Capitol Land Trust

Capitol Land Trust
Capitol Land Trust’s mission is to conserve essential natural areas and working farms in southwest Washington. Since 1987, we have grown from a volunteer organization to a professional and accredited land trust. With the help of our supporters and partners, we have successfully conserved over 6,000 acres of land on nearly 80 properties in Thurston, Mason, Grays Harbor, and Lewis counties. The land we conserve is protected forever.

Visit us
We have a small working office in Lacey, WA. We don’t offer any programs or exhibits at our office location. As of 2020, we have four preserves that are open for public use. If you plan a visit to one of our nature preserves, be sure to visit our website for the most current information. In general, our walking trails are mulched or dirt trails and vary in elevation and length. Walking on our trails, you’ll pass many Pacific Northwest ecosystems including wetlands, forests of varying ages, marine shoreline, open oak woodland, and fish-bearing streams. Please contact us if you plan to park a vehicle larger than a 12-passenger van on a property because some sites have space restrictions.

Educational Programs

  • Guided nature walks
  • Land Stewardship and Restoration – Learn how to identify native and invasive plant species and keep our ecosystems healthy. These activities include removing invasive species, planting native plant species, and addressing other needs the land may have.

Volunteer & Internship Opportunities
Volunteers are essential to our mission, and we strive to create a volunteer experience that is both meaningful and enjoyable. As a Capitol Land Trust volunteer, you further our mission by stewarding natural landscapes, educating the next generation, and connecting people with our conserved lands. With your help, our area continues to have thriving natural habitats and green spaces to enjoy.

  • Stewardship Work Parties – Weekly stewardship work parties occur year-round between October and July, and typically include activities like planting native plants, mulching, removing invasive species or debris, and maintaining trails.
  • Environmental Education – We work with several schools and youth-serving organizations to provide field experiences for youth on our conservation properties. Most of the activities that take place during these experiences are run by volunteers. We provide a volunteer training for our 7th grade field experience and our 3rd grade field experience.
  • Trail and Land Stewards – Trail Stewards and Land Stewards make sure our properties are safe and healthy!

Contact:

Capitol Land Trust
Mary Birchem
360-943-3012
mary@capitollandtrust.org
Website
Facebook Page

Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

The Billy Frank Jr. 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 allows 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.

Visit Us
Educational Facilities include the Refuge’s Environmental Education Center and four miles of flat boardwalk & gravel trails. The Environmental Education Center is open by appointment only. Educational groups Pre-K through college may request use of the Environmental Education Center and assistance from Refuge Educators.

Educational Programs
The Refuge’s Environmental Education Programming is designed to meet the needs of visiting groups. Please contact our education coordinator to plan your trip. Indoor activities cover a wide range of wildlife-related topics including:

  • Habitat
  • Animal Adaptations
  • Animal Tracks & Signs
  • Bird Identification
  • Developing Observation Skills
  • Citizen Science

Educator Training
Four field trip orientation workshops are conducted each year. We encourage all educators planning a trip to the Refuge to attend to get all the tools you need to confidently guide your students on a meaningful outdoor learning experience. You will be introduced to our hands-on indoor activities in our Environmental Education Center, hike the Twin Barns Loop Trail, and learn about one of the largest restoration projects in the Puget Sound! Refreshments will be provided. Dates can be found on the Refuge’s website.

Volunteer & Internship Opportunities
Volunteer & Internship Opportunities exist with the Refuge’s Environmental Education program as well as other programs at the Refuge. More than 42,000 people volunteer their time and ideas each year to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Whether they work on the land, in a visitor center, or with youth, they contribute to the conservation mission that reaches back more than a century. Become a volunteer to contribute your strength on behalf of America’s natural resources.

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

Nisqually Reach Nature Center

Nisqually Reach Nature Center is a volunteer-run, membership-supported, nonprofit organization that promotes the understanding, appreciation, and conservation of the Nisqually Estuary through education, interpretation, and citizen science.

Visit Us
We have three awesome salt water aquariums in the Nature Center with a wide variety of species from South Puget Sound including sea stars, sea cucumbers, anemones, and much more. We’re open to the public Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday from 12pm-4pm. Other exhibits include over 30 bird taxidermies, fossils, animal pelts, and more.

Educational Programs
We encourage classroom teachers to bring their students to NRNC for activities and programs that will deepen understanding and awareness of the aquatic environment. Educational activities are available to all age groups, including preschool and up. Popular programs include fish seining surveys, crab surveys, and benthic invertebrate surveys.

  • Marine Science field trips: fish seining surveys, crab surveys, and benthic invertebrate surveys. Standard field trips are 2 hours. Field trips can be tailored to fit individual class needs.
  • Summer Marine Science day camps (ages 7-12)
  • Adventure Science camps (ages 12-17)

Volunteer & Internship Opportunities
NRNC has a large team of volunteer community stewards who help monitor the health of Puget Sound by participating in community-driven science research. Volunteers are the backbone of NRNC and many different opportunities exist to get involved.

