Citizen Action Training School (CATS)

The Citizen Action Training School is a civic engagement and watershed and marine ecology program that will train future community leaders to support Puget Sound recovery efforts locally and regionally.

The seven Puget Sound Regional Fisheries Enhancement Groups (RFEGs) recognize that wild salmon populations cannot survive without a healthy Puget Sound, and are committed to nourishing conscious communities that are advocates for and stewards of their part of the Salish Sea.

And so, the Puget Sound RFEGs are excited to offer a comprehensive adult education program – the Citizen Action Training School, or CATS, which will create a pool of future community leaders who are aware, educated, and active stewards and advocates for their watersheds and the greater Puget Sound. CATS is a 12 week training program in watershed and Puget Sound ecology, with an added focus on civic engagement in the legal and regulatory processes that affect resource management.

Citizen Action Training School (CATS)

Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association

PO Box 32594

Bellingham, WA 98228

(360) 715-0283 ext. 109

Website 

 

12,000 Rain Gardens in Puget Sound

Join us in a rain garden campaign to protect Puget Sound!

Washington State University and Stewardship Partners are leading a new groundbreaking campaign to install 12,000 rain gardens in the Puget Sound Region by 2016.

You can actively participate in this exciting campaign by installing one or more rain gardens in your community. Rain gardens will help your immediate surroundings because they:

  • Reduce water pollution
  • Prevent flooding
  • Increase home values
  • Make for beautiful, low-maintenance landscapes
  • Help your community save millions of dollars in pollution clean-up and expensive stormwater projects.

Rain gardens work like a native forest by capturing and infiltrating polluted runoff from rooftops, driveways, and other hard surfaces. Meeting our campaign goal of 12,000 rain gardens in Puget Sound by 2016 would soak up 160 million gallons of polluted runoff to protect our waterways, significantly helping stop the stormwater crisis that is threatening our waterways. Help us reduce water pollution and prevent flooding in the Puget Sound area by installing a rain garden in your area soon.

Get Involved!

Contact:

Aaron Clark

ac@stewardshippartners.org

(206) 292-9875

Website

Facebook 

Twitter

Pinterest

Instagram

Houzz

Sound Stewards

Sound Stewards are trained to talk to the public about the history, geology, natural and human-caused changes, water quality and current conditions, and concerns for the future related to Budd Inlet estuary. The walking tours take place in downtown Olympia along the shoreline of Budd Inlet and Capital Lake. The walking tours are about 1.5 hours long. Walks are scheduled with school or other groups.

Two types of walks are offered:

  • A history lesson on the story of the Budd Inlet and dredging and filling over the last 100 years and
  • The same history story but focused on water quality and the health of the estuary, includes a plankton seine

Contact:

Michelle Stevie

City of Olympia

mstevie@ci.olympia.wa.us

(360) 753-8336

Website

Get Outside Olympia

Perri Rae Davis, founder and program director of Get Outside Olympia, has a mission to make nature in Olympia, WA easily accessible for youth in her community. With a passion for working outdoors and over a decade of working with youth, she created Olympia Youth Explorers and Natural Young Leaders Club. These two programs utilize local parks, environmental community organizations, and focus on practicing core routines that foster habits and behaviors that increase observation, curiosity, and connection with the natural world!

Perri Rae Davis

Director of Get Outside Olympia

getoutsideolympia@gmail.com

www.getoutsideolympia.com

South of the Sound Community Farm Land Trust – Volunteer

South of the Sound Community Farm Land Trust (SSCFLT) is a membership based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving farmland and to keeping it farmed forever. Based in Olympia, it concentrates on the areas south of Puget Sound. The organization consists of a working Board of Directors who contribute their commitment, skills, and experience, a part-time Grant Writer/Project Development Coordinator, several dozen volunteers, and a general membership of about 140.

Our Mission: Promoting Vibrant local food and farming systems through community supported farmland preservation strategies, educational outreach, and partnerships that increase opportunities for farms and farmers to flourish.

Our Work:

Support us by becoming a volunteer!

