ERM volunteers find the strangest things during cleanup events. During the first three months of 2010, volunteers removed more than 4,800 pounds of trash from county-managed natural areas. Much of the trash was composed of glass bottles, aluminum cans, and plastic containers. However, volunteers always come across some item that makes them scratch their heads and wonder how it made it into the wilderness. Volunteers uncovered a car axle, Christmas lights, a Hoover vacuum cleaner and carpeting at a February cleanup event in Juno Beach. Even stranger things were found at two March cleanup events in Boynton Beach - a large A/C unit, a wooden crutch, a paint roller, and a shower curtain.
Are you ready to lend a hand? Here's how you can become an ERM volunteer
NATURAL AREA STEWARDS
- This program requires no training or long-term commitment; only short-term projects for busy individuals who want to make a difference in their community.
- Volunteers participate in "hands-on" environmental projects such as native plantings, site cleanups, exotic plant removal, dune restoration, and nursery maintenance.
- Projects typically last three hours and are scheduled on a monthly basis.
- Groups can also take advantage of this program. A special work project can be designed for their members at a date, time, and location of their choosing.
- To see when the next volunteer event is, click here.
GET IN THE KNOW
- This program requires dedicated volunteers who can work several hours each week for at least one year.
- Natural area stewards assist ERM staff in managing local natural areas.
- Responsibilities include conducting inspections, maintaining trails, reporting damage, recording animal and plant observations, and assisting with volunteer work projects.
- Stewards receive a handbook and a t-shirt. Training opportunities are available throughout the year.
- Click here to download a steward application.
- Do you want to know when the next natural area is opened, how the sea turtle nesting numbers are stacking up, or what invasive exotic plant is causing problems for land managers?
- You can find the answers to these questions in the ERM's quarterly Environmental Times newsletter.
- Each issue contains articles on programs such as shoreline enhancement, water resources protection, and habitat restoration.
- Click here to read the latest edition of the Environmental Times.
For more information on volunteer opportunities, contact Ann Mathews, Volunteer Coordinator, at (561) 233-2400 or email Ann at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Current Highlights and Upcoming Events
- Lake Worth Lagoon Fishing Challenge, June 1st - 30th
Interested in helping collect valuable fisheries information while getting a chance to win a prize? If so, you'll want to participate in this free fishing event. Visit the web page for details. [LINK]
- Lake Worth Lagoon Initiative Grant Program
Now accepting applications for FY 2017. Deadline to submit is August 15, 2016. [LINK]
- Running Wild, June 4th 7:00am
Run with ERM at Loxahatchee Slough Natural Area will cover approximately 10 miles and take participants through a variety of habitats on a combination of hardened and primitive trails. For more details and to reserve your spot, visit the event page. [EVENT PAGE]
- Adventure Awaits - Sunset Photography Workshop, June 10th 6:00pm
Take part in a guided photography tour of Winding Waters Natural Area in West Palm Beach. For more details and to reserve your spot, visit the event page. [EVENT PAGE]
- Adventure Awaits - Sunset Paddle, June 15th 5:30pm
Come paddle with ERM staff to Fullerton Island in Jupiter as the sun sets over this recently restored 12 acre maritime hammock island with newly created seagrass and mangrove habitat. For more details and to reserve your spot, visit the event page. [EVENT PAGE]
- Adventure Awaits - Growing Up Wild, Connecting Kids to Nature, June 18th 9:00am
ERM staff will lead you and your child on a guided walk through the woods at Royal Palm Beach Pines Natural Area highlighting points of interest associated with "Birds in Your Backyard" followed by an arts and crafts project each child can take home. For more details and to reserve your spot, visit the event page.
- Adventure Awaits - Bike and Hike, June 25th 8:00am
Discover the trails of Loxahatchee Slough with ERM staff during this unique tour that incorporates cycling and hiking. For more details and to reserve your spot, visit the event page.
- Environmental Times Newsletter
Read the latest edition Spring 2016 for highlights on artificial reefs, climate change, LagoonFest and more. [LINK]
- Lake Worth Lagoon E-News
Read the latest edition May 2016 for highlights on the Lake Worth Lagoon Fishing Challenge, restoration projects, LagoonFest and more. [LINK]
- Volunteer Accomplishments in 2015
See what ERM's volunteers were up to in 2015. [PDF]
- Mosquito Control Update - Zika Virus
While ERM's Mosquito Control Division is hard at work taking proactive steps to reducing mosquito popluations learn how you can protect yourself and reduce your exposure to mosquitoe-borne diseases. [PDF]
- Scavenger Hunts
Are available at several natural areas for youngsters to complete to recieve their Natural Area Youth Explorer certificate.
- ERM's Status Reports
Stay up to date on our projects with these monthly publications. [LINK]