By Matthew Knox, Friends of Heinz Refuge
Are you concerned about the state of our planet? Are you interested in making friends, learning about nature, and protecting wildlife? If so, the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge and Friends of Heinz Refuge are looking for volunteers! Established in 1972, the Heinz Refuge is the first urban wildlife refuge in America and protects over 900 acres of marshland. Located just outside Philadelphia, the refuge features miles of trails and a broad diversity of wildlife, including migratory birds and endangered species you won’t easily find elsewhere. Though our visitor center is currently closed, we still feature online and outdoor events, and our volunteers and staff are always somewhere on the refuge working to protect and maintain this vital ecosystem. If you’re interested in participating as a volunteer, we have plenty of opportunities available to help out: we are seeking help with our environmental education, guided hikes, site maintenance, restoration projects, and nature store pop-ups. In addition, the Friends of Heinz are always seeking members to assist our board of directors and participate in our committees. High school and university students may also join our Young Adult Advisory Committee. The Friends of Heinz and refuge staff work hand-in-hand to ensure this gem of nature remains protected, accessible, and relevant to the people of the Delaware Valley. As the incoming AmeriCorps VISTA candidate for the Friends of Heinz, I have only just begun my journey with the refuge, but it’s obvious to me why this land is so important for biodiversity and so special to the local community, and I’m looking forward to getting involved in these volunteer opportunities myself – perhaps you may see me there!
Friends of Heinz Refuge