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Volunteer Programs

Volunteers pulling broom on the watershed

Volunteers play a critical role in maintaining the scenic beauty and biological richness of the Mt. Tamalpais Watershed. From improving trails, restoring habitat, and protecting endangered species, Marin Water has a variety of volunteer opportunities available to match your skills, interests, and available time.

To address health concerns about group gatherings during COVID-19, many of our volunteer programs on the watershed are on hold.

We are currently offering the following programs:

Tamalpais Bee Lab

One Tam continues to monitor and understand more about Mt. Tamalpais’ wild bees and other pollinators. This work stems from One Tam's Peak Health report. The initial survey from 2017 yielded remarkable results, recording 32 genera and 122 bee species from 20 sites managed by Marin Water and California State Parks! 

Community science volunteers play a critical role in this study by pinning, sorting, and labeling specimens collected from the field. Join us to learn more about Marin’s winged pollinators and gain skills in scientific collections management and insect identification. We host a morning and afternoon session on these Saturdays: October 9, 16, 23 and 30; November 6 and 20. To comply with COVID-19 safety protocols, these events are limited to 12 pre-registered individuals. For more information, or to sign up as a volunteer, visit One Tam's website: onetam.org/tamalpais-bee-lab. 

 

Watershed Litter Cleanup

Ready to get some fresh air and contribute to keeping the watershed clean? Join us for a watershed cleanup: We are looking for volunteers to remove trash from high-use areas, along waterways, and trails. This work protects critical habitats and waterways—clean areas promote responsible behavior. We will provide trash bags and sanitized trash-grabber tools.

This activity is suitable for individuals or small groups. We can work with a group of volunteers to run a litter cleanup event or we can train an individual or a family to conduct self-led cleanups. . All participants must follow strict safety precautions and social distancing guidelines.

Please email us at VolunteerProgram@MarinWater.org or call 415.945.1169 to sign-up. Contact us to schedule an orientation, and to pick up sanitized gear. Once you have completed the orientation, you may hunt for litter whenever you are out on the watershed.

Watershed Ambassadors

Marin Water collaborates with One Tam and partners like Slow & Say Hello to share updates about park programs and events. Staff and volunteer ambassadors are stationed with the One Tam mobile visitor center – aka the Tam van - at various locations on and off the mountain. They are a great presence and resource, serving and engaging our community. Ambassadors strengthen our ties with the passionate community of trail runners, hikers, nature seekers, and other user groups. Watershed Ambassadors receive public outreach training which includes communication strategies, developing outreach goals, and resources on timely topics.  

Volunteer Permission Slip

Please review our Volunteer Permission Slip for additional details about volunteering with Marin Water.

Spend time outdoors and take meaningful action to protect a species of special concern by becoming a frog docent.

In the spring, Marin Water trains frog docents to monitor habitat conditions and to educate hikers at Little Carson Falls, a popular hiking destination located about five miles outside of Fairfax, and an important breeding habitat for the foothill yellow-legged frog, a federal and state species of special concern. 

Docents provide education to visitors during the spring when the eggs and tadpoles are at their most vulnerable of being disturbed by visitors. The frog populations are threatened and are easily damaged if park visitors or their dogs go into the waters around the falls.

Docents should be 18 years of age or older. If you are younger, or have limited mobility, please reach out to us and we may be able to accommodate. We ask that all docents work at least three 3-hour shifts, between March and June.

Please contact us at volunteerprogram@marinwater.org or 415.945.1128 to register for training. 

Marin Water is enlisting the help of community scientists to protect the western pond turtle by monitoring habitat conditions, recording their behavior, and educating the public during the spring when they are most visible. Volunteer Turtle Observers collect valuable data on native and non-native turtles that will help determine the management of these species.

Volunteers that have not previously participated in the program are required to attend trainings in February. The program runs from February through May.

We will teach volunteers how to identify the different species of turtles known to inhabit the lakes, get instructions on observation and data recording protocols, and practice strategies for communicating with the public.

This is a great family activity! Once you have completed the two trainings you may visit the watershed at any time to view the turtles. There are several locations where the turtles swim and they are most visible on nice, sunny days. An hour is usually enough time to search for, observe, and record a population of turtles. We ask that all Observers will conduct at least three observational visits during the season.

Please contact us at volunteerprogram@marinwater.org or 415.945.1128 for more information.

Throughout the year, we have opportunities to learn about Mt. Tamalpais' unique plant and animal life while contributing to their continued survival. Generally, on the third Saturday of each month, we lead volunteer habitat restoration events from 9 a.m. to noon. Individuals, groups, non-profit organizations, and families are all invited and encouraged to attend. This program focuses on invasive species control with a special emphasis on French Broom and Douglas-fir. We always try to select sites that are both scenic and accessible.

Once the rains come and have a chance to loosen the soil, we will resume our broom pulls. We are modifying our volunteer activities to comply with physical distancing guidelines and to help protect our community. This fall we will offer independent and small group habitat restoration activities with limited Marin Water staff onsite support. Stay tuned for updates. 

Habitat restoration events are suitable for ages eight and up. Volunteers under 16 must be accompanied by an adult, and all volunteers under age 18 must bring a permission form signed by a parent or guardian.

Trail Crew programs are currently on hold dur to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Join our skilled volunteers and staff as we:

  • Maintain and repair our trail system
  • Build bridges
  • Install fencing and erosion control structures
  • Cut back brush
  • Repair stairs

Trail events are generally suitable for ages 13 and up. Volunteers under 16 must be accompanied by an adult and volunteers under age 18 must bring a permission form signed by a parent or guardian.