We depend on our members to be active participants in the work we do. There are many ways volunteers can help. You help distribute the Direct Sales Farm Map in late March, represent SSCFLT at public events, serve on a committee, be part of an event team, and more.  Also consider becoming a Board Member. The membership elects the Board of Directors, each serving a three year term.

Contact:

Loretta Seppanen

(360) 786-9775

communityfarmlandtrust@gmail.com

Volunteer Website

Washington Green Schools

Schools across Washington are working together to make their communities greener and healthier.

Washington Green Schools provides schools with the support and resources to empower the next generation of environmental leaders. Through our programs, students can certify their schools, learn important 21st century skills, and conserve resources. Washington Green Schools wants your school to meet its education and resource conservation goals. We ensure this through:

  • Classroom Resources – lesson plans, curriculum enhancements, and educator guides
  • Hands-On Support – our staff is always available to answer questions or provide consultation
  • Trainings and Workshops – we host trainings throughout the year to prepare educators and schools for a successful certification process
  • Recognition – when you certify, we present an awards ceremony at your school, create press releases, and share your success story with our statewide network

Washington Green Schools
www.wagreenschools.org

4649 Sunnyside Avenue North, Suite 303
Seattle, WA 98103

(206) 351-0506
leigh@wagreenschools.org

NW Eco Building Guild Membership

The Northwest EcoBuilding Guild is a community of builders, designers, suppliers, homeowners, and partners concerned with ecological building in the Pacific Northwest. The Guild empowers people through education to transform the built environment for long term sustainability. The South Sound Chapter serves Thurston, Pierce, Lewis, and Mason counties.

OUR MISSION is to support through education the progressive work of our members in the Pacific Northwest in order to improve the relationship between our communities and our built environment.

We provide open-source educational materials to the construction industry and the general public in order to encourage building practices that dramatically reduce carbon emissions, are self-sustaining, contribute to local economies, and create optimal conditions for human health and community. We consider the needs of the seventh generation in all that we do and encourage inclusive discourse to that end.

There are many member benefits including monthly events, education and training, Green Pages listing, website exposure, annual EcoBuilding Conference, and community involvement.

Email membership@ecobuilding.org

or join online here

Stormwater Stewards

The Stormwater Stewards program trains local citizen volunteers with a commitment to protecting local water resources and is modeled after the successful Master Gardener program and other Stream Team programs, such as Salmon Stewards. Stormwater Stewards is a program of both Stream Team and WSU Native Plant Salvage Project.

The idea is that highly capable volunteers pursue classroom and field training in order to go out in their community to educate and assist others. Stormwater Stewards’ focus is residential-scale low-impact development (LID) techniques that manage rain close to where it falls, on our home sites, thereby preventing the problems of flooding, erosion, and pollution entering our local waterways and Puget Sound. Once trained and certified, teams of Stormwater Stewards will conduct home-site assessments for interested residents and provide recommendations for ways to effectively manage stormwater on site using LID strategies.

The Stormwater Stewards received training in topics as diverse as:

  • sustainable landscaping techniques that intercept stormwater and allow it time to return to the groundwater or evapotranspire, as well as ways to avoid the use of products that harm groundwater;
  • designing and constructing rain gardens that manage stormwater quantity and treat the pollution;
  • several permeable paving strategies that allow us to have roadways, driveways, and pathways where water can soak back into the ground after it has been treated; and
  • vegetated roofs and other rooftop management systems.

As part of their training, Stormwater Stewards get hands-on experience by helping to build demonstration projects as part of their course work.

Contact:

Erica Guttman

erica@nativeplantsalvage.org

stormwater.stewards@gmail.com

(360) 867-2164

Program Website (Stream Team)

Program Website (Native Plant Salvage)

Sound Experience Volunteers & Interns

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.  For more information see our website.

Internships:
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. For more information see our website.

Contact:

Sound Experience

mail@soundexp.org

(360) 379-0438

Get Involved Webpage

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.

