Registered Volunteers

How Do I Become a Blandford Volunteer?

Follow the steps below to become a registered Blandford Volunteer. Once this process is completed, you will be able to volunteer for any department or event within Blandford!

Step 1: Complete a Volunteer Application

Anyone interested in volunteering at Blandford (except service groups, please refer to Service Groups for details) must:

  • Fill out a Volunteer Application (volunteers under 18 years old must also have their parent/guardian sign the application)
  • Consent to background checks

Please send the forms above to our Volunteer & Outreach Manager at:

Blandford Nature Center
Attn: Katelyn Nettler, Volunteer & Outreach Manager
1715 Hillburn Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504


Katelyn Nettler
Subject: Volunteer Application

Since we work with many different groups and have several community partnerships, it is a requirement that all of our volunteers are registered officially with Blandford Nature Center.

Please note that it typically takes at least 2 weeks to process volunteer applications.

Step 2: Clear Background Checks

Once your Volunteer Application (and Parental Permission signature if applicable) are submitted to our Volunteer & Outreach Manager, we use your provided information to conduct 3 unique background checks:

  • OTIS (Offender Tracking Information System)
  • PSOR (Michigan Public Sex Offender Registry)
  • ICHAT (Internet Criminal History Access Tool)

Once you have cleared those background checks, you will receive an invitation from our Volunteer & Outreach Manager to attend a Volunteer Orientation.

Step 3: Attend a Volunteer Orientation

Volunteer Orientations allow prospective volunteers to dive deeper into what is expected of volunteers and highlight volunteer opportunities that exist at Blandford. This step is required in order to be a registered volunteer – if you do not attend a Volunteer Orientation within 2 months of your invitation, your Volunteer Application will be discarded.

Below are the 2018 Volunteer Orientation Dates:

  • Saturday, December 15th, 2018 | 10am – 11:30am

Below are the 2019 Volunteer Orientation Dates:

  • Saturday, January 12th, 2019 | 10am – 11:30am
  • Thursday, February 7th, 2019 | 6pm – 7:30pm
  • Thursday, March 14th, 2019 | 6pm – 7:30pm
  • Saturday, April 13th, 2019 | 10am – 11:30am
  • Thursday, May 9th, 2019 | 6pm – 7:30pm
  • Saturday, June 15th, 2019 | 10am – 11:30am
  • Thursday, July 11th, 2019 | 6pm – 7:30pm
  • Saturday, August 10th, 2019 | 10am – 11:30am
  • Thursday, September 12th, 2019 | 6pm – 7:30pm
  • Thursday, October 10th, 2019 | 6pm – 7:30pm
  • Saturday, November 16th, 2019 | 10am – 11:30am
  • Thursday, December 12th, 2019 | 6pm – 7:30pm

After you attend a Volunteer Orientation, our Volunteer & Outreach Manager will send a follow-up email to discuss the next steps, focusing on your interests expressed in your Volunteer Application.

Volunteers are self-directed by their passion of nature and giving back to their community. After your follow-up email, it is up to you to determine when you’d like to volunteer and for which projects, departments, or events.

You can view upcoming volunteer opportunities on our Volunteer Calendar. If you have questions or need more information, please contact our Volunteer & Outreach Manager at or 616-735-6240 ext. 104.

Below are a few different areas that a Registered Volunteer can help out around Blandford. More information on different ways to volunteer are provided during Volunteer Orientation.

Feeding the wildlife

Cleaning of the Wildlife Education Center and Wildlife Trail

Providing enrichment to the wildlife

Prepping new posters/signage for Wildlife Ambassadors

We currently have no openings for Wildlife Volunteers. Due to the training and resources for volunteers in this area, we require that all Wildlife Volunteers must commit a minimum of 8 months of volunteering and must be 18 years old or older.


Washing produce


Caring for the farm animals

Cleaning farm facilities

This is a seasonal opportunity, only available during the late spring to early fall.

Trail Guide/Outdoor Educator

Seasonal Camp Aide (ages 13-18)

Most of our Trail Guide/Outdoor Educator needs are during school hours.

Mulching trails

Removing invasive plants

Planting native plants

Arts & Crafts

Historic interpreter

Festival Station leader


Catering/refreshment tending

Set-up/Clean-up and much more!




Facilities Upkeep


Data entry