The Western North Carolina Alliance is always in need of volunteers to help out with administrative duties, community organizing, water quality monitoring, invasive plant removal and many other helpful tasks.
If you’re interested in volunteering with us, look over the great opportunities listed below and then check the box on this form. WNCA Volunteer Coordinator Cynthia Camilleri will contact you to get you started on helping out our awesome organization — and having FUN while doing it!
ADMINISTRATIVE VOLUNTEER: Volunteers assist with general clerical tasks, including mail sorting, answering phones and taking messages, making copies, filing papers, updating contact information in our database.
Responsibilities: Helping to build a useful and current database of interested contacts
Skills/Experience Required: Computer proficiency
Training and Support for Volunteer: Will be provided on site.
Date(s) Needed and Time Commitment: Flexible schedule and can work remotely on an as needed basis
Benefits to Volunteer: Supports WNCA with outreach and building the membership, gets a free WNCA T-shirt
CAMPAIGN VOLUNTEER: Campaign volunteers will assist the WNCA campaign coordinator and other staff to carry out campaign related goals, events, and projects.
Responsibilities: Assisting with current WNCA campaigns, including Asheville Beyond Coal, Save the French Broad, “Clean Water, Clean Air, Good Jobs = All 3 for NC!,” Forest Keepers, and a variety of community-initiated campaigns around local issues such as the Asheville water system, land-use ordinances, timber sales, etc.
Skills/Experience Required: We are seeking passionate volunteers, preferably with experience in any combination of: community or campus organizing, marketing, public policy, research, volunteer coordination, public speaking, debate, and special events planning. Volunteers will need to be comfortable working with a variety of people from different backgrounds, making well-reasoned arguments, and working well as part of a team and in a self-directed fashion.
Training and Support for Volunteer: WNCA campaign coordinator will provide necessary training and support for all campaignvolunteers.
Date(s) Needed and Time Commitment: TBD on an individual project and volunteer basis.
Benefits to Volunteer: Volunteers will learn or expand their knowledge of the art and science of organizing, advocacy, and campaign strategy, and assist in carrying out critical and exciting campaign efforts that protect our beautiful region and planet. They’ll also connect with other dedicated folks who share their passion for the environment.
EDUCATION OUTREACH VOLUNTEER: These volunteers will identify and contact area high school science teachers to schedule invasive plant presentations to their classes (preferably AP Environmental Science classes if offered).
Responsibilities: Research the opportunity; communicate with WNCA Ecologist & Public Lands Director (BG) and teachers to schedule presentations; gather handout materials and invasive plant cuttings; assist Ecologist with the presentations.
Skills/Experience Required: Enthusiasm, interest in mountain native ecology. Familiarity with local invasive exotic plants helpful and previous participation in a WNCA invasive control event helpful, but not required.
Training and Support for Volunteer: Instruction from WNCA Ecologist and review of existing materials WNCA has on hand regarding invasive exotic plant identification, inventory, and control. Participation in any upcoming WNCA or Southern Appalachian Cooperative Weed Management Partners control events.
Date(s) Needed and Time Commitment: Dates to be determined based on communications with area science teachers. Time commitment very flexible.
Benefits to Volunteer: Volunteers will learn how to ID 15+ problem invasive exotic plants in the mountain region; will learn ways to control these plants, and restore invaded areas to native systems; will receive excellent field guide to southeastern invasive plants; will receive the Do Not Buy brochure; may receive an Invasive Exotic Plant Volunteer T-shirt (when available).
Other: Could lead to certification and licensing with NC Dept. of Agriculture and possible career opportunities if the volunteer pursues interest in this issue.
FORESTKEEPERS: The Forest Keeper Program is intended to recruit, train, and empower outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers to take an active role in caring for the places they love. The program will offer training, resources, and service learning events to build the skills of participants. Volunteers will participate in trainings, workshops and will use their knowledge and skills to address environmental issues they encounter in their regular personal outings.
Responsibilities: Attendance of at least three Forest Keepers events per year and regular outdoor recreation. Documentation of erosion problems, invasive species, poaching, or other environmental issues when encountered in the course of recreation.
Skills/Experience Required: Volunteers should love the for the outdoors and good physical condition.
Training and Support for Volunteer: Four to six service learning events will be scheduled annually. WNCA staff will be available to provide expertise and assistance.
Date(s) Needed and Time Commitment: Minimum one year commitment.
Benefits to Volunteer: Education is the greatest benefit offered to participants. Free food and drink may be provided on occasion. Participants will receive a hat or other identifier of the program after long-term participation.
FUNDRAISING OUTREACH VOLUNTEER: These volunteers help WNCA with fundraising mailings and will assist staff in stuffing letters for our membership letter requests.
Training and Support for Volunteer: Will be provided on site
Date(s) Needed and Time Commitment: April, August, December
Benefits to Volunteer: Volunteers will learn development and fundraising skills, meet new people, support WNCA’s financial goals, get a free WNCA T-shirt
Work as part of a team of volunteers, employ mechanical and chemical removal strategies on non-native invasive plants.
Responsibilities: Identify target species and utilize proper removal techniques.
Skills/Experience Required: Enthusiasm, interest in mountain native ecology. Familiarity with local non-native invasive plant species helpful, but not required.
Training and Support for Volunteer: Training on the identification of target species and on the proper use of herbicides will be given by supervisor. Tools and gloves will be provided for volunteers.
Date(s) Needed and Time Commitment: Dates flexible between now and the first week of August. Morning, afternoon, or whole-day shifts can be scheduled.
Benefits to Volunteer: Volunteers will learn how to identify 10+ non-native invasive plants and will discuss strategies to control infestations and restore native ecosystems. Volunteers will also receive a field guide for the identification of non-native invasive plants in southeastern forests.
Other: Volunteers will need to wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and sturdy boots. Poison ivy is present in the area, so volunteers will need to take the proper personal precaution regarding exposure. Please bring personal water and a lunch (if working a full day) and any medications necessary to treat allergies to insect stings. Volunteers will be required to sign a waiver releasing WNCA from responsibility for accidental injury before beginning work.
Responsibilities: This volunteer will support staff at events and outings by helping with signup sheets or registration, helping answer questions about WNCA and loading and unloading materials and equipment as needed.
Skills/Experience Required: Good people skills, a willingness to help and familiarity with the event, location or activity
Date(s) Needed and Time Commitment: Will depend on type of event or outing
Benefits to Volunteer: Volunteers can attend events and outings for free or at a reduced fee, supports the work of WNCA, make new friends, get a free WNCA T-shirt.
WATER QUALITY MONITORING VOLUNTEER: Volunteer tasks include working in streams, supplied with the proper equipment from the Alliance, to take water samples and determine whether or not streams used for swimming are safe for this use.
STEERING COMMITTEE: WNCA Steering Committee (the board of directors) members serve for two-year terms and set the policies and governance for the organization. If you or someone you know would like to be part of the leadership of a dynamic, grassroots environmental nonprofit, contact Co-Director Julie Mayfield at Julie@WNCA.org or Co-Director Bob Wagner at BobW@WNCA.org.