SNA Volunteer Information
Volunteers who have given 20 hours to the program are eligible for reduced training rates. Please contact us to learn more.
Below are courses taught by other organizations in additional subjects. Contact us to find out more.
- Chainsaw safety (required to work on DNR lands)
- Herbicide certification (required to supervise others using herbicides). Order the book (Category 6. Right-of-Way and Nat. Areas), study, then take the exam.
- Prescribed fire (S130/190 is required to help on DNR lands). Check the Wisconsin Prescribed Fire Council training page.
- UWM Field station. Courses on Wisconsin plant communities, ID of plants and animals, intro to animal groups, etc.
Get some gear
Have you volunteered 20 hours? You get a t-shirt. 50 hours gets you a hat! Show it off and brag to your friends. Since funds are limited, please limit to one shirt and hat per person. T-shirts and hats are ordered once a year in late January and sent out in February or March.
After documenting your time, please fill out this form and we’ll get them to you. Any on-the-ground time you spend taking care of a DNR-managed State Natural Area by invasives removal, collecting seed, burning, sharpening tools, etc. counts as time. How do you document time? Use the online reporting system that allows us to track your accomplishments. In addition, your time can be used as match for grants, which means that your work is doubled! If you are volunteering as a part of a workday, the leader will document your time.
Individual volunteer opportunities
Individual projects are available on a variety of SNAs. Individual jobs include spraying invasives, cutting brush, leading workdays, entering data, fixing tools, collecting seeds, etc. Our greatest needs are weed/brush management and seed collection. Please contact Jared Urban for more information: 608-228-4349
- Steward needs (see Appendix G) - Hogback Prairie, Maiden Rock Bluff, Rocky Run Oak Savanna
- Seed collection needs (July-November) - Mazomanie Oak Barrens, Rock River, Rocky Run Oak Savanna
- Other needs- Environmental educator, workday goodie supplier
Steps toward becoming a steward
You don’t have to jump right in. Many people start with a doable project at a site they love and learn from others, but there’s no set path. Here’s how you can wade in first.
- Attend workdays
- Learn a skill and see if you enjoy it (seed collecting, herbicide, chainsaw)
- Find a mentor to learn from at a different SNA
- Take a volunteer leadership course
- Lead workdays
Read more about becoming a steward in the Volunteer Handbook
Mindset of a steward
- Available time
- Passion for nature
- Enjoy physical work (dragging brush to a fire, operating a chainsaw, pulling weeds, spraying, etc.)
- Desire to involve others
- Willingness to learn and teach others
- Enjoy working as a part of a team or with minimal direction
- Discover new things about the properties you steward
- Watch seasonal changes
- See the result of your hard work over time
- The challenges, of course!