Volunteer Recruitment

Volunteers will likely play a key role in most invasive outreach and management projects.  They can benefit your project by:

  • Providing inexpensive removal and mapping labor.

  • Spreading the word to neighbors and other landowners.

  • Organizing neighborhood management efforts.

  • Influencing policy and public funding allocation.

  • Providing long-term stewardship and prevention.

  • Host information tables about invasives and activities happening in the town.

  • Design and plant native plants gardens in public spaces.

  • Help to organize, advertise and host invasives workshops.

  • Write grants to secure funding.

  • Work with town government to establish policies and write plans that help slow the spread of invasives.

Volunteers take a break at Snake Mountain South Natural Area.When recruiting volunteers, match the project’s needs with the volunteers’ skills and interests. Click here to see a chart that describes different activities you might need help with, the skills required for each task, and where you can look for volunteers that might be a good fit.

Many volunteers prefer to work either one day or on a short-term basis, although some projects may need long-term volunteers. Projects that involve a long-term volunteer commitment will benefit from a more rigorous recruitment, screening and training process.  Some helpful strategies for recruiting long-term volunteers:

  • Develop a volunteer position description that outlines responsibilities, skills needed, physical requirements, hours and location.

  • Highlight the benefits that are attractive to your target audience in your recruitment materials.

  • Develop a volunteer interest form, which is an easy way to see that prospective volunteers meet the minimum requirements.

  • Have a meeting with prospective volunteers to ensure a good fit.

  • Invite volunteers to a training geared toward their level of responsibility.

Click here for more tips about retaining long-term volunteers.

On invasive plant removal days, a 20- to 30-minute introductory, hands-on plant identification and removal demonstration may be enough training for a group of volunteers. Projects that rely upon repeat volunteers will have more success if they develop a comprehensive training and retention programThe Nature Conservancy offers a number of training resources, including printed species fact sheets, this invasives website, workshops and iMapinvasives, an online tool that anyone can use to upload or access data about invasive plants. Contact The Conservancy at (802) 229-4425.

Click here to learn how to organize a volunteer event or workday.