A Volunteer’s Guide to Local Nonprofits

As spring approaches, many local environmental nonprofits are busy preparing for an increase in outdoor events, hands on enhancement activities, and other educational opportunities. As they continue their work to positively impact our community, make a pledge to help make it easier for them to do so by offering your time to volunteer. From wildlife training to water quality checks, opportunities in various areas of interest exist everywhere out there. Check out some of our favorite local nonprofits below.

AEC logoAlabama Environmental Council
If recycling is your passion then joining the efforts of the Alabama Environmental Council may be the perfect volunteer gig for you. Ways to become involved include event planning and execution, mailing campaigns, event recycling, database work, and general help at the recycling. To be added to a contact list for upcoming volunteer opportunities, email info@aeconline.org.


cahaba river society logoCahaba River Society
If you’re passionate about preserving Alabama’s river systems, safeguarding our drinking water and helping to combat water pollution, the Cahaba River Society may be the non-profit for you. Lend a hand by volunteering at one of the many Cahaba River Society (CRS) events or get your boots wet helping to clean up the Cahaba River. Interested patrons should contact Monica Carmichael, the CRS’s Development Director, at (205) 322-5326 or email their office at info@cahabariversociety.org.


red mountain park logo2Red Mountain Park
As one of Birmingham’s newest and most popular outdoor destinations, Red Mountain Park is located on 1,500 acres of land along central Alabama’s Red Mountain Ridge. The award winning park is home to all kinds of adventure activities including over 14 miles of trails, the Red Ore Zip Tour, Kaul Adventure Tower, and even a 6-acre off-leash dog park. If you’re ready to literally take to the trails, Red Mountain Park is the perfect place to spend your time helping with trail building, educational and history hikes, invasive plant removal and more. Find out more by attending one of the park’s monthly meetings or by contacting Angela Cleary at acleary@redmountainpark.org.

Birmingham_Botanical_Gardens_logoBirmingham Botanical Gardens
You don’t have to be a master gardener to lend a helping hand at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. In fact, The Gardens welcomes adults and teenagers alike from all walks of life, and also offers on the site training for every type of volunteer activity. Whether it’s spending an afternoon volunteering your time to help with a special event or out in a garden, or even indoors helping with office work, The Gardens is a great place to make a difference. For more information about upcoming volunteer opportunities contact Taylor Steele at tsteele@bbgardens.org or (205) 414-3962.

Alabama_Rivers_Alliance_logoAlabama Rivers Alliance
The Alabama Rivers Alliance (ARA) is an extensive network of groups who aim to restore and maintain Alabama’s many river systems while also advocating for sound water policies. Recently, the ARA expanded their volunteer opportunities to make it easier than ever to get involved. Whether you thrive in the open wild or feel more comfortable in an office environment, your support and involvement are encouraged and welcome. To sign up for a project or to donate much-needed funds to the organization, reach out to Kelly Marshall kmarshall@alabamarivers.org or call (205) 322-6395. An official volunteer form and list of volunteer openings can be found at www.alabamarivers.org.

CoosaRiverkeeper-300x300Coosa Riverkeeper
Founded in 2010, the Coosa Riverkeeper is a nonprofit dedicated to protecting, restoring, and promoting the Coosa River and its tributaries. The organization relies greatly on the time, efforts, and skills of many volunteers to help with hands-on river clean-up projects, educational events, tabling at music festivals and fishing tournaments and much more. The organization also looks to the public to help report pollution in or around the River. For additional details and information about how to become involved, visit www.coosariver.org/get-involved or email Coosa Riverkeeper at info@coosariver.org.

fresh air familyFresh Air Family
“In search of nature, we find family,” is the mantra of Fresh Air Family, a Birmingham-based team that is passionate about helping families enjoy the best of our local outdoors. The nonprofit helps families access more than 400 outdoor recreational activities and two science-packed summer camps, giving a wide range of opportunities to everyone. Fresh Air Family is seeking active volunteers who are interested in leading hikes, lending a hand at public events and leading educational programs. To get involved, send an email to amanda@freshairfamily.org.

alabama-wildlife-centerAlabama Wildlife Center
Located within Oak Mountain State Park in Pelham, the Alabama Wildlife Center is the state’s oldest and largest wildlife rehabilitation facility. Each year, its clinic cares for nearly 2,000 wild bird patients from more than 100 species. Volunteers can help with a range of duties including answering calls from the public for the Wildlife Help Line, identifying and caring for baby birds and learning strategies for their release, and for those with prior animal experience can even learn to help rescue and transport injured and orphaned raptors. For more information, call (205) 663-7930 or attend a Volunteer Orientation Day, usually held on the first Sunday of each month. To register for orientation and learn more about upcoming events, visit www.awrc.org.

black warrior riverkeeperBlack Warrior Riverkeeper
The team at Black Warrior Riverkeeper is dedicated to protecting and restoring the Black Warrior River and its tributaries, and it depends heavily on the volunteer efforts of many community members statewide. Volunteers can help this citizen-based nonprofit in numerous ways including hands-on river clean-up projects, or research and data entry. For more details and additional information about volunteer opportunities, check out blackwarriorriver.org/volunteer.

Progressive Agriculture FoundationProgressive Agriculture Foundation
The Progressive Agriculture Foundation is the spearhead behind the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day program, the largest rural safety and health education program for children in North America. Their mission is to educate families about outdoor safety so that no child will suffer injuries from farm, ranch or rural life recreation. You can help by hosting a Safety Day in your community, or volunteer at a local Safety Day by helping with set-up, registering participants, preparing lunches, leading classes or providing farm equipment. For more information visit www.progressiveag.org.


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