Volunteer Opportunities at the Kalamazoo Nature Center

We need hundreds of volunteers and several interns every year to continue providing high quality opportunities for our members and visitors. Volunteer positions and internships at KNC are intended to be mutually beneficial: we further our mission of connecting people with nature and enjoy the benefits of your hard work and positive energy, and you receive education and experiences in a professional, natural setting, working closely with our world-class staff.

Volunteer opportunities are on a by-need basis and change dependent on the season. If you have specific questions about volunteer opportunities at the Kalamazoo Nature Center, please email:

Are you a current volunteer?

Spring Volunteer Events

Garlic Mustard Games

Saturday, May 6

Do your part to remove invasive garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) and have some fun at KNC’s second annual Garlic Mustard Games! Participants will earn the chance to win prizes for picking the most garlic mustard in this friendly competition. Last year’s participants were able to remove over 700 pounds of garlic mustard from KNC grounds in just one afternoon! Contact Kyra Blum at for questions and to register you or a team.

Garlic Mustard & Dame’s Rocket Pulling Day

Come for one day or join us for all!

Saturday, April 22, 8:30-10:30 am, Beech Maple Trail
Wednesday, April 26, 8:30-11:30 am, Stryker Nature Preserve
Wednesday, May 24, 8:30-10:30 am, Habitat Haven & Cooper’s Overlook Trails
Saturday, June 10, 8:30-10:30 am, Pioneer Woods Trail & DeLano Farm

Virtual Butterfly Monitor Training

Saturday, May 13, 11 am – 1 pm
Butterflies are indicators of the quality and health of entire ecosystems, and monitoring their abundance is critical for informing conservation work. KNC’s Michigan Butterfly Network welcomes participants of all experience levels at this training workshop to learn how to identify Michigan butterflies and monitor a butterfly route.

Register HERE by May 12 to receive an email invitation to a Microsoft Teams meeting for this free training for ages 15 and up.

Kalamazoo River Guardians

Saturday, May 20, 9am – 5pm

Want an opportunity to better understand your local watershed? Become a Kalamazoo River Guardian! Working with a team of experts, you will help sample aquatic macroinvertebrates throughout parts of the Kalamazoo River watershed and identify them under microscopes. The data collected contributes to a statewide database used for valuable research and monitoring of water quality. No prior experience is necessary! Lunch will be provided.

Free volunteer event  – REGISTER HERE >
Registration Deadline: May 16
Meet: Merrill Park 5845 Comstock Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49048
Audience: Ages 8+

Volunteer in the Hummingbird Butterfly Garden

Register as a Volunteer

The best way to keep up to date with our volunteer opportunities is by registering as a volunteer. Volunteer needs are on a by-need basis, meaning that when opportunities arise, our Volunteer Coordinator, Mariah Armstrong, reaches out to our volunteer base via email to recruit.  

All KNC volunteers are required to go through a background check.  

Register here >

Sugar Shack

Special Events

KNC hosts several special events throughout the year and we need volunteer help to make them happen. Volunteering at these events is a fun way to serve with friends or make new ones. This is perfect for students who need to meet service hours. Under 18 years of age? See our Youth Volunteering policy below.

Email with the subject line, Special Events, for details.

Sugarbush restoration

Bring a Group

We would love to host your organization, corporation or community group for a service project. We can work with you to find the perfect project that help us meet our mission and also creates an educational and fun day for your team. Group service projects can be any length of time that meets your needs. We welcome you to bring a picnic and stick around to enjoy the beautiful KNC grounds.

Email with the subject line, Bring a Group, for details.

Current Volunteer Opportunities

SeedlingsDeLano Farm

Did you know that our Regenerative CSA Farm would not be successful without our volunteers? DeLano Farm hosts open volunteer hours on a weekly basis as well as hosting groups consistently. March-November our farmers are outside working with the land – come join us!  

River Guardians

Conservation & Ecological Services

Interested in learning more about Conservation/Ecological Service Volunteer Opportunities at KNC? Reach out to Lindsey Dolinski with the subject line, CS Volunteer Opportunities, at *this does not include trail maintenance 

Adam and Tukey

Animal Care Volunteers

Animal Care Volunteers are some of our most dedicated volunteers. If you are interested in being added to our waitlist for Animal Care openings, please email Mariah Armstrong with the subject line, Animal Care Waitlist, at  

Youth Volunteering

We love to have the young members of our community and families as volunteers! While not all jobs are appropriate for youth volunteers, we work to provide opportunities and experiences for them. Here are our policies for volunteers under age 18:

Children 13 years and younger must have parent/guardian:

  • Volunteer side by side together on an activity.
  • Parental supervision must be provided at all times.

Teens 14-16 years must have parent/guardian:

  • Commit to ensuring transportation for the volunteer.
  • Commit to training with the teen volunteer.
  • Continue to provide parental supervision to help ensure volunteer commitment is fulfilled.

Teens 16-18 years must have parent/guardian:

  • Sign all applicable paperwork.
  • Commit to ensuring transportation