We offer spring and summer volunteer internships in either environmental education or research and monitoring. Internships can be tailored to fit specific interests.

Contact:
Nisqually Reach Nature Center
360-459-0387
Email
Website
Facebook

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.

Other
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.

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

Website
Facebook

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.

Exhibits
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.

Contact:
WET Science Center
360-664-2333
Email

Website
Facebook Page

Center for Natural Lands Management

 South Sound Prairie Program

Our mission is:
To conserve native species, their habitat and functioning ecosystems in perpetuity;
To promote the conservation values of such lands through education;
To promote and facilitate uses of lands by the public that preserve the conservation values; and
To cooperate with public and private entities in their efforts to protect native species and their habitats for the public benefit.

Get Involved
We offer a variety of ways community members can get involved in our conservation efforts, from wild seed collection, classroom presentations, to invasive species removal. Our projects are family-friendly and suitable for most ages and ability levels.

 Educational Programs
We offer spring and summer workshops on:

  • Wild seed collection: Learn to identify local lowland wildflowers through our annual wild seed collection workshop. If you wish to learn more and get out into the field to hone your ID skills, there is opportunity to join our wild seed collection team that travels across our local prairies to help conserve local wildflower genetics.
  • Western Blue Bird monitoring: Each spring we offer a workshop training citizen scientists on monitoring our local bluebird population. Learn about all aspects of this charismatic bird.
  • Native Plant Workshops: Offered on a variety of topics offered each summer in our demonstration garden, topics have included: native prairie plant identification, growing native plants, seed cleaning, prairie ecology, habitat enhancement using native plants.
  • Prairie tours/field trips: Explore the plants, animals, and/or history of our local prairies.

Volunteer & Internship Opportunities
We are always looking for volunteers! We have regularly scheduled work parties each Tuesday and 2nd Saturday of the month, which are appropriate for most ages. For individuals and groups outside of our standing project days, contact us to schedule a project.

We offer seasonal internship/volunteer opportunities for students who are interested in helping us monitor and restore our local prairies.

Other
Prairie Appreciation Day is our annual event celebrating our local bunch grass prairies. It is a free community event, held on the second Saturday of May (10 am-3 pm). This is the only day of the year that Glacial Heritage Preserve is open to the public, so please come out to explore and learn about this hidden gem of an ecosystem.

Contact
Center for Natural Lands Management, South Sound Prairie Program
Angela Winter
360-464-0540
Email
Website
Facebook
Prairie Appreciation Day

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.

Contact:
South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group
Megan Brady, Education & Outreach Coordinator
Email
Website

Puget Sound Estuarium

The Estuarium is a marine life discovery center featuring aquariums and interpretive exhibits. Outside our facility, we can be found on local docks and beaches connecting people of all ages to our delicate and vibrant estuarine ecosystem. The Estuarium also provides K-12 education resources and field trips to local schools. Our volunteer program offers unique hands-on opportunities to explore intertidal life and inspire community members to take better care of our shared natural resources.

Exhibits
Our facility is home to saltwater aquariums and a diverse specimen collection featuring amazing intertidal and subtidal estuary plants and animals. Our hands-on interactive exhibits include a video screening station, microscopes, rotating arts and crafts projects and more. The Estuarium highlights topics during our rotating exhibits complete with special activities! Rotating exhibits often feature special guest speakers, dissections, and demonstrations led by our lead interpreters. Exhibits include:

  • Ways to Make a Difference Exhibit
  • Plastic Pollution Exhibit
  • Cultural Exhibit
  • Rough Skinned Newt Tank
  • Shellfish Tank and Exhibit
  • Eelgrass Tank
  • Asteroidea Tank
  • Estuary Predator Tank
  • Microscope Station
  • Movie Station
  • Estuary Inspired Arts and Crafts

Programs

  • Meet the Beach – During our Meet the Beach program our dedicated team of volunteers, called Beach Naturalists, connect beachgoers with our unique estuarine ecosystem by identifying intertidal life during summer low tides.
  • Pier Peer – Year-round our trained staff and volunteers run our popular Pier Peer program on local docks after dark in Thurston and Mason Counties. Our trained team provides underwater lights that attract spectacular estuary creatures for you to scoop up and observe.
  • K-12 Education: The Estuarium offers extensive educational programming and a variety of estuary and marine ecology topics for Pre-K through 12th grade students. Our programs offer students unique hands-on activities and are linked to the STEM standards, Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and Ocean Literacy Frameworks.