Volunteer
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 experience.  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
Shorebird Festival Website
Facebook – Shorebird Festival

 

 

WET Science Center

The WET (Water Education & Technology) Science Center in Olympia, WA is a fun, hands-on place to learn all about water – our most precious resource. It’s always free to visit and features interactive exhibits, weekend family activities, tours, and school programs. School programs are for 5th grade students and older.

Interactive exhibits
There are a variety of games and activities for all ages, although most are designed for older children ages 10 and up, as well as adults. An optional scavenger hunt guides visitors through eight stations of exploration and earns you a prize. Exhibits and interactive video games include information about:

  • The natural and built water cycle, water use, and 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.
  • Career opportunities at LOTT Clean Water Alliance.
  • Stewardship of the Puget Sound.

Presentations, Field Trips, and Tours
Presentations and tours are designed for 5th grade students and older, and must be pre-arranged. Presentation length and content can be modified to best meet the needs of the group. All presentations support the Next Generation Science Standards. See the Education Menu for options and full program descriptions.

Internships, Volunteering, Job Shadows
We offer opportunities to serve as a volunteer, intern, or participate in a job shadow experience. Volunteers and interns assist with our school and community education programs. If you have an interest in helping our community learn about water, get in contact with us!

Contact:
Amber Smith
Education Manager
LOTT Clean Water Alliance
360-528-5742
ambersmith@lottcleanwater.org

Website
Facebook Page
Twitter Page
YouTube Channel

Healthy Homes Volunteer Program

The Healthy Homes Program offers free and confidential Healthy Homes Visits to Thurston County residents and childcare facilities. Healthy Homes Visits cover a wide range of housing-related health risks including dust, lead, mold, moisture, and pests as well as other topics. These visits are conducted by trained volunteers and program staff.

The annual training is taught by local experts and covers how to identify, address, and prevent housing-related health risks and prepares volunteers to conduct successful Healthy Homes Visits through hands-on practice and fun field trips.

Volunteer Opportunities:

  • Annual free volunteer training
  • Conducting Health Homes Visits
  • Tabling at local events and other outreach opportunities
  • Special projects

For more information about the upcoming training or to schedule a Healthy Homes visit, please contact Hannah using the information below.

Hannah Rawlings
AmeriCorps, Program Lead
360-867-2674
rawlinh@co.thurston.wa.us
www.co.thurston.wa.us/health/ehhm/healthyhomes.html

Estuary Stewards

The Deschutes Estuary Restoration Team (DERT) is dedicated to educating the community about dam removal and estuary restoration. The mission is to foster broad participation in estuary restoration by a community that understands and appreciates the beauty and value of the environment.

In addition to tabling at events, giving presentations or writing for the newsletter and social media, volunteers will also have the opportunity to use their creative abilities to come up with new education projects and programs to improve the health of the Deschutes watershed.

Deschutes Estuary Restoration Team (DERT)
olydert@gmail.com
Volunteer Page
DERT Facebook Page

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

NRNC@NisquallyEstuary.org

Website

Facebook Page

Junior Ranger Adventures

The City of Olympia Park Stewardship Program offers many opportunities for youth of all ages to become involved outdoors. Junior Ranger Adventures is offered during the summer and allows children 6-11 years of age to earn their Junior Ranger badge in one day on an exciting adventure through three City of Olympia parks.

Participants learn to appreciate nature through responsible and fun recreation while learning about stewardship, local ecosystems, habitats, and wildlife. The adventure includes a nature walk, wildlife observation, fun activities, and a picnic. For fee and registration information, visit our website and search for “junior ranger”.

Additional stewardship related recreational activities include the Kids Canopy Climb and Great American Backyard Campout.

The Park Stewardship Program also works with classrooms on a regular basis, teaching youth about environmental sustainability, animal habitat, and how they can play a role in their local park system.

Available for grades K-12.

To schedule, contact:
Park Stewardship Program
City of Olympia Parks, Arts and Recreation
(360) 753-8365
parkstewardship@ci.olympia.wa.us

Junior Ranger Activity Guide

Food to Flowers Program

Food to Flowers (F2F) helps public and private K-12 schools in Thurston County prevent waste, save money, and provide hands-on environmental learning opportunities to their students. Schools throw away a lot of stuff and most of it is food. The City of Olympia’s WasteWise program provides similar support for schools within the city of Olympia.

