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Volunteering

Volunteer Opportunities

Click here for a list of current volunteeer opportunities.

Volunteer Application
Please email your application to jjason@fernwoodbotanical.org.


Volunteer Educators Schedule

Do you love nature and working with children? Join our Volunteer Educators Corps and help teach our Environmental Studies Programs (ESP) to local students. Trainings are provided on the trails, natural history, and teaching techniques and are open to all Fernwood volunteers. Please dress for walking the trails.

Questions? Contact Naturalist Wendy Jones.


Wednesday, February 14, 10am–12pm
Winter Ecology


Thursday, March 1, 2–4pm
Developing an Environmental Ethic
With 6th graders heading into their teenage years, now is the time to discuss how their lifestyle choices have an impact on the environment. What kind of car should they drive? Where should they live and in what type of house? How about shopping choices? Discover how we are helping them to develop an environmental ethic.    

Tuesday, March 27, 2–4pm
Plants and the Path of Water
Spring is the time of incredible plant growth, and 2nd graders are coming out to explore it all. Learn about the structure of a plant, photosynthesis, pollination, and the path water takes in Michiana after it fall from the sky.

Thursday, April 12, 3–5pm
Spring Wildflowers and Senses
Come April, it seems like the wildflowers are just exploding out of the ground – trout lily, wild ginger, trilliums, anemones, and more grace the woodland trails. With kindergarteners coming the next week, we’ll also brush up on a sensory exploration of nature.  

Thursday, April 26, 3–5pm
Habitats and Insects
They are the most numerous animal on earth and have an amazing diversity of forms.  Discover what makes insects so unique as we prepare for 1st graders. We’ll also learn about the habitats of Fernwood.  

Thursday, May 10, 3–5pm
May Wildflowers
The woodland wildflower show is at its peak in mid-May, with trilliums, Jack-in-the-pulpit, wild geranium, and Solomon’s seals in bloom. Nothing gets better than this for a spring nature walk!

Wednesday, May 30, 2–4pm
Day Camp Preview and Tallgrass Prairie
Hear about all the exciting things planned for summer nature camps, then head to the prairie to enjoy indigos, golden Alexanders, lupine, shooting star, and more in bloom.



Fernwood honors its volunteers each spring during National Volunteer Week.

2017 Volunteer of the Year
Dick Niemi

Dick Niemi, Volunteer of the Year 2017

The Volunteer of the Year Award was created in 2009 to recognize Fernwood's outstanding volunteers and is named for its first recipient, Joanne Sims of Lakeside. Joining Sims on the list of recipients have been photographer, Phil DeVore of Sawyer, past board president, Johanna Money of South Bend, former Niles attorney, Chris Lynch, Lynda Pelkey of Berrien Springs, Barb Dragomer of Berrien Springs, the Michiana Unit of the Herb Society of America, Phyllis Carlson of Niles, and most recently, Dick Niemi of South Bend. Fernwood currently has more than 250 volunteers who logged nearly 9,000 hours this past year in various capacities.


If you are not currently a Fernwood volunteer and would like to join our volunteer staff, please fill out and mail a volunteer applicationemail us, give us a call at 269.695.6491, or just stop in! We are pleased and grateful for your continued support!