Join the Green Team!
Do you have an interest in helping the environment? Have some time and skills to share? By becoming a Couchiching Conservancy Volunteer you can take pride that you are contributing directly to the protection of nature — in your own backyard! As a volunteer, you can play a hands-on role in a wide range of Conservancy projects and helping us manage over 40 properties in the Couchiching-Severn area: visiting properties as part of a team, building community support, and sharing conservation information with others.
Share your love of nature with others!
We’re putting our boots to the ground and getting out to share our love of nature with the community. This brand new team will be talking with residents in our region and it will all culminate in major outreach on Wylie Rd in Carden. Click here for details or call Volunteer Coordinator Gay Guthrie to discuss (705-326-1620).
Here’s how you can play a role in protecting nature:
- Volunteer Opportunities
- Resources for our Volunteers
- Upcoming Volunteer Events
- Volunteer Application Form
What do our volunteers have to say?
“It wasn’t till joining the Conservancy that I really got back into “exploring” and getting back into nature. I always enjoy all of our property visits as well as the events no matter what my “role”. My favorite volunteer outing was during a winter visit to Prospect Marsh Nature Reserve.”
Property Team Leader for Prospect Marsh, Property Team Leader for the Agnew Nature Reserve & an Ambassador
“I highly recommend volunteering, especially with such a fabulous organization. You soon realize that for everyone involved with The Conservancy, it is not a job, it is a passion. Staff and volunteers have made a huge commitment to the environment for all the right reasons. This commitment is contagious.”
Property Team Leader for the Helen Butler Reserve, Property Maintenance
“I’ve volunteered in a number of ways – on the CC Water Team, at community events, with the office renovations and more. When I started out, I immediately knew that this was a community I wanted to be a part of. Visiting the Carden Alvar and various properties in the Orillia area opened my eyes to the beauty of my home town. For the first time I felt a true pride in where I grew up. Now, I’m working as an intern and these experiences have transformed me from a lost biology student into a young field naturalist. No matter where my future takes me, I know that I will continue to stay tuned into nature and volunteer my time to my local land trust.”
Volunteer Research Intern
In the Field WorkProperty Monitoring Teams
Note: All Property Monitoring Teams are currently full. As we acquire new properties, we will add Monitoring Teams. We also plan to add some of our Easements in the near future. To be on a waiting list, contact Dorthea and as new opportunities come up we will let you know first-come, first-serve. firstname.lastname@example.org (705) 326-1620
The Couchiching Conservancy is currently responsible for the stewardship (care and well being) of over 34 properties (approximately 10,000 acres). Its a big job and we can’t do it without help from volunteers. Regular monitoring keeps us informed about the condition of each property and helps ensure that those properties accessible to the public remain safe and well-maintained. There is great satisfaction in helping monitor a property over time and seeing the positive effects of your management efforts.
As with any property, maintenance is required to keep things “ship shape”. Most properties are natural habitat and require minimal maintenance, yet fences need mending, signs have to be installed and even some building care is required. While some of the long-term tasks are attended to by our corporate sponsors (e.g. dangerous tree removal, gravel for lanes, fence installations) there are often opportunities for some one-time help. Click here to find out more about this opportunity.
Water teams are trained to monitor water quality throughout the Couchiching Region from the Carden Alvar to Oro-Medonte Township. They test for eight different water quality parameters including phosphorous, nitrogen, temperature, depth, and Ph. Teams of two are assigned a site and collect water samples once or twice per month in the spring, summer, and fall. Benthic kick-tests are taken annually at each site to monitor for benthic macroinvertebrates (bottom dwelling aquatic organisms visible to the naked eye with no vertebrae). No experience necessary!
Biology Field Assistants
Throughout the year a number of research projects are undertaken (e.g. bird monitoring, plant inventory, habitat evaluations) which require assistance. The volunteer may be involved as a one-time helper or over several days. Some experience in a study of biology is an asset. Click here to find out more about this opportunity.
Biodiversity Champions (Invasive Plant Control)
Many of the properties under our management are being threatened with an invasion of harmful, disruptive and unwanted alien plant species (e.g. garlic mustard, dog-strangling vine, phragmites reed). Volunteers assist with approved plans and methods, with the removal and/or control of these plants to ensure that natural biodiversity in maintained. Training is provided on-site as to species identification and proper control methods. Click here to find out more about this opportunity.
Nature Education Programming
There are many educational opportunities available on the properties managed by The Couchiching Conservancy. We need someone to plan and co-ordinate 4-6 events a year that focus on an aspect of nature. Click here to find out more about this opportunity.
Special Projects/In the Community/Other:Conservancy Community Drive
We’ve got great things planned for the spring/summer and we need your help with this brand new team. This team will help us to reach out to community members, will have the opportunity to share their own love of nature with others and more. Click here to find out more about this opportunity.
Community awareness and recognition is an important aspect to the Couchiching Conservancy. A special team of trained volunteer Ambassadors attend community functions such as fairs and festivals with display booths to promote the Conservancy and the work that we do together. This is a great opportunity to get involved in the community, meet new people and help the Conservancy to spread the word about land conservation. Click here to find out more about this opportunity.
Volunteers are occasionally needed for office support. The tasks are varied and will depend on what work is being completed at the Conservancy. Click here to find out more about this opportunity.
Raising funds for the Conservancy allows us to continue to protect land for future generations. We have a variety of fundraising initiatives that go on throughout the year such as events committees, wine club, help with mailings and the bird carving raffle. Click here to find out more about this opportunity.
Over the years the Conservancy has accumulated a large collection of materials relating to its various initiatives and activities as well as general reference materials, all of which need to be catalogued, organized and preserved. Click here to find out more about this opportunity.
Work from HomeSpeaker Coordinator
In addition to needing speakers to participate at events we organize, the Conservancy also promotes its own initiatives and activities by providing speakers and presentations to outside groups. Click here to find out more about this opportunity.
Government Legislation & Policy Monitor
Changes in legislation and government policy can have a significant impact on the activities of the Conservancy and it is important that the Executive Director be aware of both positive and negative information in a timely manner. Click here to find out more about this opportunity.
Conservation Land Tax Specialist
As and when properties are acquired, special tax incentives are available to the Conservancy. A volunteer with specialized knowledge of government process, ecological systems, drafting applications and the issues involved with conservation lands is needed to take the lead in preparing the necessary applications (Farm, Community Conservation Lands CCL, Conservation Land Tax Incentive Program CLTIP) and end ensure that new programs are accessed in a timely manner. Click here to find out more about this opportunity.
Resources for Our Volunteers
- Volunteer Handbook (full document including all job descriptions)
- Volunteer Handbook (condensed version)
Calendar of Volunteer Activities
And don’t miss out on other events run by the Conservancy or in the community. See our full Event Calendar here.
Apply to be a Volunteer
To volunteer, please download the Volunteer Application Form:
Complete the Volunteer Application Form and send it to us!
Mail: Box 704, Orillia, ON L3V 6H2
If you have any questions, please call 705-326-1620.
As the Conservancy continues to grow in numbers and responsibilities, so too do our needs for enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers to help with our conservation projects!