Both these programs partner with schools to reduce wasted food, eliminate disposables and set up recycling programs. Across the county, there are 17 F2F schools and 15 City of Olympia WasteWise schools representing more than 14,000 students participating in an organics collection program. F2F schools compost and recycle about 90% of what they used to throw away, saving 15-20% on their total garbage and recycling collection costs!

Get more information and learn how to start a F2F program at your school. Find out about related classroom presentations.

For schools outside the city of Olympia contact:
Thurston Solid Waste
(360) 867-2280 or SolidWasteYouth@co.thurston.wa.us

For schools within the city of Olympia:
Spencer Orman
City of Olympia
(360) 753-8752 or sorman@ci.olympia.wa.us

South Puget Sound Envirothon

The Thurston Conservation District hosts the South Puget Sound Regional Envirothon competition annually in May. Teams of students from schools and clubs throughout a six county region come to compete in a variety of natural resource fields: aquatics, fish and wildlife, forestry, soils and give an oral presentation on that year’s current environmental issue. Winners from this competition advance to the Washington State Envirothon, which rotates throughout Washington, and eventually to the Canon Envirothon, spanning all of North America!

Teams from Grays Harbor, Kitsap, Lewis, Mason, Pierce and Thurston counties are eligible to compete in this regional event. Other regional competitions take place all across the state – to find out which regional your team is eligible for, visit www.waenvirothon.org.

To register your team or find out more information about the South Puget Sound Regional Envirothon, contact:

Sarah Moorehead
Agricultural Outreach Specialist
Thurston Conservation District
(360) 754 – 3588 Ext. 136
smoorehead@thurstoncd.com
www.thurstoncd.com/envirothon.html

Master Recycler Composter Volunteers

The Master Recycler Composters of Thurston County is a volunteer service program. Master Recycler Composter (MRC) volunteers are trained on how to reduce waste and increase public awareness of opportunities to prevent waste, recycle and compost in Thurston County.

Course graduates agree to give a minimum of 25 hours of yearly service as they put their new skills to use. They work with local organizations, community members, neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, or at special events encouraging waste prevention, recycling and composting. MRC’s can design their own projects or work existing ones. On-going continuing education opportunities are provided.

Cori Carlton, Program Coordinator

carltoc@co.thurston.wa.us

360-867-2162

http://ext100.wsu.edu/thurston/mc/

Wolf Haven International

Wolf Haven International is a nationally recognized wolf sanctuary that has rescued and provided a lifetime home for over 180 displaced, captive-born animals since 1982. Guided walking tours offer visitors a rare, close-up view of wolves. Wolf Haven provides a variety of educational programs, participates in multi-agency Species Survival Plan programs for critically endangered wolves and advocates for wolves in the wild. 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.

Tours:
Guided tours are approximately 50 minutes and cover a variety of educational information about wolves, including biology, their role in a healthy ecosystem and recovery programs. Biographical information on sanctuary residents is also provided by tour guides. There is typically only one tour group in the sanctuary each hour, and the group remains together as a “pack”. The tour moves at a leisurely stroll and visitors are on their feet throughout. Benches are located along the tour route for those who might need a rest. The tour route is flat and wheelchair or stroller accessible – however be aware that it is a gravel path. Days & hours of admission vary widely depending on time of year, so please check the website or call and make sure that Wolf Haven is open prior to your visit.

There are many ways to get involved and support us, including:

  • Memberships
  • Adoptions
  • Donations
  • Volunteering
  • Planned Giving
Volunteering:

Volunteers generously give their time, talent and support to Wolf Haven International. We simply could not successfully continue to focus on our mission without their help. Volunteers help to increase understanding, appreciation, and conservation of wolves, wildlife and South Sound prairie. They serve as ambassadors in the community, promoting Wolf Haven, wolves and native prairie species. If you have a desire to help, Wolf Haven will make good use of your time and talent. (Volunteers must be 17 years or older.)

