Our organization encourages the teamwork of employees and volunteers so that we can effectively educate visitors and restore and conserve the lands within the Preserve. Volunteers contribute their unique talents, skills, and abilities to complete physical and non-physical tasks, enable the paid staff to concentrate on the work for which they were trained, and educate the public about our organization and its cause.
Oakland Nature Preserve consists of wetland and upland habitats. The upland habitats have seen the most degradation, and are our current focus for restoration. Most of the surrounding upland area was transformed to a citrus farm, but the citrus crop failed after heavy freezes in the 1980’s, then the land then converted to a slash pine farm for paper pulp.
Now we’re trying to restore the Preserve upland property back to the way it was before explorers arrived to the Americas, to its original Sandhill habitat. Habitat Restoration is a long, hard process involving: Removing invasive plants, preparing the soil, growing native plants, maintaining restored areas, and monitoring wildlife.
Volunteer duties may include but are not limited to removing invasive plants on many of our trails, assisting in plantings, trimming plants along our boardwalk, leaf-blowing the parking lot, boardwalk, and pavilion, and various other tasks.
Because these are outdoor activities, it’s important to wear weather appropriate clothing, closed-toed shoes, and sunscreen. Bug spray is also recommended during the summer months. Please bring a reusable water bottle and gardening gloves!
We have Maintenance opportunities on most Saturdays from 8am-12pm (11am June-Sept). Restoration work takes place on Mondays and opportunities are posted on an as-needed basis. Please register in advance on our Event Calendar as we have limited volunteer spaces. These opportunities are available for adults as well as youth. Please see the Volunteer Manual for our age requirements and youth guidelines.
Available dates/times are as follows:
* Please meet on the porch of the Education Center no later than 7:45 am, and plan to stay until noon. From June - September we will likely end at 11am.