Volunteer Service


We have many Volunteer Service Hours (VSH) projects ongoing and coming up. Some require physical labor, some are less demanding. If you cannot find one you want to do then propose one! Fill out the proposal form and attach it as an email, fax it, or print it and get it to Lance Homeniuk, Mike Price, Logan Long or Paul Wick.

Project Feeder Watch runs November 9th, 2019 and runs through April  2020

 “Citizen-scientists” record the number of birds seen throughout the winter and send the counts to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.  Data gathered helps scientists track the movements of winter birds and long-term trends in distribution and abundance. You may enroll online at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/pfw/  or contact Lance Homeniuk homeniuk@yahoo.com .


Bryophyte Survey

Collect samples of mosses, liverworts and hornworts in the 10 county area. Record all pertinent data and fill out the spreadsheet provided. Dry the samples and turn them over to Kathy who will forward them to Dale Kruse of TAMU. He is compiling the first ever survey of Texas bryophytes. Contact Kathy Riffe at kriffe54@gmail.com .

National Phenology Network:

Collect observations of plants and animals that interest you and report them to a national database.  Choose your target plants and/or animals from provided lists.  Learn the features and behaviors to be observed as well as how to record and report them.  Upload reports to the database where you will be able to view maps and data collected by other observers.  Data are used by researchers in climate change and cyclical environmental studies.  Contact Lance Homeniuk homeniuk@yahoo.com or  National Phenology Network for more information.

Texas Stream Team: water sampling.

As part of a statewide program, trained volunteers collect water quality data in lakes, streams, rivers and other bodies of water. Contact Beverly Guthrie at finwren@sbcglobal.net or go to Texas Stream Team for more information

iNaturalist:  A Citizen Scientist program dedicated to the study of global biodiversity.  

Observe and photograph any wild organism and upload the image to Flickr or Google Picasa.  Link your account to iNaturalist and begin posting observations.  Observations are verified by peer review.  iNaturalist data is used by many conservation agencies and universities, including TPWD, University of Texas, and TAMU. Go to: iNaturalist for more information or contact Crystal Mann.

Neches River Rose Mallow Survey

Perform “boots on the ground” survey to find wild Neches River Rose Mallow plants and/or populations in the southern and western counties of the ETCMN region and report to TPWD botanists.  Recommences when flowers bloom in late May.Contact Lance Homeniuk homeniuk@yahoo.com or Texas Parks and Wildlife for more information.

Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS)

CoCoRaHS is a unique, non-profit, community-based network of volunteers of all ages and backgrounds working together to measure and map precipitation (rain, hail and snow). Buy a rain gauge, open an account and send in daily reports (even 0’s count). Data is used by the National Weather Service and NOAA. Contact Lance Homeniuk homeniuk@yahoo.com or CoCoRaHS for more information.

Rain Water Gardens

Trained Master Naturalists serve as educators and facilitators for those who seek to control erosion, prevent pollution and increase biodiversity by using rain gardens, bio swales and bio containment ponds.  Master Naturalists can take a solely advisory role and/or provide planning and labor for actually installing rain gardens.  The use of native plants with their deep roots provides pollution control as do microbes in the soil, ultimately resulting in cleaner water.  Contact Beverly Guthrie finwren@sbcglobal.net for more information.


Caddo Mounds State Historic Site

Contact Anthony Souther, Site Manager, (936-858-3218), or Lance Homeniuk homeniuk@yahoo.com) for updates and directions to the site.  Go to: Caddo Mounds SHS for more information.

Caddo Mounds Plant Identification

Identify wildflowers and other plants for public and park staff use and public programs, once or twice a month from early spring to fall.  2-6 volunteers needed. Contact Tamara Kratzer at elenagonzalestk@yahoo.com for more information.

Tyler State Park trail maintenance

Periodic clearing and maintaining of hiking trails in the park, clearing the CCC “wading pool”, and other work as needed. Contact Hue Adams dhcs2511@gmail.com or Tyler State Park for more information.

Wildscape Area at The Tyler Nature Center

The goals of this project are to remove plants growing in the wrong place, remove all growing material from the granite walkway and walkway border bricks, and trim out any dead wood on plants in the wildscape area. Tools needed will be gloves and hand trimmers. Contact Mike Price mhp1947@embarqmail.com or Kay Jenkins kay-jenkins@sbcglobal.net .

Chapter Library

Catalog, maintain, and grow the chapter’s collection of books, periodicals, posters, and display items. All are available for checkout to members. The cabinet and boxes are stored in The Nature Center closet. Contact Lance Homeniuk  homeniuk@yahoo.com


City of Tyler Parks

Work on trail maintenance and other needed activities in various city parks. Contact Hue Adams dhcs2511@gmail.com

Texas Discovery Gardens at Fair Park in Dallas

Many outreach and education opportunities for volunteers to serve as docents, tour leaders and educators throughout the year and during the State Fair of Texas. Contact Beverly Guthrie finwren@sbcglobal.net or Texas Discovery Gardens for more information.

Interstate 35 Rest Area Monarch Waystation Program

Plan, establish, and maintain four monarch waystation wildscapes at two locations on I-35 between Austin and Dallas.  This is a five-year project.  Contact Kay Jenkins kay-jenkins@npsot.org to participate.