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

1.800.448.WOLF [9653] or 360.264.HOWL [4695]

info@wolfhaven.org

Website

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

Pier Peer at Boston Harbor

Pier Peer at Boston Harbor Marina is a nighttime underwater lighting event offered by the South Sound Estuary Association (SSEA). Peer below the waters of Puget Sound and discover the lives of mysterious and beautiful creatures. Jellyfish, colorful sea slugs, predatory worms, and more visit us at the underwater lights. Learn about the animals of Puget Sound and see them like you never have before!

Held Friday nights. Start time varies by season.

Please bring your own flashlight (one per person is ideal), wear non-slip shoes, and dress for the weather. Children under 5 are not advised. Each between child 6 and 11 must be accompanied by an adult. Bring a life vest for your child if you have one.

Contact:

South Sound Estuary Association (SSEA)

(360) 915-0773 or (36) 561-1486

betsea@sseacenter.org

Website 

Outside Explorer Video

YouTube Videos

 

Master Gardener Volunteers

One of the easiest ways to increase your gardening knowledge is to enroll in WSU Extension’s annual Master Gardener course. For more than forty years, Washington State University Extension has been training Master Gardener volunteers in the science and art of gardening.  Volunteers who attend the comprehensive course will learn the latest information on how to successfully grow their favorite ornamentals, veggies, fruit, and a whole lot more.

The WSU Master Gardener course provides WSU research-based information on how to improve soil, identify common plant pest problems including insects and diseases and weed problems, as well as honing your gardening skills. “Hands-on” workshops provide advanced training on pruning, composting, plant propagation and a host of other practical gardening skills.

There is a perception that to become a WSU Master Gardener you must know everything about gardening.  This is unrealistic and untrue.  To be a WSU Thurston County Master Gardener you must have gardening experience, but more importantly you must commit to sharing accurate gardening information with our community.

Cori Carlton, Program Coordinator

360-867-2162

carltoc@co.thurston.wa.us

http://ext100.wsu.edu/thurston/gardening/mg/

 

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge is managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and provides numerous recreation opportunities to thousands of visitors every year. Whether boating, walking the trails, or participating in educational programs, visitors enjoy viewing the unique ecosystems and diverse wildlife. Regulation of recreation activities allow for public enjoyment of the refuge while still protecting the wildlife and habitats.  The Nisqually estuary was restored in 2009 by removing dikes and reconnecting 762 acres with the tides of Puget Sound.  This is the largest estuary restoration project in the Pacific Northwest and an important step in the recovery of Puget Sound. Many visitors, especially birders and boaters, have found that it is best to plan a visit to the Refuge according to the tides.  The highest concentrations of the estuarine bird species will be most visible within two hours of high tide. The Visitor Center includes The Nature Shop, an information desk, a view of the freshwater marsh, and interpretive exhibits.

Volunteer
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge Complex 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 Nisqually Wildlife Refuge Complex for volunteers to gain a valuable and rewarding experience. Volunteers assist Refuge personnel in achieving management goals by assisting in: interpretation, environmental education, resource managment, maintenance and special projects. For more information on becoming a volunteer visit Nisqually Wildlife Refuge’s volunteer website.

Friends Of Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge
Friends of Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which helps fund education, interpretation, and outreach programs at Nisqually NWR. Membership in Friends of Nisqually NWR allows you to help with public education about important wildlife and habitat issues of Puget Sound and Nisqually National WIldlife Refuge. In addition, you receive:

  • A 10 percent discount at the Nature Shop in the Visitor Center.
  • A chance to become a participant in Refuge activities and make a practical contribution to the operation of Nisqually NWR.
  • A tax deduction for membership and contributions as permitted by law.

Contact:

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge
100 Brown Farm Road
Olympia, WA 98516
(360) 753-9467
Nisqually@fws.gov

Nisqually Wildlife Refuge Website
Facebook Page
Volunteer Website
Friends of Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

South Sound GREEN

South Sound GREEN (Global Rivers Environmental Education Network) has over 20 years experience providing comprehensive watershed education for teachers and students. The program works with grades 4-12 in the Olympia, North Thurston, Tumwater, Griffin, and Rainier school districts, as well as students in private schools, home schools, and local colleges and universities.

