The official website of the Elkhorn Slough Foundation and Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve
Volunteer at Elkhorn Slough

Volunteering - A Special Way to Help the Elkhorn Slough
What volunteers bring to the Reserve and the Foundation could never be bought. Since the Reserve's early years, volunteers have been instrumental in the success of a wide variety of programs and activities that take place here.  From education and stewardship to helping in the Visitor Center or Greenhouse, volunteering at the Elkhorn Slough helps us meet our goal to conserve and restore this unique landscape while conducting research and education to ensure its ongoing protection.   

One of the volunteers’ main contributions is fostering public awareness for the Elkhorn Slough. Volunteers provide an invaluable service whether by telling friends of the restoration work they helped or by revealing the wonders of Elkhorn Slough’s diverse habitats to a group of school children or simply by inspiring people to protect these wonderful and fragile areas for the future.

ESNERR Volunteer Program Opportunities Brochure (pdf, 592KB)

Moon Snail at Elkhorn Slough The Benefits of Volunteering
As a volunteer, you'll learn about the natural history and importance of the Elkhorn Slough. You'll gain a deeper understanding of the environment while developing personal relationships with professionals that share your interest in the environment. You'll also have the opportunity to meet others who share your interest in the slough.

Our volunteer training program provides the opportunity to  learn in-depth information about the Elkhorn Slough – its history, wildlife, and community.  As you share this knowledge with others you’ll enhance your appreciation for this unique region, as well as those visiting the area for the first time.  And, you might even learn some new skills and sharpen up your current talents.  Along with all this, we think you’ll have lots of fun too.

Volunteering – What’s Involved
We are always seeking volunteers.  You can help us as by volunteering for short-term projects or long-term programs.  

Short-term Opportunities
The Reserve and Foundation hold public planting days (both in the field and in our greenhouse), weed abatement projects, clean-up days, and general stewardship days where we invite the public to come out, get dirty, make new friends and help out in the watershed.

Check out our calendar for upcoming public volunteer days.

We also welcome organized groups – private, corporate, community or school based groups.  These events are often tailored to your group’s time and skill level.  Working together on a restoration project is an excellent way to build connections and a sense of community among the participants.  Your group will learn about the environment and have a good deal of fun helping care for the lands in this watershed.

Long-term Commitment
To be an active volunteer and Reserve ambassador, the Reserve holds a Volunteer Training Program for those who want to learn about the Slough, dedicate more time, and pursue special interests.

For Long-term volunteers additional benefits include
: a monthly newsletter, a discount in the Elkhorn Slough Foundation bookstore at the Reserve, special speaker enrichments, social events, potlucks, field trips, and an opportunity to promote environmental awareness and to meet active, interesting, like-minded individuals.

We encourage you to learn more about volunteer opportunities and then consider your interests, skills, passion, and time commitments to determine what might work best for you.

Thank you for your interest in volunteering at Elkhorn Slough!


For more information on becoming a volunteer at Elkhorn Slough, contact:
Amanda Ankenbrandt, Volunteer Coordinator
(831) 728-2822 ext. 303
Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve Volunteer Program
1700 Elkhorn Rd., Watsonville, CA 95076

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This site is maintained by the Elkhorn Slough Foundation in partnership with the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve