Skip to main content

Volunteer Opportunities

For more information about the volunteer program or opportunities to get involved, contact the Volunteer Programs Manager at (845) 255-0919 ext. 1269.

View more detailed descriptions of volunteer job opportunities, along with any special requirements, in our Volunteer Job Opportunity Directory.

  • Administrative

    Volunteers work directly with staff to assist with time-sensitive administrative and clerical duties, including data entry, preparing mailings and providing special events assistance. Volunteer duties will primarily take place in an office setting with some opportunities to provide assistance outdoors.

  • Backcountry Patrol

    Want to get away from it all? Here’s your chance! Patrol on foot the remote areas of the Preserve to provide a visible Mohonk Preserve presence -- give information and directions to visitors, be alert to improper land use, and observe and report anything like fallen trees or road depressions. You’ll have a radio to use to keep in touch with Rangers, advising them of emergencies or other activities.

  • Bluebird Trail

    The Bluebird Trail project seeks to monitor and record occupancy and productivity over time in relation to habitat quality. Volunteer citizen scientists will be trained in specific data collection and naturalist observation protocols and will conduct regular monitoring at assigned bluebird boxes located throughout the Preserve.

  • Bike Patrol

    Many carriage roads are used by hikers, bikers, and horseback riders -- all at the same time! As a member of the Bike Patrol, you can promote responsible biking and help these diverse users respect the sharing of Preserve facilities. You’ll provide information to visitors, help with roadside repairs, and use radios to keep in contact with Rangers to report emergencies or other activities. Please fill out the Preserve's volunteer application form if this opportunity interests you, or for more information please visit the Gunks Mountain Biking Association website.

  • Bike Ride Leader

    This volunteer position is responsible for leading adult recreational bike rides on Mohonk Preserve’s historic carriage roads. These are guided bike rides at varying levels of difficulty which take place throughout the year. Volunteers are needed to lead group rides at easy to moderate levels. Leadership experience is preferred as well as knowledge of the Preserve’s carriage road network. Basic bicycle mechanics, like the ability to fix a flat, is helpful. Training will be provided.

  • Cross Country Ski Patrol

    Do you enjoy cross country skiing and getting outdoors in winter? Join the Cross Country Ski Patrol and help maintain some of the best skiing trails in the region. Responsibilities include performing a selected part of ranger duties on the land of the Preserve which do not receive regular or frequent patrols by the paid ranger staff. Patrol areas include the northern preserve lands of Spring Farm/Golf course and Cedar Drive, as well as the OSI Foothills, the Duck Pond area, Oakwood Drive, Overcliff Road and Trapps Road. Volunteers must be proficient cross country skiers.

  • Dog Ambassador

    Dog lovers and owners are especially encouraged to join, but this group is open to all volunteers. Dog Ambassadors will be responsible for educating guests with dogs on the Preserve’s dog walking policies. Volunteers will visit high trafficked dog walking areas at the Testimonial Gateway, Spring Farm, and climbing cliffs on Undercliff Road to ensure a safe, welcoming environment for all. Volunteers are encouraged, but not required, to bring their well-behaved and leashed dog on their shifts to set a positive example

  • Gardener

    Attention all you Green Thumbers! You will care for the plants and land surrounding the Visitor Center. Working from a master landscape design, you’ll be able to adopt an area to watch over throughout the year -- prepare the soil, plant seeds and plants, weed, and irrigate as necessary.

  • Hike Leader

    Educate the public by leading walks, both on weekends or mid-week, which focus on some aspect of natural or human history of the Shawangunk Mountains. Or be a guide for recreational activities such as hikes or cross-country skiing.

  • Interpretive Guide

    If you enjoy meeting people and introducing the Preserve to new visitors, become an Interpretive Guide! At the Visitor Center, you will greet our visitors and help them enjoy the land by suggesting hikes, answering questions, and giving information about nature, points of interest, and recreational options.

  • Peregrine Watch

    Assist Research Department in identifying and observing Peregrine Falcons. Volunteers monitor Peregrine activity from late February through June. The schedule is in the mornings but can vary as Peregrines become active.

  • Phenology Observer

    Mohonk’s 120 years of climate records indicate that average annual temperatures are getting warmer. Help us understand the effects of climate change on native flora and fauna by monitoring seasonal plant stages, called phenophases, like bud burst, leaf emergence, flowering, fall color change, and fruit production. You will observe and document phenophases in select trees, shrubs, and spring ephemerals for a season or throughout the year and join a growing community of citizen scientists collecting phenology data worldwide. No prior research experience is necessary.

  • Climate Tracker

    The Mohonk Lake Cooperative Weather Station has been recording daily weather observations faithfully since January 1, 1896. In terms of days, there is more than 43,800 days of observers personally recording weather as cooperative volunteers for the National Weather Service as a public service. Mohonk’s 120 years of climate records indicate that average annual temperatures are getting warmer. As a volunteer Climate Tracker, you take daily weather and lake samples at the Mohonk Mountain House. No prior research experience is necessary.

  • Photographer

    A picture can say it all—and help the Preserve promote the beauty and importance of the land. Take photos of scenic views, people, plants and animals, special events, and more for publications and exhibits. Meet and learn from other photographers.

  • Research

    Participate with the Conservation Science department at the Daniel Smiley Research Center in both field and administrative-related research work. Join our research team in the field! Participate in a variety of long-term research monitoring projects including deer browse vegetation impact, forest health and regeneration, grassland vegetation, avian demography and breeding, and others. If you have a natural science background, experince identifying local vegetation, or have a keen interest in outdoor field research, the staff at the Daniel Smiley Research Center welcomes your support in the field. Those with administrative skills can assist with computer data entry for current research projects as well as Hawk Watch data, hunting logs, and water quality data. (Weekdays only).

  • Special Activities

    Roll up your sleeves and meet our visitors and supporters as you help organize and assist with Preserve events such as our annual Auction, Pfalz Point trail race, and more. Other activities include distributing Preserve publications, and other special projects that arise throughout the year.

  • StreamWatch

    Citizen scientists will collect conservation-based water quality data within the Kleine Kill and Coxing Kill watersheds. Volunteer citizen scientists will be trained in specific data collection and naturalist observation protocols and will conduct regular monitoring in these two watershed areas. Data will be input into a variety of research databases and will be used to help the Conservation Science Department develop a conservation plan for the Kleine Kill and Coxing Kill watersheds. Data collection will evaluate water quality, identify vulnerable or invasive species, determine the need for riparian buffers and changes to current agricultural practices, and inform future Mohonk Preserve projects.

  • Trailbuilder

    This is a volunteer position responsible for assisting the Land Stewardship Department in trail improvement projects. This will include stone splitting and setting of steps, group work on trails, laying plank treadway over wet areas, adding water bars, and other projects. Volunteers will receive specialized training and be notified at least two weeks in advance of each scheduled project.

  • Trailhead Ambassadors

    Join our Trailhead Ambassador group and play a vital role in welcoming new and returning visitors to the Preserve during our busy summer and fall seasons. Share your love of the land by meeting and greeting the visiting public, give out general information, and offer suggestions on hikes. This is primarily an outdoor position located at the Spring Farm and Coxing trailheads, as well as outside the Visitor Center.

  • Trailkeeper

    Enjoy a walk in the woods while you help the Preserve! You’ll be assigned your own trail to maintain -- keep it clipped and brushed, paint trail blazes, and report downed trees or other problems that require chain sawing or special equipment. You’ll also have a chance to get together with fellow trailkeepers on projects that are more than a one-person job

  • Volunteer Educator

    Lead youngsters back in time to a Native American encampment. Help them discover our streams, cliffs, forests, ponds, and the animals and creatures that live there. Assist Preserve Educators with outdoor school programs. It's a great way to help kids get up close and personal with nature! (Weekdays only.)

  • Volunteer Scribe

    This volunteer position is responsible for creating articles for an electronic newsletter about volunteers and the activities they participate in at Mohonk Preserve. Volunteer Scribes will create timely, exciting content aimed at informing readers of the volunteer opportunities and experiences available at the Preserve, with the intent of encouraging greater participation. Editors, Assistant Editors, and Writers are needed. Writing, interviewing, and editing skills are helpful for this position. Training is provided.

  • Youth Nature Ambassador

    The Youth Nature Ambassador program is a volunteer opportunity for teens, ages 13 and up, to gain work skills and community service credit, building skills and knowledge in education and environmental science as well as customer service and public speaking.

  • Digitization Volunteer

    The Digitization Volunteer will help to advance the digitization of the Daniel Smiley Research Center collections and a century’s worth of natural history data across numerous scientific disciplines. This is an ideal opportunity for a detail-oriented person who is comfortable with Microsoft Office programs and handling archival specimens with extreme care. Tasks will vary but can include digitizing archival specimens and index cards using scanner and/or digital camera according to protocols, transcribing specimen data, and preparing, organizing, and curating collection materials for digitization, including specimen filing and repair as needed.

Banner Photo by Kate Schoonmaker