WET Science Center

The WET Science Center is a fun, hands-on place to learn all about water. It is a part of LOTT Clean Water Alliance, a nonprofit corporation providing wastewater management services for the urban areas of Lacey, Olympia, and Tumwater. It’s free to visit and features interactive exhibits, family-friendly Saturday programs, wastewater treatment plant tours, and educational programs.

There are a variety of games and activities for all ages. Try an optional scavenger hunt to navigate through the science center. Information includes:

  • Water conservation.
  • Wastewater treatment, including the role of bacteria in the nitrogen removal process.
  • What not to flush or put down the drain.
  • Production and use of Class A Reclaimed Water.
  • Clean water careers.

Educational Programs
Programs are designed for students 5th grade and older. Programs are typically two hours long, and feature a presentation, a tour of the wastewater treatment plant or green-designed building, and time to explore the science center. All presentations align with Next Generation Science Standards.

Volunteer and Internship Opportunities
We offer volunteer opportunities assisting with our Saturday and community education programs. The positions can be designed to fit individual needs.

WET Science Center

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Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge

Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge provides recreation opportunities to thousands of visitors every year. Shorebirds migrating from as far south as Argentina stop to rest and feed in Grays Harbor Estuary every spring. The estuary’s open mudflats provide ample food for the migrants and great wildlife viewing opportunities for the public. Whether birding, practicing photography, or participating in educational programs, visitors enjoy viewing the unique ecosystems and diverse wildlife. Regulation of recreation activities allows for public enjoyment of the refuge while still protecting the wildlife and habitats. Each spring, the annual Grays Harbor Shorebird Festival offers field trips, shorebird viewing, lectures, Fun Fair, poster contest, and more.

From late April through early May, hundreds of thousands of shorebirds concentrate on the muddy tideflats of Grays Harbor Estuary on the Washington Coast. Grays Harbor Estuary is one of four major staging areas for shorebirds in North America and one of the largest concentrations of shorebirds on the west coast, south of Alaska. To protect this important shorebird habitat, Congress authorized the establishment of Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge in 1988. Managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, Grays Harbor NWR was established in 1990 and is located in the northeast corner of Grays Harbor estuary. It encompasses about 1,500 acres of intertidal mudflats, salt marsh and uplands. In 1996, Grays Harbor Estuary was designated a hemispheric reserve by the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network as a site of international significance.

Education Programs

  • Classroom Presentations
  • Field Trips
  • Education Guide
  • Teacher Training
  • Shorebird Festival Poster Contest

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge needs YOU – your talents, your enthusiasm, and some of your time! If you enjoy working with people and appreciate and are concerned about our nation’s natural resources, our volunteer program may interest you. Various opportunities exist at the Refuge for the volunteer to gain valuable and rewarding experiences.  Volunteers assist Refuge personnel in achieving management goals by assisting in environmental education, resource management, maintenance, and special projects. For more information and to fill out an application visit the volunteer page.

Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge
1131 Airport Way, Hoquiam, WA 98550
100 Brown Farm Road, Olympia, WA 98516 (mailing address)
(360) 753-9467

Nisqually NWR Website
Volunteer Page
Education Program
Shorebird Festival Website
Facebook – Shorebird Festival



Mount Rainier Institute

In partnership with Mount Rainier National Park, University of Washington created the Mount Rainier Institute. Located at Pack Forest, Mount Rainier Institute is a residential environmental learning center that uses the natural and cultural resources of Mount Rainier National Park and Pack Forest to achieve its mission. Mount Rainier Institute provides schools in our region with in-depth, multi-day programs focusing on science/STEM education. Mount Rainier Institute also helps connect students and teachers to Mount Rainier National park, and uses the park and Pack Forest as its “classroom.” We partner with schools to provide experiences that enhance curriculum, enrich science, and build community.

School Programs
Mount Rainier Institute provides outstanding nature-based education experiences that are rooted in science and nurture the next generation of environmental stewards and leaders. In partnership with the National Park Service, Mount Rainier Institute uses the natural and cultural resources of Mount Rainier National Park and University of Washington’s Pack Forest to help students learn and to develop their relationship with the environment through an educational adventure they will remember for a lifetime. Mount Rainier Institute programs provide a mix between interdisciplinary content with science process skills such as observation, inquiry, analysis, and supporting claims with evidence. Mount Rainier Institute educators will work with teachers to better integrate the Mount Rainier Institute experience into their classroom curriculum.

Programs are 4 days and 3 nights (Monday-Thursday), or 3 days and 2 nights (Monday-Wednesday & Wednesday-Friday). 4-day programs are given scheduling priority. 5-day and 1-day programs will be considered based on availability.

Fall season begins mid-September through mid-November. Spring season begins mid-March through mid-June.

Programs can be tailored to meet the needs of upper elementary, middle school, and high school.


John Hayes


(253) 692-4161


South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group

The Kennedy Creek Salmon Trail is the south Sound’s premiere salmon viewing experience. It is only open for the month of November, because that is when the chum salmon return from the ocean!

Schedule a visit for your class or interest group, and get a rich Pacific Northwest experience. Groups are lead by trained volunteer docents that cover a wide range of salmon and ecological topics including life cycle, spawning behaviors, survival rates, predator/prey relationships, forestry and human influences. Available for all ages!

Visit our website for more information, to schedule a field trip, or become a docent.

South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group
Megan Brady, Education & Outreach Coordinator

Nisqually Reach Nature Center

For more than 30 years, the Nisqually Reach Nature Center has offered environmental education to thousands of youth and young adults at Luhr Beach in Olympia, Washington, and in the classroom. The Center provides field trip opportunities, supplemental classroom activities and summer camps, all aimed at sharing the beauty and uniqueness of the Nisqually Estuary and learning the values of conservation, particularly with regard to South Puget Sound. The Center has four salt-water tidal aquariums filled with crabs, sea stars, anemones and other marine animals that live in the waters of South Puget Sound.

Volunteer Opportunities:

Do you want to know how you can become involved with our organization? We can always use help! Our volunteer opportunities include:

  • Staff volunteers for the Nature Center
  • Environmental Educators to assist with school groups and field trips
  • Aquatic Reserve Citizen Stewardship Committee
  • Special Projects

Visit our website to learn more!

Nisqually Reach Nature Center

4949 D’Milluhr Dr. NE

Olympia, WA 98516

(360) 459-0387



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Thurston Conservation District

Thurston Conservation District, a non-regulatory agency, strives to conserve and sustain the beneficial use and protection of local natural resources through partnerships with the County’s rural, agricultural, and urban communities, as well as local, state, federal, and tribal agencies. Our vision is to create healthy, functioning ecosystems in Thurston County through advocacy, education, and technical assistance efforts; thereby empowering every citizen of Thurston County to be a steward of the environment.

 Educational Programs

  • South Puget Sound Envirothon – An environmental competition for high school aged youth
  • South Sound Green
  • Workshops
  • Native Plant Festival & Sale
  • Technical assistance

Volunteer & Internship Opportunities

  • Internships
  • Work parties
  • South Puget Sound Envirothon
  • Native Plant Festival


  • Equipment Rentals
  • Soil Testing

Thurston Conservation District
Kiana Sinner
(360)754-3588 ext.105

Wolf Haven International

Wolf Haven International
Wolf Haven International is a nationally recognized wolf sanctuary that has rescued and provided a lifetime home for over 300 displaced, captive-born animals since 1982.   Wolf Haven is certified by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) and participates in two Species Survival Plan (SSP) programs for endangered wolves.  Wolf Haven is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to conserving and protecting wolves and their habitat.

Visit Us
Guided walking visits offer visitors a rare, close-up view of wolves. Visitors can also follow a walking trail through beautiful native Mima Mound prairie and enjoy the native flowers, birds, butterflies that can be found there.  Stop and chat with our docent and learn even more, while also exploring skulls of some of Washington’s wildlife. Advanced reservations are required.

 Educational Programs
Wolf Haven offers a variety of presentations for groups of all ages, preschool through adult. Youth presentations meet Next Generation Science Standards and scout badges – more information available upon request. For information on pricing, programs, or scheduling, please call or e-mail. Advanced reservations are required.

Volunteer & Internship Opportunities
A variety of volunteer opportunities exist, including public visit guide, information table docent, and program presenter.  Animal care is not part of our volunteer positions.