Volunteer & Internship Opportunities
The Estuarium relies on our dedicated volunteers to help run our programs and facility. Estuarium volunteers are encouraged to participate during field trips, Pier Peer and Meet the Beach events, assisting in animal husbandry, and serving as interpreters during our weekend open hours. Internships are periodically offered at the Estuarium. Interns are invited to learn a wide range of skills from nonprofit management, animal husbandry, K-12 education and more. Please contact our Program Coordinator to learn about our current internship opportunities.

Teacher Resources
The Estuarium offers School Estuary Kits for local K-12 teachers with 3rd – 12th grade students. All kits include enough materials for a group of 30 students and the content is designed for age-appropriate learning. The School Estuary Kits support current NGSS educational standards.

Rentals
Do you have a group you think would enjoy a private Meet the Beach, Pier Peer, or Estuarium tour? Please email us to inquire about private programs, rentals, and Estuarium birthday party packages.

Puget Sound Estuarium
Email
(360) 915-0773
Website
Facebook

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

Other

  • Equipment Rentals
  • Soil Testing

Contact
Thurston Conservation District
Kiana Sinner
(360)754-3588 ext.105
Email
Website
Facebook

The Commons @ Fertile Ground

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. The facilities are open daily to visit.

Volunteer & Internships
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. I Check our website for volunteer opportunities.

Contact:
The Commons @ Fertile Ground
Corner of 9th & Adams
911 Adams St and 311 9th Ave SE
Olympia, Washington 98501
Website

 

Pacific Shellfish Institute (PSI)

Pacific Shellfish Institute (PSI) is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization with an office and laboratory in Olympia, WA. Our education mission is to provide the community with science based, hands on learning opportunities related to shellfish, water quality and Puget Sound stewardship. We are available for classroom presentations, field trips, teacher trainings, workshops, and community events. Our range encompasses Lewis, Mason, Thurston, and Mason Counties.

Education Programs:
PSI offers an assortment of K-12 classroom presentation and field trips related to locally relevant water quality issues such as ocean acidification, nutrient and bacteria pollution, and ocean plastics. Our programs are unique in that they are provided by research scientists working right here in Puget Sound. Our presentations and field trips target NGSS Science and Engineering Practices, field sampling techniques, water quality equipment, invertebrate/plankton identification, engineering solutions and personal actions. Our most popular offerings include:

  • Ocean Plastics – Matter out of Place
  • Eutrophi…what? – Nutrients and Phytoplankton in South Puget Sound
  • Acids, Bases, and Calcification Races – The ABCs of Ocean Acidification
  • The Olympia Waterfront Tour (in partnership with LOTT)

PSI will work with you to tailor presentations and field trips to meet your individual needs.

Volunteer & Internship Opportunities
PSI offers volunteer and internship opportunities by request and as needed. We also host citizen monitoring events and local cleanups throughout the year.

Contact:
Pacific Shellfish Institute
Aimee Christy
360-754-2741
Email
Website
Facebook

Intercity Transit’s Walk N Roll Youth Education Program

Intercity Transit’s Walk N Roll program partners with schools and community organizations to offer activities that educate and encourage youth to walk, bike, and use public transit. The Walk N Roll program strives to create a healthier, safer, and more active community.

Educational Programs

  • Walk N Roll to School Events encourage youth and their families to walk or bike to school. The Walk N Roll program provides schools with the tools and coordination to make their events successful. We also help schools celebrate National Bike and Walk to School Days.
  • Rolling Classroom field trips provide school groups the chance to ride an Intercity Transit bus, tour our maintenance facility, and ride through the bus wash. Prior to the field trip, a classroom presentation is provided to prepare students for their bus riding experience.
  • Bike Rodeos teach youth real-world skills to prepare them to ride a bike safely. Intercity Transit helps schools and community partners organize bike rodeo events.
  • Earn-A-Bike classes teach middle school students basic mechanical and bicycle safety skills in the classroom and on the road. Upon completion of the class, students in need get a bike refurbished by our bike shop volunteers.
  • Bike MVP classes teach middle and high school youth how to overhaul and maintain a bicycle. Classes are split between a daily lesson and hands-on practice. After completing Bike MVP, graduates volunteer in our bike shop. Volunteer hours can be used for community service requirements.

Volunteer & Internship Opportunities
Volunteers can assist with bike education classes and events. They can also volunteer in the Walk N Roll Bike Shop repairing bikes used in our youth education programs. Bike mechanic skills are not required.

Field Trip Transportation with the Class Pass
Schools and youth groups can ride Intercity Transit’s regularly scheduled buses for field trip transportation. Let us know your group’s plans by requesting a Class Pass and we will help you plan your route. Intercity Transit buses are zero-fare, so you can ride for free!

Contact:
Walk N Roll
walknroll@intercitytransit.com
360-705-5855
Website
Facebook
Instagram

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.

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.

Contact:
Sound Experience
(360) 379-0438
Email
Website