Taking an interdisciplinary approach, students monitor water quality and benthic macroinvertebrates while learning about historical and current land use to evaluate the health of their watershed. Students conduct action projects, including invasive species removal, native planting projects, and more. Students chosen as delegates take their findings to the annual Student GREEN Congress.

South Sound GREEN provides field trips to local South Puget Sound shorelines for participating students to explore marine creatures, food webs, habitats, and how humans impact water quality and local industries such as shellfish farming. Participating teachers receive training, water quality testing supplies, field trip funding, and ongoing support in integrating watershed education into their curriculum.

Contact:
Stephanie Bishop
Program Coordinator
360-754-3588 ext. 108
sbishop@thurstoncd.com

Website

 

Volunteer Land Steward

Capitol Land Trust’s success depends upon individuals like you. No matter what your interests or abilities are, there is a place for you at Capitol Land Trust!  Please consider volunteering your time and skills to help Capitol Land Trust expand on its successes. Capitol Land Trust offers many rewarding volunteer positions and opportunities. Whether you want to help monitor and care for one of our conserved properties, participate in habitat restoration activities, assist with events, or join a committee, we welcome you!

We have many opportunities for the community to engage in the work Capitol Land Trust is doing. To ensure your volunteer/intern experience is the most rewarding possible, we will collaborate with you to design an internship or volunteer job description that best matches your interests, passion and academic goals. Contact us for more details!

Students Grade K -12
You can become a Volunteer Land Steward too! Participate in work parties at local properties (which could include invasive species removal, planting native plants, trash pick-up, etc.), working collaboratively on a committee, or assisting in the office.

For more information and a schedule of upcoming events please visit the Capitol Land Trust website.

Contact:

Capitol Land Trust

209 4th Ave. E Ste 205

Olympia, WA 98501

360-943-3012
info@capitollandtrust.org

Website

Facebook Page

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

(360)956-0818

info@hocm.org

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Salmon Stewards

Since 1998, Salmon Stewards have helped share the amazing story about Pacific Northwest salmon by answering questions and talking to people at three popular salmon viewing locations. This one-on-one outreach is fun and educational, as well as important for salmon’s survival in our growing urban environment. Salmon Stewards training begins in mid-August.

Once trained, Salmon Stewards agree to volunteer for at least 8 hours, chatting with visitors at salmon-viewing locations. They are equipped with posters, polarized glasses, toy fish, pictures, an egg development display and other materials to describe the life cycle of salmon, threats to their survival, and what humans can do to ensure that salmon runs continue for future generations.

Salmon Stewards volunteer at the site(s) of their choice:

  • 5th Avenue Bridge from mid- August to mid-September – Hatchery Chinook
  • Tumwater Falls Park from mid- September to mid- October –Hatchery Chinook
  • McLane Creek Nature Trail from mid- November to mid-December – Wild Chum

Contact:

Michelle Stevie

City of Olympia

mstevie@ci.olympia.wa.us

(360) 753-8336

Website

 

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 Sound 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:
Kim Benedict
kbenedic@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:
Debbie Smith
dmsmith@ci.tumwater.wa.us or (360) 754-4148

 

In Thurston County Contact:
Chris Maun
maunc@co.thurston.wa.us or (360) 754-3355 ext. 6377

or

Anne Marie Pearce
pearcea@co.thurston.wa.us or (360)754-3355 ext. 6857

Nisqually Stream Stewards

Although the Nisqually River Watershed is blessed with a significant amount of good salmon habitat, there are still some areas in need of restoration. The Nisqually Tribe and the Nisqually River Council recognize that true long-lasting restoration and protection of salmon habitat will come about only through a community-based effort.

The Nisqually Stream Stewards are people who want to help protect and improve the health of our streams. The Stream Stewards are trained as citizen scientists, and provide invaluable information for natural resources professionals.

