"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others"

Photo by Betsy Garber
TNP Graduate, Joy Mayfield, Volunteering with children's group


-Develop new skills
-Help a cause that lights you up!
-Meet new people
-Connect with your community
-Expand your horizons

Tennessee Naturalist Volunteers Make a Difference!

Our volunteers combine their diverse interests, skills, and experiences with the TNP instruction to contribute time, energy, and ideas toward making a difference in Tennessee communities!  After training, Tennessee Naturalists participate in many different types of volunteer activities such as:

  • Helping state and local government agencies monitor and maintain the quality of our native ecosystems in a variety of citizen science projects.
  • Work with nonprofit organizations in preserving and maintaining our state's natural heritage.
  • Assist with public interpretive programs reaching adults and children throughout the state.
  • And much, much more!

Volunteer Opportunities

Sponsoring organizations of TNP chapters typically have many needs for volunteers as do state and local parks, environmental non-profits, federal, state and local government agencies, and others.  We encourage our students to begin with your local chapter and community, and branch out from there to find volunteer opportunities that best suit your specific interests and schedule.  TNP also advertises volunteer needs in our quarterly newsletter.

Volunteer hours must fall within these four categories of service:

1.Environmental Education (e.g., lead guided hikes or activities, develop educational materials)

2. Citizen Science (e.g., species monitoring, bioblitz, data collection)

3. Stewardship (e.g., stream cleanups, trail maintenance, habitat restoration)

4. Administrative Support for Chapter or TNP (e.g., assist a chapter or TNP event or administration) [applicable hours limited].

Tennessee Environmental Organizations

Cumberland River Compact https://cumberlandrivercompact.org/

Cumberland Trail Conference https://www.cumberlandtrail.org/

Foothills Land Conservancy http://foothillsland.org

Sierra Club Chapters in Tennessee https://www.sierraclub.orgchapters/tn

Tennessee Clean Water Network  https://www.tcwn.org/

Tennessee Environmental Council  https://www.tectn.org/

Tennessee Native Plant Society  https://www.tnps.org/

Tennessee Ornithological Society  https://tnbirds.org/              

Tennessee Pks and Greenways https://tenngreen.org/

Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association  https://paddletsra.org/

Tennessee Trails Association http://www.tennesseetrails.org/

Tennessee Wild  http://www.tnwild.org/

The Nature Conservancy https://www.nature.org/en-us/about-us/where-we-work/united-states/tennessee/       

Wild Ones Middle Tennessee Chapter  https://middletennessee.wildones.org/

Tennessee State Parks https://tnstateparks.com/get-involved/volunteering

National Parks & Forests in Tennessee

Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area  https://www.nps.gov/biso/index.htm

Cherokee National Forest  https://www.fs.usda.gov/cherokee/

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park  https://www.nps.gov/cuga/index.htm

Great Smoky Mountains National Park   https://www.nps.gov/grsm/index.htm

Obed Wild and Scenic River  https://www.nps.gov/obed/index.htm