Volunteer Opportunities: Environment

Below, I have listed links to different organizations that allow children to volunteer. Most places that take adults will also take teens, but many times they won't take younger volunteers. I have tried to find as many places as I can that let children help out in some way or another. I hope you find my links helpful. And if you know of a place not listed here yet, please let me know by going to my Submit A New Site page.

National Parks

Find Your ParkThere are many ways you can help care for your national parks, from one-time to reoccurring volunteer opportunities for youth, families, groups and individuals. 

To find out what National Parks are near you, visit "FindYourPark.com" or go to Volunteer.gov.  The portal is a free, fast efficient way to connect volunteers with natural and cultural resources agencies. 

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site | John Day Fossil Beds | Crater Lake National Park

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State Parks

Oregon State ParksYou can volunteer as an individual, part of a group, with your family—whatever works best for you. And you can spend as much or as little time as you want.  State Parks will try to match you to the location and opportunity of your choice.

Visit "America's State Parks" to find state parks near you.

Find an Oregon State Park | Volunteer at an Oregon State Park |

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City and County Parks

You will need to do a Google search or ask around locally to find information on City and County parks near you. Volunteering to do a park clean-up or planting trees usually do not have age requirements. They do recommend that you have adult supervision, though. Call your local Parks and Rec to find out for sure!

School Environmental Clubs

Check with your school to see if you have an Environmental or Recycling Club of some sort. Often-times, kids will get together to plan events and help spread knowledge on things people can do to help out. If you don't already have a club at your school, contact your principal to find out how to start one!

Ways to Help The Environment

Tips from PBS Kids: Our towns, cities, parks, and green spaces need help just like people and animals do. Without the efforts of volunteers who care about the communities we live in, pollution and other problems could soon be out of control. Everyone wants to live in a clean, safe, and beautiful area, and volunteers help make sure we do. Here's how you can lend a hand:

Recycling means taking materials like glass, paper, metal, and plastic, and helping to turn them into new products instead of just throwing them away. This also saves energy and resources by reducing the amount of brand-new stuff we have to make. As a "recycling ranger" you can:

  • Organize recycling drives in your area or encourage people you meet to take their unwanted materials to a local recycling center.
  • If your community has curbside recycling (a bin placed next to the regular garbage can), spread the word about how important it is.
  • Have a contest to see which street in your neighborhood can recycle the most material.

Planting trees
Planting trees and other greenery is more important than you might think! Plants can keep soil from washing away in the rain, make parks and public spaces more beautiful, and help create more oxygen to breathe. You can help by:

  • Talking to your family about buying and planting young trees on your property.
  • Participating in Arbor Day, a holiday set aside for communities to plant new trees.
  • Raising money for a national tree-planting group, or get involved in one in your local area.
  • Donating money or lending tools to help neighbors make your community more beautiful with new plantings.
  • Starting a club to plant flowers, trees, or other plants to improve your school.

Cleanup projects
Picking up litter makes a better, more beautiful environment for everyone, and gives people a reason to be proud of their community. Here's how you can help:

  • 48 U.S. states have "adopt a highway" programs where businesses and clubs agree to pick up litter on a certain section of roadway in their community. Contact your state government to join in, or organize a smaller project with the same idea.
  • Organize and publicize a "clean up" day for a park, beach, or area of woods, and offer prizes for the person or team who picks up the most trash.

Here are some great Web sites with more information about volunteering to help the environment:

Let's not forget a very important side of volunteering: Fundraising