DFW Wildlife Coalition 

Volunteers answer questions about injured and orphaned wildlife and help callers find solutions to wildlife conflicts. Data collected is especially relevant and useful to urban biologists, animal control agents and others collecting information about wildlife because we keep records on coyote, bobcat, mountain lion, alligator and other sightings. That data is used to manage wildlife and support research. We educate the public in order to reduce human/wildlife conflicts. We also help orphaned and injured wildlife find help they need. Ongoing training offered. Contact Beverly Guthrie at finwren@sbcglobal.net

Stuffed Animals for Baby Beavers

This is not a volunteer hours project (but it could be!) We have a box for donated stuffed animals that will be passed on to Ms. Thibodeaux for use with her rescued beaver kits. Contact Lance Homeniuk homeniuk@yahoo.com if you want to lead this project or if you have a donation (no button eyes please – the beavers could chew & swallow them)


Breaking Boundaries for the Overlooked and Forgotten

An outreach project to expose senior citizens at area healthcare facilities in and around Lindale to nature   Create displays using photographs of nature and give interactive nature talks at nursing homes and assisted living facilities.  Answer questions and teach seniors about becoming citizen scientists.  Light physical activity is required.  Contact Mary Ann Nilson.

East Texas Chapter Speakers Bureau  

Raise awareness about the natural world by giving presentations to local groups such as schools, scouts, Rotary, etc.  or writing articles for local newspapers and newsletters.  If you have an area of expertise, or want to develop confidence and meet people, as well as being an ambassador for nature and a face of the Master naturalists,  Contact Beverly Guthrie at finwren@sbcglobal.net.

ETCMN Newsletter

Submit articles and photos of interest to the chapter. Research a topic you were introduced to in a meeting and got motivated to dig deeper. Share an area of expertise. Write up your most recent service project, field trip or workshop. Then send them to Tamara Kratzer at elenagonzalestk@yahoo.com . You get to count the time you spend on the project if you wish.


 These are active annually on or around the dates noted 

East Texas State Fair in Tyler

The 2020 Fair runs from Friday, September 21st to Sunday, September 30th . We need members to staff the booth for short shifts during the day or evenings. (you get free admission to the fair and a parking permit if you sign up, but you are welcome to drop in and spend an hour or two and see what it is like.) The booth is in the Agrilife building (Bldg E) in the right rear corner. Our theme is Pollinators and we have many interactive displays and activities for adults and youth. The only requirement is that you be willing to talk with folks and share your excitement about nature. Contact Cindy Smith at cynesmi@yahoo.com .

Christmas Bird Counts

Accompany Tyler Audubon Society or North East Texas Ornithology Society birders for one-day intensive surveys in local areas. Alternatively, you may stay home and record birds that visit your feeders then call in the data. December – January every year! Contact Lance Homeniuk homeniuk@yahoo.com or Tamara Kratzer elenagonzalestk@yahoo.com.

Mid-winter Bald Eagle Count on Lake Fork

In mid-January, 22 standardized locations, Lake Fork being one, are monitored to estimate the non-nesting winter Bald Eagles found in Texas. Volunteers meet at the Oak Ridge Marina Café at 7:00 to 7:30 AM each morning.  The count will take place between 8:00 AM and 11:00 AM, after which we will return to the café to get everyone’s count.  The café is located on Highway 154 about ¼ mile from the 154 bridge.  Contact Lance Homeniuk homeniuk@yahoo.com or Vince Palmisano vjpalmisano@yahoo.com and The Bald Eagle for more information.

Eaglefest in Emory Texas

Help staff a booth to teach public about Eagles, land conservation, and ETCMN activities.  Jan/Feb date rotates every year.  Rains High School Campus, 1759 W. US Hwy 69, Emory, TX. Contact Lance Homeniuk homeniuk@yahoo.com.

Project Feeder Watch runs November 9th, 2019 and runs through April  2020

 “Citizen-scientists” record the number of birds seen throughout the winter and send the counts to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.  Data gathered helps scientists track the movements of winter birds and long-term trends in distribution and abundance. You may enroll online at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/pfw/  or Contact Lance Homeniuk homeniuk@yahoo.com.

Great Backyard Bird Count

The 23rd annual GBBC will be held Friday, February 14, through Monday, February 17, 2020. Contact Lance Homeniuk homeniuk@yahoo.com or GBBC for more information.

Texas Frosted Elfin Survey  

From late February to early May 2019 monitor populations of this rare butterfly and its host plant in 31 counties in its range in NE Texas.  Information at http://www.naba.org/frosted_elfin.html

Purple Martin Gourd Birdhouses

Wanda Nichols has planted gourds. When they ripen she will teach folks how to make purple martin houses out of them. You can then share them, hang them, and monitor populations od purple martins. Contact Wanda at 903-681-2543.

Tyler mini-Maker Fair

Saturday, April 27th at the Discovery Science Center in downtown Tyler. If you have a neat hands-on project that is quick and cheap, if you are willing to guide adults, youth, and children in a make & take activity in a come & go format

Freshwater Fisheries Outdoor Expo

In Athens at the fish hatchery on Sat., September 21st from 9 am til 3 pm. We will need a couple or three people to set up an interactive display or hand-son activity for youth and adults. Theme – encouraging folks to get outside. In addition we get to network, meet new people and tell them about TMN, maybe even recruit a little. Contact Lance at 903-987-3410 or homeniuk@yahoo.com

Yantis Prairie Festival

We have been asked to set up a table in the Yantis Elementary School on Saturday, September 28at the  Northeast Texas Prairie Classroom as a free, outdoor, family friendly event from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at 124 West Oak, in Yantis, Texas. The theme educating the public about prairie, birds, insect pollinators, bats, reptiles, land stewardship. Contact Lance Homeniuk, Mike Price, or Paul Wick if you are willing.

Sign up for the TMN LISTSERV e-mail list to hear about opportunities statewide.  (See article in July 2011 ETCMN newsletter.)  Send an email tolistserv@listserv.tamu.edu with the following command in the body of the message: subscribe tmn Firstname Lastname [Use your name.]   Not all TMN projects are approved for our chapter.

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