Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers Needed

Included below are upcoming volunteer opportunities with our sponsoring agencies and other organizations that may be of interest to our members.

These may be both short- and long-term volunteer opportunities and may require training to participate.


Friends of Pocahontas
Volunteer opportunities with FoPSP are posted on Meetup.com.  You can find specific information for each event, RSVP, and view the calendar of events. Weekly opportunities include:
  • Firewood Stocking: Thursdays at 8:30 a.m. (Contact FoPSP for meeting location.)
  • Invasive Plant Control:  Help remove invasive plants at this weekly session. Infomation is on Meetup.
  • Adopt-a-Highway Litter Pickup:  Sundays at 10:00 a.m. Meet at Horner Forest Trail parking lot on Qualla Rd. Bring your own gloves. Bags and safety vests are provided.

Nature Center Volunteers
Pocahontas State Park
Contact the park office at (804) 796-4255 or Andi Clinton at
(804)-796-4484 (O) adrianna.clinton@dcr.virginia.gov
Rockwood Nature Center
Contact  Lisa Trapp (lmtrapp13@gmail.com),
Director of Rockwood Nature Center,
by email or call (804) 745-8360.

Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas (VABBA2)
The second Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas is a survey of all bird species breeding in the state. Data collected will help map the distribution and status of Virginia’s breeding bird community in order to better inform our natural resource and conservation decisions. Volunteers collect information not only on the identity and number of birds they observe, but also evidence of breeding behavior. The Atlas use a series of breeding codes to describe the different types of breeding behavior that may be observed (See  Handbook and Materials  for more details). Survey data will be entered into the Atlas' eBird portal.


Pocahontas Chapter Projects
Follow the links for each project below to learn more and contact the project leader.
Upcoming Pochontas SP Opportunities
This is advance notice of some upcoming volunteer opportunities, VMN assistance is appreciated by the Park Staff.

May 16 - Monthly Friends Group Meeting
May 20 - Kids to Parks Day – Feather Fest! - we need volunteers *
Jun 3  - Clean the Bay Day, bilingual help needed
           - National Trails Day
Jun 24 - New Volunteer Orientation
Jul 10-14 - Teen Week 2017
Aug 21 - Senior Citizens Day
Sep 10 - Grandparents Day
Oct 21 - Park after Dark

And we need more volunteers to take the helm and staff the Contact Station, the Nature Center, and help with building brand new trail!

For more information, contact Andi Clinton at adrianna.clinton@dcr.virginia.gov

Notes from Nature
This is a great web-based citizen science project year round!

Participants will transcribe label information from high-resolution images of herbarium specimens using an online interface at NotesfromNature.org . The herbarium specimens are from Virginia and include both native and non-native species.

Specifically, the participant will use a web browser and navigate to http://notesfromnature.org.  They will click on the link for “Plants” and then click on “Plants of Virginia”.  NotesfromNature.org may cycle various expedition themes within the Plants of Virginia section, such as “Ant Plants of Virginia” or “Pollinator Plants of Virginia”.  Once you are within the Plants of Virginia section, an image of an herbarium sheet will be displayed and the participant will need to transcribe the data from the label into the web form as specified within NotesfromNature.org.  It is recommended to create a username and password for the site where the participant can track what they have done throughout the project.

There will be opportunities for local and in-person transcription events.  These events will most likely be arranged by a local herbarium involved with the herbarium specimen imaging project.  When these events occur, communications with event information will be disseminated on how master naturalists can participate.

Prior to participating in this project, volunteers must complete the Continuing Education Webinar training, Digitizing Virginia’s Herbaria for Research and Education (14 October 2016). Instructional documents are provided as part of the online training.

Record volunteer hours in the VMS project: Notes from Nature: Plants of Virginia

VMN Monitoring Fireflies in Virginia
You will need to act quickly on this one if interested.
Fireflies are extremely charismatic insects, but there are many basic questions about firefly diversity and ecology that scientists have not yet been able to answer. How many firefly species are there? Are firefly populations declining, increasing, or holding steady? What role, if any, do land use changes such as urbanization play in shaping firefly distributions and abundances?

The field data needed to address these questions are surprisingly sparse. This project seeks to survey the distribution, abundances, and diversity of fireflies across much of Virginia in response to concerns that fireflies are becoming less common in the region. We hope to recruit 30-40 volunteers with property in or near Roanoke, Charlottesville, Richmond, Winchester, and Leesburg. We will coordinate with volunteers to schedule visits during the evening when fireflies are expected to be most active (~7:30-10:00 PM). At each site, we will (1) survey fireflies using visual counts of firefly flashes, (2) characterize the local habitat (e.g., dominant vegetation type), and (3) train volunteers to collect data for Firefly Watch, a national citizen science firefly monitoring program. This project will teach volunteers about firefly biology and monitoring, and will generate much-needed field data about the status of firefly populations in Virginia.

How to sign up:

Interested volunteers should sign up by filling out this Google Survey (stable URL: https://goo.gl/forms/F0TKAEkCzRWgXrEf1) by 15 May, 2017.

Volunteers will be notified via email whether their property will be included in the project by 18 May, 2017