Volunteer

Help Oxbow build the world we want to see!

Volunteers play a BIG part in helping us care for and understand the habitats in and around Oxbow. You’re invited to join us in our work to inspire people to become good stewards of the land and deepen the connection between our community and its ecosystem.

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Ways to volunteer
FAQs

We offer several volunteer opportunities for anyone interested in habitat restoration, conservation, agriculture, and environmental education. Explore the options below, and if you don’t see something that works for you, sign up for our newsletter to hear about new volunteer openings, events, and more!

Questions? Email us at volunteer@oxbow.org

Ways to volunteer

Ages 16 & up | Pre-registration required | Weekdays only | Flexible schedule | 2-6 hours 

Conservation Volunteers support Oxbow’s Conservation & Restoration Team during the workweek on an ongoing basis. All work is done outdoors, rain or shine. It’s satisfying, physical work, that includes planting trees and removing invasive weeds, depending on the season. Conservation Volunteers will deepen their understanding of the entire restoration process and may be invited to work independently on restoration tasks or participate in ongoing research projects as they increase their familiarity with Oxbow, its grounds, and the team members. While work usually takes place at Oxbow, there may be some opportunities to work at other sites in the watershed.

Check back for future Conservation Volunteer openings.

Apply here!

3-4 hours/month | April – August

We’re looking for up to four enthusiastic and experienced volunteer birders to join our bird community science project. Volunteers work in teams to conduct morning surveys monthly between April and August consisting of a series of timed counts of birds within a marked area. Volunteers should be able to easily identify common local birds by sight and sound and be able to investigate unknown or rarer species. Training on how to do bird surveys will be provided and new volunteers will be paired with team members with experience on this project.

Training and team organization will begin at the end of February, so apply early! Folks who are interested, but don’t have the experience or want boost their birding skills are encouraged to join a local birding group (i.e. Eastside Audubon or Birds Connect Seattle), joining online birding communities, and, most importantly, go out and watch the birds!

Sign-Up Closed for 2024!

Ages 12 & up | Registration required | Second Saturday of every month | 10am-1pm

Join Oxbow’s Conservation Team on the 2nd Saturday of each month to improve critical habitats for plants and wildlife and help combat climate change. Come ready to do physical work and get your hands dirty! Experience the satisfaction of helping the land and ecosystem by removing weeds, clearing invasives, planting new species, and more.
Work happens outdoors, rain or shine, and focuses on a particular project and/or location, such as planting trees and digging up blackberries. While work usually takes place at Oxbow, there may be opportunities to work in other areas in the watershed. With your help, we can help bring back salmon (and orcas!) and rebuild a resilient landscape that supports people’s livelihoods, produces food, and remains beautiful and ecologically diverse.

2024 Dates: (No January work party), February 10, March 9, April 13, May 11, June 8, July 13, August 10, September 14, October 12, November 9, December 14

NOTE:
– Volunteers under age 14 need adult participation
– If you or someone in your group is under age 18, please bring a completed Minor Waiver form
– Parties are limited to 20 volunteers, please register before arriving
– Arrive on time. Punctuality is crucial to the success of these events
– Dress for the weather, bring gloves if you have them, and don’t forget your water bottle
– Familiarize yourself with our current Health & Safety information

REGISTER NOW

Ages 10 & up with adult participation | Pre-registration required | Flexible schedule | 2-4 hours

Bring your team, company, scout group, club, fitness group, or friends out to do some fun, fulfilling work to improve habitats in the Snoqualmie Valley. Activities might include weeding, planting, or spreading mulch and will take place outdoors, rain or shine. Groups are also welcome to plan a picnic lunch, a group hike, or a tour of the farm along with their volunteering. Groups of children under 14 must be accompanied by at least one adult per four children and adults must be active participants.

Group coordinators should reach out to volunteer@oxbow.org to arrange group habitat restoration events. Please include preferred dates or date ranges, an estimate of group size, and an estimate of the number of volunteers under age 18.

Pre-registration required | Total group size limited to 10 people | 2 hours    

Oxbow is thrilled to partner with Hopelink, FareStart, and Jewish Family Service of Seattle in their food access efforts. Each week, volunteers gather at Oxbow to collect produce from our fields for donation to area food banks. A typical glean will collect 75-100 pounds of produce to nourish food bank clients.

Gleaning is productive, satisfying work that gets you out of the office and into nature! Whether you’re able to volunteer once or for the entire season, we’re grateful for all who donate their time to save food and feed the King County community! Oxbow offers a variety of gleaning opportunities for individuals and groups in collaboration with our hunger relief partners. For more information and to sign up via one of our partners, visit our Food Access page

Ages 15 & up | Pre-registration required | 8 hours daily during summer camp sessions

Volunteers are a crucial part of Oxbow’s week-long summer farm day camps. Summer Camp Volunteers work with children ages 7 through 11 to share the magic of nature with our campers and educate them about food, how it’s grown, and our overarching food systems. Summer Camp Volunteers MUST pass a background check and attend a volunteer training session in June. Experience working with kids preferred. Parents/guardians of campers are encouraged to volunteer!

Apply here!

FAQs

Each program manages its own volunteers according to their needs. As you click through above on the different opportunities available, you’ll notice it lists the ages. In general, we accept all volunteers that are able and willing to do physical work in the fields, gardens, conservation sites, and even off-site.

If you think someone outside the suggested age range would be a good candidate or be interested, just reach out to us at volunteer@oxbow.org. Let’s talk about it!

Work happens outdoors, rain or shine, so check the weather ahead of time and dress accordingly. We’ll provide tools such as shovels, clippers, bags, etc. But please remember to bring personal items such as:
• Sun protection (hats, caps, etc.)
• Sunscreen (even on cloudy days!)
• Water
• Snacks/ Small lunch
• Closed-toe shoes (preferably sturdy boots)
• Face mask
Please make sure to register before arriving at any volunteering site, so we can be prepared for you. Punctuality is crucial to the project’s success; please plan your drive ahead of time.

Not necessarily. Most positions do not have any prerequisites. We prefer Summer Camp volunteers have prior experience working with kids but it is not required. Bird Community Science is the one position we require background knowledge and the ability to identify common birds of the Snoqualmie Valley, preferably both by sound and by sight

If you have any doubt in your background or questions simply apply to the position you’re interested in and follow up with an email to us volunteer@oxbow.org and we’ll happily help you out!

We have Honey Buckets and hand sanitizing stations across our property. However, some restoration work is done in areas further from the barn and farm areas. Please make sure to use the restroom upon arrival before moving on to the restoration site.

Sort of, yes. Oxbow is a real farm and conservation center. Volunteer work deals with removal of (sometimes thorny) invasive species, transplanting plugs, manipulating soil, shovels, high-dense brush areas, etc. so there is always a small possibility of issues such as allergies; wildlife encounters like ants, bees, spiders, beavers, and garden snakes;  Nothing to be scared of, but definitely important to know we’ll be working out in nature.

Our staff will provide all the gear and instructions you need to stay safe.