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
  • 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 Manager at:

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

OR

Volunteer Manager
Subject: Volunteer Application
volunteer@blandfordnaturecenter.org

Since we work with many different groups and have several community partnerships, it is a requirement that all of our weekly and monthly 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 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 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 2020 Volunteer Orientation Dates:

  • Saturday, February 8th  | 10am – 11:30am
  • Saturday, March 7th | 10am – 11:30am      
  • Saturday, April 11th | 10am – 11:30am
  • Saturday, May 16th | 10am – 11:30am 
  •  Saturday, June 13th | 10am – 11:30am 
  • Saturday, July 11th | 10am – 11:30am 
  • Saturday, August 1st  | 10am – 11:30am 
  • Saturday, September 12th | 10am – 11:30am 
  • Saturday, October 24th | 10am – 11:30am   
  • Saturday, November 21 | 10am – 11:30am   

After you attend a Volunteer Orientation, our Volunteer 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 Manager at volunteer@blandfordnaturecenter.org 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.

Wildlife
  • Feeding the wildlife
  • Cleaning of the Wildlife Education Center and Wildlife Trail
  • Providing enrichment to the wildlife

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.

Farm
  • Weeding
  • Washing produce
  • Cleaning farm facilities
  • Farm Work Days
  • Flower Power Crew Work Days

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

Outdoor Education
  • Seasonal Camp Aide (ages 13-18)

Blandford provides Winter & Spring Break Camps, as well as Summer Camp.

To become a Camp Aide, you must fill out a Volunteer Application and participate in a Camp Aide Training.

Sugarhouse Operator

This is a seasonal opportunity to help out in the Blandford Sugarhouse the month of March. Sugarhouse volunteers are required to go through a separate training to learn all about the maple syrup sugaring process.

If you are interested in volunteering in our Sugarhouse, please include that in your volunteer application.

Land Stewardship
  • Mulching trails
  • Removing invasive plants
  • Planting native plants
  • Harvesting seeds
  • Trimming branches along the trails
  • Eco-Stewardship Work Days
Community Programs
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Historic interpreter
  • Festival Station leader
  • Blacksmith
  • Catering/refreshment tending
  • Set-up/Clean-up and much more!

You do not need to be a Registered Volunteer to help at our Sugarbush Festival, Bands at Blandford Concert Series or Harvest Festival!

Maintenance
  • Snowplowing
  • Mowing
  • Repairs
  • Facilities Upkeep

If you are a skilled trades-person and would like to voluntarily bring your skills and knowledge to help out around the Blandford property on a regular basis, becoming a Registered Volunteer is a great option!

Administration
  • Filing
  • Data entry
  • Sorting
  • Front desk support