With many preserves to manage around the commonwealth, it is not always possible for the staff of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to visit each preserve as often as we would like. This is why it is vital to have a community of volunteers at our preserves to help maintain and monitor their condition. TNC is dedicated to providing authentic and inspiring examples of Virginia's natural habitats, and maintaining our public-access preserves is one of the best ways to accomplish this goal.
Preserve stewards visit the preserve approximately 4-6 times a year on a regular, rotating calendar schedule. When making a visit, stewards should thoroughly inspect the property by walking trails and various areas of the preserve while carrying a trail tool (e.g. loppers, hand saw) to perform basic trail maintenance by removing debris, fallen branches, overgrown vegetation and trash as needed.
Time Commitment: While flexible, a Preserve Steward should plan on doing at least 4-6 stewardship hikes a year. Preserve stewards will work with the Schedule Manager to sign up for weeks during which they are available to hike. Our goal is to have the preserve visited at least once a week.
- Demonstrated interest in the management of nature preserves and commitment to the mission of The Nature Conservancy.
- Some knowledge of the preserve (must have visited at least once) and the ability to hike the trails at the preserve.
- Ability to operate hand tools, such as loppers and handsaws, safely.
- Good communication between the Schedule Manager and TNC Staff.
- Self transportation to and from site.
- Ability to work outside in varying weather conditions.
- Willingness to participate in training sessions and hikes and attend Preserve Volunteer Program gatherings.
Please contact the Virginia Volunteer Program by email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive further information.
To learn more and download resources, visit Volunteer in Virginia and select the "Preserve Monitoring" tab.