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Over 60 Years of Community Service 

Volunteer Opportunities

Tenafly Nature Center relies on the generosity of volunteers to maintain its mission.

Volunteer, and become part of the solution, helping to protect our air, water, wildlife habitats. Help us keep our mission and in turn, you will work with our staff, gain valuable knowledge, partake in unique experiences and deepen your environmental awareness.

Who should apply?

  • Adults, teens (14+), and groups

    Want to help, but you’re under 14 years old? You can! You need to have an adult guardian work with you. 

  • Those who can make a time commitment 
  • Independent people and team players
  • Small businesses & corporations wishing to fulfill community service programs/endeavors. Small businesses & corporations must be TNC small business or corporate members.  Learn more about small business & Corporate Memberships here 

Volunteer opportunities are limited. Availability is determined by the seasons, weather, skills offered and supervision/leadership available. For many of our needs we are looking for volunteers that are able to commit to a weekly schedule.

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with us!

Volunteering Opportunities

Opportunities that individuals may apply for and are then scheduled for independently

Scheduled Volunteer Days

Opportunities that are available for individuals to sign up for that are pre-scheduled by TNC

President’s Service Award

A national award established to recognize the valuable contributions volunteers are making.

Available Volunteering Opportunities

The following opportunities are available for individuals who would like to volunteer regularly at TNC. 

= Volunteer opportunities for adults (18+ only)
= Volunteer opportunities for students (14+ only)

Click title to view descriptions


Our Assistant Land Steward are important volunteers who help us maintain our preserve.

Assistant Land Stewards are responsible for helping our Land & Facilities Manager maintain a healthy and accessible preserve. They help keep our trails wood chipped, remove invasive plant species, assist with seasonal trail clearance (ex. removing leaves from paths), and other habitat restoration and trail improvement needs. Volunteers may also assist staff with various routine day-to-day maintenance projects and special one-time projects.

Training will be provided.

  • Schedule: Help is currently needed during the week and weekends for a 2 hour weekly commitment.
  • Age: Ages 14+
  • Minimum Requirement: 6 month commitment
  • Indoor or Outdoor: Outdoors - In cases of inclement weather date/time will be skipped and volunteers will be asked to come on their next scheduled date/time

Our Birds of Prey Assistant Caretakers are crucial to the health of our animal ambassadors.

Birds of Prey Assistant Caretakers are responsible for feeding, cleaning & changing water dishes, and cleaning & maintaining the aviary habitats for our non-releasable birds of prey (ex. owls, hawks). Birds of Prey Assistant Caretakers must be comfortable around the animals they are caring for and with the diets they will be offering to the animals. Our birds of prey typically eat deceased rodents. It is a messy job and you must love birds!
Training will be provided.

  • Schedule: Help is currently needed during the week for one day on either Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday for a 2 hour weekly commitment.
  • Age: Ages 18+
  • Minimum Requirement: 6 month commitment
  • Indoor or Outdoor: Outdoors - In cases of inclement weather date/time will be skipped and volunteers will be asked to come on their next scheduled date/time

Our Butterfly House Interpreters are special helpers that make our butterfly house run smoothly. crucial to the health of our animal ambassadors.

We are seeking volunteers who are interested in welcoming and helping visitors in our butterfly house. Volunteers answer questions and assist guests while making sure the butterflies don't escape. Volunteers may also assist inside the butterfly house and/or family friendly butterfly arts and crafts and/or read stories to children about butterflies and pollinators. Interpreters are encouraged to develop their butterfly knowledge and species identification skills as they spend time in a colorful environment.
Training will be provided.

  • Schedule: Help is currently needed Thursday-Sunday for a 2 hour weekly commitment between the hours of 10:30 am-12:30 pm or 12:30-2:30 pm or 2:30-4:30 pm.
  • Age: Ages 18+
  • Minimum Requirement: 2 month commitment
  • Indoor or Outdoor: Outdoors - In cases of inclement weather date/time will be skipped and volunteers will be asked to come on their next scheduled date/time

The Board of Trustees steadfastly serve as our community leaders. Together, they lead and oversee many aspects of TNC.

We are currently looking for people who wish to volunteer as a Board Trustee with expertise in Event Planning, Public Relations, Marketing, Fundraising, Forestry & Wildlife Management, and Nonprofit HR. Terms are 3 years. Your active participation is welcomed!

TNC Board of Trustees Are Expected To:

  • Give approximately 5 hours per month on TNC business. Monthly board meetings (approximately 1-2 hours) and some sort of committee work, and/or volunteer work
  • Attend board meetings (held once a month). It is understood that occasional conflicts may occur, but trustees should attend the majority of meetings.
  • Serve on at least one committee and/or do some other type of TNC-related volunteer work.
  • Express views on board issues under discussion, and then support the board’s decisions.
  • Be current members.
  • Financially support the work of the TNCA in an amount(s) wholly at your discretion (when we go to foundations or corporations, it’s best if we can tell them that all trustees are donors).
  • Participate in board and/or public events to become familiar with and support TNCA in a different way from the monthly Board meetings. These include: our annual dinner, Nature Day, annual boundary walk, and additional TNC events.
  • Recommend, as appropriate, names of prospective financial supporters and/or potential candidates for the board.
  • Promote the Tenafly Nature Center Association. Mention TNC to your friends and neighbors. If you belong to a local service organization, consider speaking about TNCA (or requesting a speaker) at a meeting or help staff a TNCA table or exhibit during local events.
Training will be provided.
  • Schedule: Be prepared to spend approximately 5 hours per month on TNC business. Monthly board meetings (approximately 1-2 hours) and some sort of committee work, and/or volunteer work.
  • Age: Ages 21+
  • Minimum Requirement: 3 year commitment

Our NY/NJ Trail Conference Trail Crew are extremely important volunteers who help us maintain our over 7 miles of trails.

