contact with the Indiana volunteer team. To learn more, simply scroll through the sections, or select a button that will take you directly to a specific topic. 

Volunteer Opportunities

This volunteer calendar includes TNC workdays as well as Weed Wrangles. Click the link to open it and view opportunities across the state. Each event on the calendar includes details about the event, location and times and how to RSVP. Calendar isn’t working? Email Esmé Barniskis and she’ll get it sorted out. Not seeing what you are looking for? Check out our spotlighted roles for additional volunteering opportunities.

Many volunteers collect seed from tall prairie plants.
Seed collecting Volunteers at the Kankakee Sands seed nursery © Alyssa Nyberg/TNC

Opportunities by Area

There are opportunities to get involved with The Nature Conservancy through volunteering all across the state! Check out these options by region.

Northwest Indiana

  • Seed harvesting and cleaning
  • Invasive plant removal
  • Wildlife and plant surveys
  • Sign and trail construction
  • Maintenance of facilities
  • Visitor education
  • Photography
  • Prescribed fires
  • Data entry and office support

Central Indiana

  • General office support
  • Data entry
  • Marketing assistance
  • Philanthropy assistance
  • Garden care
  • Trail construction and maintenance
  • Invasive plant removal
  • Wildlife and plant surveys

South Central Indiana

  • Invasive plant removal
  • Trail construction and maintenance
  • Signage construction and maintenance
  • Prescribed fires
  • Wildlife and plant surveys
  • Guided hikes

Far South Indiana

  • Invasive plant removal
  • Wildlife and plant surveys
  • Trail maintenance
  • Prescribed fires
  • Native tree planting

Northeast Indiana

  • Invasive plant removal
  • Trail maintenance
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Bench & interpretive sign at preserve prairie sunrise.
Discovery Trail The Grace Teninga Discovery Trail at Kankakee Sands in Newton County, Indiana. © Ellen Jacquart/TNC

Spotlighted Role

Preserve Steward

Do you enjoy being on the ground, out in the field, and maybe a bit dirty after a hard day’s work? If so, then the role of Preserve Steward is for you! The Nature Conservancy is seeking dedicated volunteers to help us steward our Kankakee Sands Nature Preserve in Newton County.

Preserve Stewards will learn the art and science of conservation and restoration work. Their skills and contribution allow for stewardship staff to maximize their capacity and better care for all areas of Kankakee Sands.

Responsibilities

Preserve Steward responsibilities may include:

  • Controlling Invasive plants with herbicide and/or hand tools
  • Removing woody brush with hand tools or power tools
  • Collecting, cleaning, and sorting native plant seeds
  • Constructing firebreaks with cut brush and/or raking
  • Planting native plant plugs or seeds
  • Operating machinery and/or power equipment with guidance from staff
  • Working independently or with staff in areas with uneven terrain, no electricity or plumbing
  • Communicating with Kankakee Sands staff about prioritizing tasks
  • Following the management plan provided by Kankakee Sands staff
  • Completing training as needed and requested by staff
  • Tracking volunteer hours for inclusion in our annual volunteer reports
  • Working with TNC stewardship staff to identify and perform other stewardship tasks

Training

Preserve Stewards will receive an orientation to The Nature Conservancy and Kankakee Sands. This role will have many opportunities for training and education on equipment, tools, techniques, native plants, invasive species management and more. Experience in a related field is preferred but not required.

Time commitment

This is an ongoing role with an expected commitment of 8 hours monthly, April through November.

How to sign up

Email your interest and a little bit about yourself to indianavolunteer@tnc.org with the subject line “Preserve Steward Volunteer.”

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Sign Up for the Volunteer Newsletter

Our happenings around the state are slowly resuming. Be the first in the know by receiving the Indiana Volunteer quarterly newsletter. Subscribe today!

By clicking 'Subscribe', you’ll be opted in for future emails about Nature Conservancy volunteer opportunities. If you’d prefer to stay off this list but still want to contact us, please reach out to indianavolunteer@tnc.org.

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Get Started

Volunteers are integral in helping us accomplish our conservation mission to protect the lands and waters on which all life depends, so thank you for your interest. Use this Volunteer Interest Form so that we can better accommodate your skills and interests with our volunteer oppportunities.

Contact Us

Esmé Barniskis (she/her/hers)
Volunteer and Events Coordinator
indianavolunteer@tnc.org
(317) 829-3917