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Volunteer Opportunities

Please keep in mind that the majority of the events below require you to be a registered volunteer at Blandford Nature Center.

To become a registered Volunteer at Blandford Nature Center, please click here!

< 2017 >
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  • Maple Syrup Bottling
    10:00 AM-12:45 PM
    Apr-01-2017

    1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504, USA

    1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504, USA

    To culminate the Sugarbush Season, we are hoping to have a few helping hands when it comes to the bottling and processing of the maple syrup produced this year.

    If you are interested in lending a hand and learning more about the bottling process, please sign-up!

    *Note: Date is tentative. The day and time may adjust depending on how the season progresses and facility availability.

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  • Eco-Stewardship Work Day
    9:00 AM-12:00 PM
    Apr-08-2017

    1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504, USA

    1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504, USA

    Eco-Stewardship work focuses on habitat restoration, trail maintenance, stream clean-up and removal of invasive species (like buckthorn, privet and honeysuckle) on several sections of our 143-acre site. Education is always a major focus of the day as volunteers learn to identify and manage plants that may be growing in their own backyards, their schools or city parks and how those plants and their volunteer efforts directly impact their surrounding environment.

    This volunteer option is for individuals or groups that would like to attend an open volunteer event, like Eco-Stewardship Work Days, without becoming a registered Blandford Nature Center volunteer. Please keep in mind that while a Volunteer Application does not need to be completed, you will still be required to sign a Liability Waiver at these volunteer events.

  • Maintenance Volunteer Training
    9:00 AM-10:00 AM
    Apr-08-2017

    1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504, USA

    1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504, USA

    Do you have a unique skill? Do you like working with tools or creating things? If so, you may be interested in becoming part of the BNC Maintenance Crew!

    Blandford is hosting a 1 hour training for any volunteers interested in regularly coming out with some of the behind the scenes magic that helps with Blandford’s daily operations.

  • FrogWatch USA Citizen Science Observations
    8:30 PM-9:00 PM
    Apr-08-2017

    1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504, USA

    1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504, USA

    FrogWatch USA is a citizen science program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). John Ball Zoo hosts an active chapter.

    You don’t have to be an expert to join in FrogWatch and help contribute valuable information to scientists studying amphibians! This citizen science program provides individuals, groups and families the opportunity to learn about wetlands in their communities and report data on the calls of local frogs and toads.

    Volunteers are asked to attend at least one training session; learn the importance of amphibians, identify frog species by their calls and, observe frogs in your area. We ask that volunteers commit to collecting data approximately once a week for about 10 mins during the season. Formal volunteer training sessions are offered in February and March with field trainings in the spring and early summer.

    John Ball Zoo Keeper and BNC Wildlife Volunteer, Keith, will be doing a group observations on the dates listed below. This is a great opportunity to see what FrogWatch is all about and put your listening skills to the test with the help of an expert.

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  • Spring Trail Guide Training
    9:30 AM-11:30 AM
    Apr-11-2017

    1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504, USA

    1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504, USA

    Would you like to work with children in the great outdoors?

    Then please join us for our Spring Trail Guide Training to dust-off your BNC curriculum knowledge or learn it for the first time. The day will be spent highlighting all things spring–coverage will include the following programs:

    • Signs of Spring
    • Animal Adaptations
    • Seeds & Plants
    • Birds of a Feather
    • And more!

    volunteer-sign-up-button

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  • Back to Nature Breakfast
    5:30 AM-8:00 AM
    Apr-20-2017

    1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504, USA

    1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504, USA

    Blandford Nature Center hosts an annual “Back to Nature Breakfast” that focuses on raising funds for various aspects of the nature center. This year we are hoping to raise support for our educational programming, with a specific focus on our summer day camps. We will be showcasing how our camps and other programing influence children, our community, and the world. Through this fundraiser, we can better engage and empower our community through enriching experiences in nature to create a thriving, diverse community that supports a healthy natural world.

    Come out to help us prepare and serve breakfast (coffee, juice, yogurt parfaits, pastries, clean-up, etc.) on this big fundraising day! Please come dress business casual (slacks, button-down shirt or blouse) and comfortable footwear for serving.