Nisqually Stream Stewards meet community members and natural resources professionals; monitor the health of their local streams; and assist with projects that improve stream health, such as removing invasive grass from stream channels or planting trees along stream banks.

Volunteer Opportunities:

  • Stream Stewards Class
  • Salmon Watcher Training
  • Planting Projects
  • Salmon Carcass Tossing

Contact:
Nisqually Stream Stewards
streamstewards@nisquallyriver.org
(360) 438-8715
Stream Stewards Website

Puget Sound Estuarium

The South Sound Estuary Association’s (SSEA) Estuarium is a marine life discovery center featuring aquariums, interactive activities, and interpretive exhibits.  It’s a great place to visit for all ages. See our website for hours and admission information.

Our Exhibits:

  • Aquariums featuring an amazing diversity of animals from intertidal, subtidal environments in South Puget Sound.
  • Preserved specimens from the depths of Puget Sound.
  • Video Programming features an exciting array of short videos from local organizations and projects.
  • Hands on Exhibits include the “Web of Life”, microscopes, coloring, puzzles, and aquarium activities. While not ideal for very young children, hands on activities at the Estuarium are great for school age children.
  • Interpretive Exhibits are highly educational on a variety of subjects relating to South Puget Sound ecology, geology, restoration, and recreation.
  • The Community Billboard connects visitors to upcoming opportunities beyond the Estuarium to enjoy and protect Puget Sound.

Volunteer Opportunities:

We operate the Estuarium largely using volunteers as docents and as marine educators. If you are interested in volunteering fill out a volunteer form on our website.

Estuarium
309 State Ave. NE
Olympia, WA 98501
(360) 915-0773

Website
Facebook

Clear Choices For Clean Water

Clear Choices for Clean Water is funded by the Henderson Inlet and Nisqually Reach Shellfish Protection Districts. This program is part of educational outreach efforts to help restore and protect water quality and shellfish tidelands. Even if you don’t eat, grow, or harvest shellfish, water quality affects you. When shellfish grown in clean water can again be safely harvested in our watersheds, we’ll know our actions are making a difference!

Henderson and Nisqually Shellfish Protection District residents and property owners are eligible to earn the free rewards offered in this booklet. Choose from plants, tools, advice, and discounts worth up to $300!

Current Rewards Include:

  • FREE native plants
  • FREE compost
  • FREE fertilizer
  • FREE soil test
  • FREE dog leash bag dispenser
  • $25 rebate for septic pumping

Visit: www.thurstoncd.com/clearchoices

Contact:

Sadie Gilliom, Education Assistant

Thurston Conservation District

(360) 754-3588 ext. 118 or sgilliom@thurstoncd.com

or

Jennifer Johnson, Environmental Educator

Thurston County Environmental Health

(360) 867-2577 or johnsoj@co.thurston.wa.us

Water Watchers

The South Sound GREEN watershed education program needs you! Do you enjoy getting outdoors to explore your watershed? Do you want to engage the next generation of watershed stewards? If so, consider joining our Water Watchers volunteer program! Water Watchers will be trained in water quality monitoring to provide assistance in field monitoring, and to help facilitate testing on two field days. During the month of October, Water Watchers will join local teachers in the classroom to get students ready for field monitoring. In October and February volunteers will assist a class at their designated stream for monitoring.

As a Water Watcher you will receive a monthly newsletter highlighting community speakers/events/workshops. You will gain a thorough understanding of our watersheds which will enable you to make conscience decisions to help protect Puget Sound! Lastly, a volunteer appreciation event will round out our monitoring season.

Water Watcher trainings are held each October and February in preparation for water quality monitoring events.

For more information:

South Sound GREEN

(360) 754-3588 Ext. 108.

ssgreen@thurstoncd.com

Website

South Sound GREEN Facebook

Olympia Park Stewards & Work Parties

The City of Olympia Park Stewardship Program offers volunteer work parties several days per week on a year round basis. All ages and skill sets are encouraged to participate in volunteer projects while learning about their local park system and how they can contribute to the sustainability of plant and animal habitat. Work party projects move around to Olympia’s more than 40 parks, and a list of upcoming events can be found on the volunteer website.

