Volunteer position Title: Visitor Center Greeter and Nature Store Volunteer
Date Needed: Monday through Saturday, two shifts AM (9-1) and PM (12-4). Sundays may be added in the near future.
Volunteers are needed to assist in operation of the Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex Visitor Center and Nature Store. The visitor center is located in a brand new facility on Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge in Shirley, New York. Volunteer duties include distributing informational brochures, helping to answer visitor’s questions, selling merchandise from the gift shop and cleaning displays and facilities (as necessary). Volunteers will have a chance to meet people from all over the country and help visitors enjoy and appreciate the wonderful natural resources of our region.
The ten national wildlife refuge units on Long Island provide nearly 6,500 acres of habitat for migratory birds, threatened and endangered species and other wildlife. From rare grasslands to maritime tidal areas, the habitats are rich and diverse. In addition to Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge, other units include Amagansett, Conscience Point, Gardiners Point Island, Lido Beach, Elizabeth A. Morton, Oyster Bay, Sayville, Seatuck, and Target Rock National Wildlife Refuges.
The 13,000-square-foot center is located within an hour’s drive of New York City, and it will serve as a hub for visitors to the ten national wildlife refuges on Long Island. Design and construction of the “green” building was funded with nearly $9.8 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. It will serve the greater NYC metropolitan area and visitors to the area. The center features interactive exhibits, an environmental classroom with a wet lab, and a nature store run by the non-profit Friends of Wertheim, Inc. Three miles of new trails originating at the building and two new viewing platforms along the Carmans River will be created, expanding the refuge’s trail system. The center was built to meet the Gold-level certification criteria of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED. It has a number of “green” features, including:
• Water efficient features that will save about 26,000 gallons of water a year;
• A geothermal system that reduces the use of fossil fuels for heating in the winter and cooling in the summer. This energy savings would be enough to heat three medium sized houses and cool one house for a year;
• Flooring made from recycled rubber from old tires and carpeting made of recycled materials;
• Wood trim from plantation-grown trees, helping to preserve wild forests;
• A solar photovoltaic system on the roof that will reduce the building’s power consumption.
Training provided: Thorough training in all aspects of visitor center operation is provided to new volunteers. New volunteers will be paired with experienced volunteers at first. Knowledge of Long Island is beneficial but not necessary.
Benefits: An understanding of the National Wildlife Refuge System and public use activities and behind the scenes orientation tours of refuges managed by complex.
Length of Time Volunteers needed: Both short and long term.
Times/Days: Monday through Saturday, two shifts AM (9-1) and PM (12-4). Sundays may be added in the near future.
Number of Volunteers Needed: 1-2 each shift
Would you like the Volunteers to have any special skills, interest, or experience?
Volunteers should have good communication skills, an interest in and ability to learn about area history and natural resources and a desire to share knowledge with visiting public and work with others, including children. Experience with public speaking is beneficial, but not necessary. A flexibility to handle variations in routine due to shifting priorities and visitor needs is appreciated. This position will provide a motivated person the opportunity to spread his/her appreciation of the natural world to many refuge visitors.
Apply Online Now