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Keep our parks safe and inviting for people and wildlife by volunteering with Scenic Hudson.

Building a pollinator garden at West Point Foundry (Photo: Jeff Mertz)

Pitching in gives you an opportunity to spend some quality time in nature, meet other people who share your love for the outdoors and learn more about the plants and animals that call our parks home. We offer a variety of ways that make it easy to participate. We also welcome groups in search of meaningful service projects.

Ways to Participate

Park Patrol

Be the “eyes and ears” of one of our parks, providing information to visitors and alerting us about trail conditions and potential hazards – everything from a downed tree to a broken kiosk to garbage in the parking lot. Also, join staff and other volunteers in tasks such as building trail bridges, replacing invasive plant species with native varieties, and managing invasive insects, including the spotted lantern fly.

Already a member of our Park Patrol? Submit your Property Inspection Report here.

Weekday Helper

Join our field staff as they undertake their regular work to keep our parks shipshape and ready for visitors. You’ll get to work one-on-one with our park experts and will be able to sign up for specific projects that match your interests. A popular job is building and maintaining trails; tasks include clearing debris, lopping branches, bench cutting (cutting trails into a side of a slope), drainage maintenance and marking trails.

Volunteer Workdays Colleague

These major workdays – approximately six a year – bring together dozens of volunteers to make progress on a large-scale project. We’ve planted over 200 trees in one day, built pollinator gardens, fences and completed major trail projects during these workdays. Other activities could include removing invasive species, trail maintenance and cleanups. Held in our parks, as well as in downtown Poughkeepsie and Newburgh, these workdays offer tasks for people of all ages and abilities – so bring the family or school group along. See our events page for upcoming 2024 dates.

Friends of the Foundry

Join a dedicated team of volunteers at West Point Foundry Preserve in Cold Spring; they’ve already expanded the pollinator garden at this beautiful and historic 97-acre preserve on the Hudson River. Projects focus on invasive species removal and pollinator garden maintenance.

Urban Farmhand

With direction from our urban farmer, assist with regular farm operations and the  farm stand, which gives away free food once a week from June through October.  Volunteer activities include weeding, planting, harvesting, and general upkeep of the Pershing Ave. Park & Neighborhood Farm in Poughkeepsie.

Group Service Project Participants

Are you a community organizer, teacher, or corporate employee who is looking for a volunteer outing or service project?  Research shows that group volunteer projects engage employees and strengthen workplace culture. Plus, they’re fun. Get to know more about our parks’ natural habitats while helping to restore them. Our volunteer workdays aim to teach participants about natural resources, park management, ecology, and environmental issues. Please fill out the form below and we will work to create a volunteer activity that best matches your group’s goals and preferences.

Community Science Assistant

Calling all science geeks! We’ve got a great in-house science team – but they need your help. Assist with data collection and monitoring of wildlife, pollinators, and plant populations around the Hudson Valley. Community science opportunities are seasonal and include eel monitoring, deer exclosure monitoring, pollinator surveys, bird surveys, plant surveys, invasive species surveys, and amphibian monitoring.

→Eel Monitoring

Every spring millions of see through “glass eels” arrive in the Hudson River after an eight-week journey from the Atlantic Ocean. Sign up to use nets and traps to catch, weigh and release the eels at the Black Creek Preserve in Esopus. The data you collect may help biologists discover why populations of these mysterious fish are declining. What’s the experience like? Read this article from a local volunteer who brought her whole family, donned waders and said, “We felt like we were doing something important.”

→Phenology Trail

Help researchers track our changing climate by studying phenology — the seasonal changes that plants and animals undergo each year. While hiking on the Phenology Trail at our Esopus Meadows Preserve in Ulster Park, you’ll observe eight designated plant species and record your findings on a mobile online monitoring network that scientists rely on for data. You can do it anytime, making it perfect for people with busy and unpredictable schedules.

Interested in getting involved in 2024? Email Volunteer Coordinator, Jeremy Laplanche.