    Registered Blandford Nature Center Volunteers Only Please

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  • Eco-Stewardship Work Day
    5:30 PM-8:00 PM
    Apr-20-2017

    1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504, USA

    1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504, USA

    Eco-Stewardship work focuses on habitat restoration, trail maintenance, stream clean-up and removal of invasive species (like buckthorn, privet and honeysuckle) on several sections of our 143-acre site. Education is always a major focus of the day as volunteers learn to identify and manage plants that may be growing in their own backyards, their schools or city parks and how those plants and their volunteer efforts directly impact their surrounding environment.

    This volunteer option is for individuals or groups that would like to attend an open volunteer event, like Eco-Stewardship Work Days, without becoming a registered Blandford Nature Center volunteer. Please keep in mind that while a Volunteer Application does not need to be completed, you will still be required to sign a Liability Waiver at these volunteer events.

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  • VIP Donor Reception
    4:30 PM-8:00 PM
    Apr-21-2017

    1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504, USA

    1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504, USA

    This reception allows us an opportunity to thank our Growing Up Blandford Campaign Donors. These guests have made a significant contribution to the new Mary Jane Dockeray Visitor Center and Blandford’s Endowment Fund. Through this appreciation event, we can better engage and empower our community through enriching experiences in nature to create a thriving, diverse community that supports a healthy natural world.

    Come out to help us prepare and serve cocktails and appetizers during this big appreciation event! Please come dress business casual (slacks, button-down shirt or blouse) and comfortable footwear for serving.

    Registered Blandford Nature Center Volunteers Only Please

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  • Eco-Stewardship Work Day
    9:00 AM-12:00 PM
    Apr-22-2017

    1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504, USA

    1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504, USA

    Eco-Stewardship work focuses on habitat restoration, trail maintenance, stream clean-up and removal of invasive species (like buckthorn, privet and honeysuckle) on several sections of our 143-acre site. Education is always a major focus of the day as volunteers learn to identify and manage plants that may be growing in their own backyards, their schools or city parks and how those plants and their volunteer efforts directly impact their surrounding environment.

    This volunteer option is for individuals or groups that would like to attend an open volunteer event, like Eco-Stewardship Work Days, without becoming a registered Blandford Nature Center volunteer. Please keep in mind that while a Volunteer Application does not need to be completed, you will still be required to sign a Liability Waiver at these volunteer events.

  • Grand Opening Celebration of the Mary Jane Dockeray Visitor Center
    12:00 PM-3:00 PM
    Apr-22-2017

    1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504, USA

    1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504, USA

    Join the Blandford Crew as we unveil the new Mary Jane Dockeray Visitor Center to the Grand Rapids Community! Ribbon cutting ceremony, building tours, property tours, wildlife encounters and much more await you on Earth Day. Help us celebrate the the success of the Growing Up Blandford Campaign!

    We wouldn’t want to celebrate this historic BNC moment without the folks that helped us along the way–please join us in showing off how much Blandford has grown to the Grand Rapids Community!

    Registered Blandford Nature Center Volunteers Only Please

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  • Michigan Butterfly Workshop Series
    5:30 PM-7:30 PM
    Apr-25-2017

    1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504, USA

    1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504, USA

    Become a citizen scientist by tracking and recording many of Michigan’s unique butterflies! Created by the Michigan Butterfly Network, this 3-part training will take place on:

    • Introduction & Program Background April 25th 5:30-7:30pm
      • During the first training you will learn what Citizen Science is, why butterfly surveys are needed, and how these surveys are conducted.
    • Butterfly Identification May 2nd 5:30-7:30pm
      • The second training will help you put your butterfly ID skills to the test as you review how to carry out a butterfly survey and finalize your survey routes.
    • Field Training May 13th 1:00-3:00pm
      • The final training will run through a mock survey with guest speaker, Jen Tagett, Citizen Science Coordinator from Kalamazoo Nature Center.

    Help entomologists around the world by collecting real, useable data and becoming a Citizen Scientist today! Program price is a flat fee of $25 which includes 3 training sessions, guest speaker, and Michigan Butterfly Network materials.

    Program open for ages 13 plus

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  • Saturday Drop-In Program
    1:00 PM-3:00 PM
    Apr-29-2017

    1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504, USA

    1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504, USA

    NEW THIS YEAR! Blandford Nature Center is offering “Saturday Drop-In Programs” throughout this spring. Each Saturday has a different theme and during some of these programs, we would like to open one of the historic buildings (Log Cabin, Schoolhouse, Pioneer Barn, or Blacksmith) so that visitors can experience living history.

    Sign-up to provide BNC visitors with historic interpretation and knowledge on select Saturdays!

    Registered BNC Volunteers Only

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