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.

Remember that you can add your driving time to any volunteer hours that you log. Please note this is for Volunteer hours ONLY, NOT continuing ed hours. The mileage box is still available as some folks use that to keep track of miles driven for their personal records.  Please feel free to contact Sue Tait, Membership coordinator, if you have any questions. 

"Grasses for the Masses" workshops and program 
are starting soon! Registration is now open.

Help restore the health of the Chesapeake Bay and Virginia's rivers by participating in Chesapeake Bay Foundation's "Grasses for the Masses" program.  Participants in the program grow wild celery, a type of underwater grass, in a simple grow-out system in their homes for 10-12 weeks. After 10-12 weeks of grow-out, participants will gather to plant their grasses in select local rivers to bolster grass populations and help restore the Bay.
General Program Timeline:

Workshops: January to mid-February
Grow-out period: February to May
Plantings: April to June

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) conducts workshops where participants are given instructions and the tools necessary to grow the underwater grasses themselves.  
Find out more and register at:

Or contact Blair Blanchette, CBF Virginia Grassroots Coordinator, 
at 804-780-1392 or at bblanchette@cbf.org

Identification of Eastern Spotted Skunk Habitat and Range Boundaries in Virginia

Identification of Eastern Spotted Skunk Habitat and Range Boundaries in Virginia.  This project is a large scale/statewide trail camera survey. The intent of the survey is to determine where skunks are or are not present. Locations for baited camera stations will be chosen in forested areas on public or cooperating private lands. We are currently sampling throughout the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests and various private lands in western Virginia and hope to expand sampling effort eastward to the Atlantic coast to include lands where Master Naturalist chapters have working relationships.

The camera surveys will be conducted from December through April when spotted skunks are easiest to detect and black bears are in hibernation.

Participants will follow a sampling protocol provided by the project leader, Emily Thorne prior to the start of the project. 

Camera stations consist of one remote-sensing, motion activated camera with LED flash mounted to a tree up to 3 feet above ground. Camera stations will be baited with road-killed white-tailed deer either staked down or wired to a tree approximately 6 to 10 feet in front of the camera.

Salvage permits are required to collect road kill and can be obtained by chapters or individuals through VDGIF.

Cameras should be located in forested areas approximately 200 yards from roads for convenience of transporting bait to camera stations. If sample areas are large enough to have multiple camera stations, cameras should be separated by approximately 1 mile to ensure the same spotted skunk is not visiting multiple camera stations. Camera stations should be visited by project participants at least once per week to check for photos of spotted skunks and ensure cameras are functioning properly. Bait should be replaced as needed.

Photos will need to be uploaded to an online file sharing site (such as Dropbox) set up in advance by the project leader, Emily Thorne. A detailed project protocol will be supplied to all volunteers who sign up for the project.

See  website  and  project proposal  for complete details.

Volunteers should record service hours in the VMS under the Project: DGIF - Citizen Science

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.


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.


Participants 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.

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

James River Association's Tree-Athlon 2018

The countdown to the James River Association's Tree-Athlon has begun! Join us in March and April on our journey to plant 3,000 native tree seedlings along various tributaries of the James in Albemarle, Nelson, and Amherst Counties. All volunteers will be given a voucher for a free paddling trip at James River Adventures in Lynchburg. 
Learn more and sign up here !

Have a larger group that you would like to get involved? Get in touch with Sophie Stern at sstern@jrava.org 

Please contact Amber for more information if needed.

Amber Ellis, PLA, CBLP
Watershed Restoration Manager
Tel: (804) 788.8811  ext.205
Email: aellis@jrava.org