Do you enjoy a walk in the woods? If you do how about spending some time working in the woods you enjoy.

Join our dedicated trail crew and help maintain our seven miles of trails. Up to two of those miles could be yours to inspect and keep in shape. We are looking for outdoor-loving people like you.

Here is what you can help us do:

  • Keep trails accessible for fellow users
  • Monitor and removing invasive species
  • Build new trails and rehabilitating old ones
Tenafly Nature Center partners with the NY/NJ Trail Conference so there will be plenty of on-the-job training making newcomers feel right at home. Experience is not necessary the trail conference will show you how. Are you ready to become a volunteer trail maintainer? Contact the NY/NJ Trail Conference to learn more.

Training will be provided by NY/NJ Trail Conference.

Professional and amateur photographers are needed to photograph TNC's events, grounds, flora, and fauna. Maintain the nature center photo collections and files so that we can highlight all that we do.

Program photographer volunteers are responsible for attending TNC programs and events and taking digital pictures of the staff, volunteers, and animal ambassadors providing programs and assisting customers. These images are needed so that TNC may highlight all we do to accomplish our mission. The images provided may be utilized by TNC soley in either digital and or print. Individuals are needed who can provide their own digital camera, have a cheerful, friendly attitude, professional and efficient, and great communication skills.

Training will be provided.

  • Schedule: Help is currently needed on a weekdays and weekends for a 1-2 hour commitment throughout the scheduled programs
  • Age: Ages 14+
  • Minimum Requirement: 1 event
  • Indoor or Outdoor: Indoors or outdoors depending on the event

Our Trail Greeters help all guests of the preserve feel safe and welcome.

Volunteers are needed to sit at our entrance and to help keep track of the number of trail visitors, answer questions regarding the trails, give an overview of the organization, and ensure visitors feel safe and welcome. Volunteers will be given a chair, table and necessary literature (along with an optional pop up tent) and set up at our main entrance in front of the visitors center. In between visitors volunteers are welcome to bring a book or entertainment device to enjoy.

Training will be provided.

  • Schedule: Help is currently needed for a 2-3 hour commitment between the hours of 9:30 am - 4:30 pm on one or more days each week.
  • Age: Ages 18+
  • Minimum Requirement: 4 week commitment
  • Indoor or Outdoor: Outdoors - In cases of inclement weather date/time will be skipped and volunteers will be asked to come on their next scheduled date/time

Are you just looking for a day to gain some hours? Take a look at our scheduled volunteers days below and sign up for a volunteer event that is already set up.

How to apply to volunteer at TNC?

  1. Complete and submit a
    TNC volunteer application
    If your interests and schedule match with our needs we will contact you to set up a schedule. 
    • Teen applicants should complete the application themselves. This way they can learn about the nature center on their own and we can learn about them too.
    1. Wait for TNC staff to review your submitted volunteer application and contact you

      Please don't contact us.

    Scheduled Volunteer Days

    The following opportunities are scheduled volunteer events that individuals are welcome to sign up for. These opportunities change each season and may be signed up for individually by clicking the event link in the upcoming events list.

    Age restrictions may apply see the individual event for complete details.

    Forest Defenders

    2nd and 4th Sundays and Wednesdays

    Forest Defenders are important volunteers who help us maintain our preserve by removing invasive plant species. For the forest ecosystem to continue functioning these invaders must be removed.

    Boundary walk

    In March

    An annual walk of the property to assure that the nature center borders are being maintained, free of encroachments, and litter free.

    Annual Egg Hunt

    In April

    A fun early spring program that encourages individuals to learn about camouflage. Volunteers are needed to help hide naturally dyed eggs and oversee the different sessions.

    Trash-A-Thon

    In April

    In partnership with the borough of Tenafly the Tenafly Nature Center runs a community trash cleanup day for our local green spaces (including the nature center).

    Nature Day

    In June

    A fun community event featuring stations throughout the TNC preserve that encourage participants to have a respect for nature.

    Haunted Forest

    In October

    A fun community event featuring stations throughout the TNC preserve that encourage participants to learn about nocturnal animals found within the preserve.


    Upcoming events

    President’s Volunteer Service Award

    Tenafly Nature Center has been selected and approved as an official Certifying Organization for the President's Volunteer Service Award.

    The President's Volunteer Service Award is a national award created from the White House established to recognize the valuable contributions volunteers are making in our communities and encourage more people to serve. The President’s Volunteer Service Award recognizes individuals, families, and groups that have achieved a certain standard, measured by the number of hours of service over a 12-month period or cumulative hours earned over the course of a lifetime.

    TNC is one of thousands of organizations that deliver the President’s Volunteer Service Award and honor volunteers. As a certified organization for the award, Tenafly Nature Center is responsible for verifying service hours, nominating potential recipients and delivering the Award.

    TNC volunteers are eligible for this award and can be approved for it via TNC as their Certifying Organization. Volunteers can begin their pursuit of the award by tracking their volunteer hours online. The hours do not have to be only for volunteer work in support of TNC; they can be for a wide range of projects and service. However, it is important that TNC volunteers use Tenafly Nature Center's Record of Service Key, YER-8122, when identifying their Certifying Organization.

    Click here (and use YER-8122 as your Record of Service Key) to get started.

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