Internship opportunities exist with our Education Department.

We also have 30+ acres of endangered Mima Mound prairie. Visits to the prairie are complimentary on our sanctuary open days. To bring a group to our prairie, please contact us.

Wolf Haven International
3111 Offut Lake Rd. SE
Tenino, Washington 98589


Thurston County Stream Team

If you enjoy rushing streams, clean air, the smell of rich soil on your hands and the camaraderie of other people who like to make a difference, then get involved with Stream Team!

Stream Team offers a fun and rewarding way to protect and improve local streams, rivers and Puget Sound. Volunteers of all ages and backgrounds can get involved. Love the outdoors? Join us at tree plantings or stream-bug monitoring sessions. Are you a bird watcher? Build a bird nest box, attend a shorebird field trip or help monitor purple martin nest boxes. If you enjoy talking with other people, you might want to become a Salmon Steward. Or perhaps you’d just like to attend workshops and learn more about what you can do to protect our water resources. Stream Team welcomes any level of involvement you choose to take.

Stream Team events are free and open to everyone. You can participate individually, or bring your family, friends or members of your community group.

Stream Team Website
Facebook Page


In Lacey Contact:
Emily Watts
ewatts@ci.lacey.wa.us or (360) 438-2687


In Olympia Contact:
Michelle Stevie
mstevie@ci.olympia.wa.us or (360) 753-8336


In Tumwater Contact:
Meridith Greer
mgreer@ci.tumwater.wa.us or (360) 754-4148


In Thurston County Contact:
Anne Marie Pearce
pearcea@co.thurston.wa.us or (360)754-3355 ext. 6857

The Hands On Children’s Museum

The Hands On Children’s Museum stimulates curiosity, creativity and learning through fun, interactive exhibits and programs for children, families and school groups. The Museum is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Voted “Best Family Entertainment”
The Hands On Children’s Museum was selected “Best Family Entertainment” and “Best Museum” in the Best of South Sound 2013 contest. Hands On was also a Top 4 Finalist for “Best Fun Place to Take Kids” in the King 5 Best of Western Washington 2013. We are also a family favorite on Yelp and we received a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor.

The Hands on Children’s Museum offers:

  • Volunteer positions for a variety of ages, interests and skill levels
  • Opportunities to gain valuable experience to include on your resume
  • Opportunities for individuals, groups and school classes
  • Special project opportunities
  • School credit for community service
  • Formal internships for both high school and college students
  • Teen Volunteer Program for youth ages 13 and above

To learn more about volunteer and internship opportunities and to fill out an application visit the Volunteer Page on our website.

Hands On Children’s Museum

414 Jefferson Street NE

Olympia WA 98501






Sound Experience

Sound Experience is a Puget Sound-based environmental and youth leadership organization that uniquely delivers its programs aboard the 133′ historic wooden schooner Adventuress. we reach more than 4,000 young people and adults each year, inspiring in them a greater understanding of the complexity of our marine ecological systems and stronger commitment to the stewardship of our waters. Aboard Adventuress, on day or overnight programs, participants experience the majesty and vulnerability of Puget Sound – and why the future of our marine environment matters to all of us.

Volunteer Opportunities:
Sound Experience relies on the dedication and commitment of our community volunteers from throughout the Puget Sound area. We encourage volunteers to participate both with shipboard and off-ship opportunities. Off-ship duties include fundraising events, festival booths, committee work, Board of Directors, office help, and public relations. All volunteers must be current Sound Experience members and have an application on record. Our volunteers who will be working on our youth programs must also pass a background check.

Join the crew for one month or longer during the sailing season. These volunteer positions include food and lodging aboard Adventuress. Interns become active members of the crew. On-the-job training is provided. Interns will take part in all aspects of the programs gaining valuable experience in environmental and marine science education, as well as sailing and vessel operation. Specific duties will include teaching, cleaning and maintenance of the ship, assisting in the galley and more!

Interns must be over 18 years old, have an interest in and desire to teach program areas of ecology, environmental awareness and sailing; live in close shipboard environment; take part in all aspects of operating the program and vessel; work with youth and adults; and be interested in pursuing a career related to environmental education or teaching.

Sound Experience
(360) 379-0438