Volunteer with Us
The primary way that people volunteer with the Old-Growth Forest Network is by taking on a County Coordinator role for their county. If you are interested in becoming a County Coordinator for your county or a county of interest to you (such as one that is nearby or that you frequently visit), first check out the list of our existing County Coordinators. If you wish to sign up as a County Coordinator, fill out a Volunteer Form below, and we will reach out to you as soon as we’re able - usually within the week.
What are the duties of volunteer County Coordinators?
With over 2,300 counties in the Network we need many volunteers, such as you, to share the work — and the fun! In some counties we will have already done many of the preliminary tasks, in other counties you will be starting from scratch. When you agree to being your area's County Coordinator we will let you know how far along we are in the process. You work from your own home, on your own time and decide how much time you are able to commit. Typically, it takes at least several hours a month and could last from 6 months to years.
Getting your county into the Network is the primary goal for County Coordinators. During the first phase of your role, you help select the forest that will be the best representative for the Old-Growth Forest Network in your county. Here are the general steps to doing that, and of course we will assist you along the way:
1. Identify the Forest
Identify the possible old-growth forests in your county. This can be one of the best parts of the project because you will get to visit beautiful forests you might not have seen otherwise. It is something like a treasure hunt, as you will need to explore your county’s parks, wildlife management areas, wild lands, and other places open to the public. Photos are very helpful. Ideal forests for the network have mature trees, intact forest habitat, parking for at least a few cars, are open to the public, and have a trail.
Find contact information for the manager of the selected forest and try to cultivate a positive relationship with him or her. Find out if the chosen forest is protected from commercial logging. Explain what the Old-Growth Forest Network is and share the PDF Overview document with the forest manager.
3. Forms and Signs
Assist, if necessary, with completing the forest information form for the forest or checking it for errors. You may be asked for help with coordinating the delivery of the sign and the certificate which identifies the forest as being included in the Network.
4. Dedication Ceremony
Help set up a Dedication Ceremony when the sign is posted. This can be as small or as large as you like. Just you and one or two others is fine. Among those invited may be representatives from the forest management group, representatives from the Old-Growth Forest Network, local politicians, the media, and people from local environmental groups. Our staff can assist you with a press release. Be sure to have a few photos taken of the event.
Beyond these basic responsibilities, there are many ways the CC can promote the forest and the OGFN, including arranging annual tours of the forest, public promotions, conducting species inventories, and advocating for forests whenever they are threatened.
Please be sure to read about the volunteer role (above) to figure out if being a County Coordinator would suit you, as that is the primary volunteer role we have available. Many people love being County Coordinators and find the role to be fun & rewarding!
If you are interested in volunteering for a different kind of role you may also fill out this form, and we will let you know if we have availability in your area of interest.