Tennessee Naturalist Program

Volunteer Options

service pinsVolunteer opportunities are always available with any of the TNP Chapters, especially the chapter that provided your training.

Volunteer Log

Other ways to volunteer include any Tennessee State Park, city parks, nature centers, schools, scouting groups and citizen science projects. After completing 40 hours of training and the first 40 hours of volunteer work, a trainee becomes a Tennessee Naturalist and is awarded their first pin.

When a Tennessee Naturalist completes an additional 10 hours of training and 40 hours of volunteer work they will receive a new pin indicating "50 Hours", then pins for "100 Hours", "150 Hours" and "200 Hours". After that, 20 hours of training and 80 hours of volunteer service are required to be awarded the "300 Hours" and "400 Hours" pins. More volunteer service pins will be added as the need arises.

Natural Areas Near Nashville

Volunteers wishing to participate in any of the following projects should contact: Allan J. Trently, West Tennessee Stewardship Ecologist, Allan.trently@tn.gov, 731-512-1369. Details.

Auntney Hollow State Natural Area (SNA): plant assessments, plant surveys, removal of exotics

Carroll Cabin Barrens SNA: trail maintenance, spring and fall butterfly counts, trash removal, rare plant surveys, search for state-listed plants

Devil's Backbone SNA: trail maintenance

John Noel at Bon Aqua SNA: trail maintenance, exotics removal

Langford Branch SNA: trash removal, fen orchid search, small carpgrass and Japanese stiltgrass pulls,

Stillhouse Hollow Falls SNA: trash removal, site checks, trail maintenance

Walker Branch SNA: privit pull, adopt an exotic, Goldenseal searches, Fraser's Loosestrife searches, Virginia Bunchflower searches, American Ginseng searches, trash removal

Natural Areas Near Shelby County

Volunteers wishing to participate in any of the following projects should contact: Allan J. Trently, West Tennessee Stewardship Ecologist, Allan.trently@tn.gov, 731-512-1369. Details.

Big Cypress Tree SNA: Red Turtlehead searches, Marsh Ladies'-Tresses searches, Swainson's warbler surveys, Chinese privet pulls, Japanese chaffweed pulls

Ghost River SNA: willow-leaf aster surveys, willow-leaf aster management, trash removal, king rail surveys, least bittern surveys, invasive exotic plant control, adopt a rare plant, boardwalk and trail maintenance, heron nesting colony surveys

Lucius E. Burch, Jr. SNA: copper iris monitoring, spring searches for Swainson's warblers

Meeman-Shelby Forest SNA: little brown jug searches, state-listed plant monitoring

Riverwoods SNA: privit pull, adopt an exotic, trail maintenance, litter removal,

William B. Clark SNA: southern twayblade searches, trail maintenance and boardwalk reporting, adopt an exotic

Invasive Plant Removal and Monitoring

Contact Brian Bowen or Brian Ross of the Natural Areas Program for what, when, and where assistance is needed for removal and monitoring of invasive plants. Additional training may be needed for some activities. Email brian.bowen@tn.gov or call 615-532-0436.

Tennessee State Parks

Volunteers interested in helping our state parks can go to the TN State Parks website to choose the section of the state where they want to volunteer. A wide range of opportunities are available.

National Wildlife Refuges in Tennessee

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has numerous Wildlife Refuges in Tennessee and a need for volunteers. Check their website to learn what is near you.

Chapter Volunter Needs

All of our chapters need experienced and knowledgeable volunteers to help fulfill each chapters' mission. Below are some of the posted needs of each chapter:

Audubon Acres, Chattanooga: Visitor Center Host, Trail Building & Maintenance, Grounds Maintenance, Building Maintenance, Interpreter/Guide, Educational Programming, Special Events. Complete this form.

Bay's Mountain, Kingsport: Astronomy, Exhibit Construction, Farmstead, Herpetarium, Nature Center, Raptor Center, School Programs, Special Events, Trail Maintenance. Contact the Volunteer Coordinator’s office at (423) 229-9449 or send e-mail to RobCole@KingsportTN.gov.

Cedars of Lebanon, Lebanon: Trail maintenance, Grounds keeping, Painting, Trash removal, Construction of simple structures, Removal of invasive species. Contact Ranger Zach Tinkle by email at zach.tinkle@tn.gov or by phone at 615-443-2769.

Ijam's Nature Center, Knoxville: Naturalists/Interpreters, Park Maintenance, Special Events, Office Work. Contact the Volunteer Coordinator, Lauren Bird, at (865) 577-4717 ex 135 or email lbird@ijams.org.  

Memphis Botanic Garden, Memphis: Horticulture/Gardening, Garden Tours/Docent, Youth Education and Activities, Office Work. Volunteer HERE.

Owl's Hill, Brentwood: Programs, Trail Maintenance, Garden Clean-up, Special Events. Contact Julie at (615) 370-4672 or email kristin@owlshill.org.

South Cumberland, Monteagle: Denny Cove Trail Work, Visitor Center Help, Trail Assessments. Contact info here.

More Volunteer Opportunities

Places to volunteer in the Memphis area:
Shelby Farms Park: Coral O'Connor: coconnor@shelbyfarmspark.org
Lichterman Nature Center: janie.paraham@memphistn.gov
Overton Park Conservancy: info@overtonpark.org

Check this list for Volunteer Opportunities (also provided on your TNP flashdrive).