The program works with local educators to provide specific action projects that fit with curriculum in grades 3rd through 12th. Action projects mostly occur on Park property, but occasionally are adapted to work on the school property. Projects include: restoration, plantings, and general environmental clean-up.

Family-friendly volunteer events are hosted every year for Arbor Day, Earth Day, National Trails Day, and National Public Lands Day.

Park Stewards
Park Stewards are volunteer or unpaid intern positions that require at least 4 volunteer hours per month and a 6 month minimum commitment. All Park Stewards must be 18 or older and successfully complete a background check and criminal history questionnaire. Learn more at our volunteer website.

There are:

  • Forest Stewards
  • Trail Stewards
  • Neighborhood Park/Garden Stewards.

City of Olympia Parks, Arts & Recreation

(360) 753-8365

Volunteer Website

Kennedy Creek Salmon Trail

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.

Contact:
South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group
Kennedy Creek Salmon Trail Coordinator
Jerilyn Walley
(360) 412-0808 ext. 107
Jerilynw@spsseg.org
Website

Mount2Sound Adventures

Looking for an unforgettable summer? Mount2Sound Adventures is a summer camp is an extended stay youth camp focused on educating youth ages 12-17 through their connection with the natural world. Participants are exposed to a variety of activities and natural resource career fields: agriculture and aquaculture, aquatics, fish and wildlife, forestry, soils, education, leadership, geology, research and community service.

Mount2Sound (M2S) desires to leave a legacy of stewardship, community involvement, and a strong connection to the natural world in every participant of the program. To achieve its mission, M2S will partner with local tribes, agencies, non-profit organizations, local businesses and corporations. Diverse partnerships will bring well rounded historical, cultural and scientific perspectives to our outdoor education curriculum.

‘Getting back to nature’ is a trend among our society today throughout various age groups and M2S strives to provide the connection many young adults and families are looking for. Transformation and learning are gradual processes that involve a great deal of focus, where the overstimulation of today’s society is often distracting. Removing many of these barriers will allow participants to grow and strengthen the values and ethics learned this experience.

M2S seeks to encourage middle to high school participants from diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds to engage in this experience, share and learn together. It is a core value of the program to serve participants despite their family’s financial situation. M2S intends to offer scholarships to underserved populations in hopes of never having to turn down a participant based on economic status. M2S embraces diversity and strives to foster essential leadership skills to empower participants from all walks of life to become outstanding environmental stewards in their communities.

Contact:

Sarah Moorehead
Agricultural Outreach Specialist
Thurston Conservation District
(360) 754 – 3588 Ext. 136
smoorehead@thurstoncd.com

Website
Facebook

The Commons @ Fertile Ground – Volunteer & Internships

The Commons @ Fertile Ground is a Washington State non-profit focused on demonstrating urban sustainability and resilience on a neighborhood scale in Downtown Olympia, Washington. In the midst of commerce and state workers, we maintain a large garden, chickens, compost bins, a Community Supported Agriculture drop-off shed and many other not-so-visible activities that support our mission.

We offer a range of programs including Preschool Garden Time, Seed to Table Summer Camp, the Food Nook, workshops, Fertile Ground Guest House and EcoHouse.

We need your help. We don’t just need money to make this happen. We also need allies, ideas, research, networking, artists, children and just plain volunteer energy. We need people who understand the sharing economy and want to add their gifts. In addition to monetary support, we also encourage welcome donations of time, knowledge and materials to help with planned and ongoing projects. Your “in-kind” donations are just as important to our ongoing success as money.

Interns and volunteers from the local colleges provide a lot of the muscle that keeps us going. We provide a beautiful central location with friendly supervision and the interns make it happen. Each quarter our needs for interns varies so we post the open positions on our website. Check back quarterly for new openings.

Karen Ray (360-786-9297) or Gail O’Sullivan (360-352-2428)

Downtown Commons
Corner of 9th & Adams
Downtown Olympia Washington
911 Adams St and 311 9th Ave SE
Open Daily