Preserve Monitoring Program

Become a Volunteer Preserve Visitation Committee Member

With many preserves to manage around the commonwealth, it is not always possible to monitor them as often as the Conservancy would like. Regular monitoring and maintenance keeps us informed about their condition, while promoting the Conservancy's mission and supporting the ecological goals for which each preserve was established.

We are looking for long-term, committed people to join our volunteer visitation committees.  Committee members conduct routine surveys of our public preserves four to six times per year to assess the condition and needs of the preserve.  Team members also perform basic trail maintenance by removing debris, fallen branches, overgrown vegetation and trash as needed.

For a more detailed job description download our Volunteer Visitation Committee flyer (pdf). Please contact Jen Dalke, volunteer coordinator, at (434) 951-0572 or to receive further information.

Positions are available at:       

Current committee members download the monitoring inspection form (pdf).

Island Steward: Eastern Shore / Virginia Coast Reserve

The Island Steward is a volunteer position best suited for a person who lives on the Eastern Shore of Virginia who visits the Nature Conservancy’s barrier islands by their own means and would like to serve as a Conservancy representative on these occasions OR a person who is interested in volunteering to distribute educational brochures at seaside boat ramps on weekends, especially holiday weekends, throughout the summer.

The steward is an official representative of the Conservancy's Virginia Coast Reserve program, which manages several islands along the Atlantic coast, and educates island visitors about the sensitive natural resources of the barrier islands by talking with visitors and handing out brochures as needed. The steward’s educational efforts focus on, but are not limited to, breeding shorebirds and colonial waterbirds. Duties include:

  • Attend annual training sessions at The Nature Conservancy office in Nassawadox, typically held in early spring.
  • When on the islands and engaging in stewardship responsibilities, educate visitors about the sensitive natural resources on the islands through casual conversation and distribution of informational literature.
  • Report incidences of use-policy violations immediately to Conservancy staff.

Commitment: No regular island visitation schedule will be set; steward responsibilities will be on an on-going, opportunistic basis, when stewards choose to visit the islands. Stewards interested in volunteering at boat ramps can set their own schedule and report days and hours spent to Conservancy staff.

Qualifications include:

  • Local eastern shore resident
  • Excellent communication skills which can positively and effectively, yet casually, teach all island visitors
  • Desire to help protect the biodiversity of the Virginia Coast Reserve through education of island visitors.
  • Must have transportation to get on and off the islands, as well as familiarity with the local waterways unless only interested in volunteering at boat ramps

If interested please contact Jen Dalke, volunteer program manager, at or 434-951-0572 (w) or 540-335-1302 (c).