Many of you may be aware of volunteer activities with our Partners: Blackland Prairie Raptor Center, Heard Museum, LLELA, Connemara, Agrilife and Texas Parks and Wildlife but did you know there are many activities already approved that you can participate in at home or with a group. Here are some examples and please feel free to send the VHAT chair an email of others that could possibly be added to the list.
Our Key Partners Heard Museum, Lake Lewisville Learning Area and Blackland Prairie Raptor Center and Connemara Conservancy Meadow activities are all preapproved and can be entered as volunteer hours. This also includes their special events activities.
Texas Nature Trackers – Texas Parks and Wildlife focused projects for Citizen Science of various types and levels of knowledge. Some are tracked with worksheets and can be quite involved and some can be tracked with iNaturalist. The projects are mainly focused on SGCN (Species of Greater Concern and Need) but many collect additional data as well. (Hours can be posted under BPTMN: Bird/Wildlife/Insect/Plant or other Surveys )
Great Backyard Bird Count – This is a Worldwide count in February to collect information from the public that will be used in research and knowledge sharing with others. You can do this at home in your backyard, at a park or with a group. This is approved for the hours spent identifying and posting your results. (Hours can be posted under Cornell: Great Backyard Bird Count)
Project Feeder Watch (Nov-April) – Citizen Science project sponsored by the Cornell Lab to collect information on birds that appear at our backyard feeders during the winter months. Please review the requirements to participate. Note that there is a small fee involved. Approved time is for observation and recording your results. (Hours can be posted under Cornell: Project FeederWatch)
Milkweed Project – Educating Landowners, Collecting Seeds and digging plants at various locations during the year. Note that permission must be obtained to do this on private property. The seeds are distributed free or disbursed at various prairies. The plants are use in prairies and the Heard Garden sale. (Hours can be posted under BPTMN: Milkweed Initiative )
CoCoRaSH – Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network – Volunteer project to capture rain fall and hair data from areas outside the immediate official reporting stations. Approved time for daily reading and reporting of data. (Hours can be posted under NOAA: CoCoRaHS Weather Monitoring) )
DFW Wildlife Coalition – Volunteers answer phone calls from homeowners, citizens or even children looking to help orphaned and injured wildlife. Hours are approved for the time you are actually answering phone calls and researching or tracking down resolutions, not the time you are on call. (Hours can be posted under DFW: Wildlife Coalition Hotline (limited to time spent on phone))
Junior Naturalist– The Junior Naturalist is a program for educating and instilling a love of our natural world in the younger generation. Volunteers develop curriculum, lead classes and workshops or just help with organization and provide supporting roles. The Junior Master Naturalist meet from 3:30-5pm during school months at Wilson Middle School in Plano. (Hours can be posted under BPTMN: Junior Naturalists)
Texas Stream Team – Volunteers are trained to understand the importance and science of water quality. Once a month, you will monitor and report pH, temperature, dissolved oxygen, and other indicators of water quality at your favorite sites. That data supports academic research, informs conservation policy, and serves as a de facto early warning system for water quality events across Texas. Dallas County holds quarterly training sessions at Trinity River Audubon Center that fill up fast. Send a note to Paul White, firstname.lastname@example.org, to get notifications of upcoming sessions. Once trained you will need a testing kit to perform the test. As these can cost upwards of $400, you will want to partner with an organization to pick up the costs if possible. (Hours can be posted under Texas Stream Team)
Texas Metro Wildlife Rehabilitators – Be part of a network of volunteers to rehabilitate wild animals that are brought in with injuries or orphaned as babies. If you don’t have time to care for an actual animal you might look into volunteering as a transporter or field public calls. (Hours can be posted under Texas Metro Wildlife Rehabilitation)