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Looking for a fun way to give back and make a difference? Join Ijams' team of dedicated volunteers! From removing invasive species and restoring native East Tennessee landscapes to helping with special events or providing assistance at the Volunteer Information Desk, there are so many ways to get involved at Ijams!

Volunteer Opportunities

Ijams simply would not be Ijams without the hundreds of volunteers who contribute their time and talents to this nonprofit nature center. If you're looking to be a habitual volunteer at Ijams, volunteer opportunities are broken into four main areas:


Wrangle some weeds! With more than 318 acres to care for, Ijams needs folks who are ready to roll up their sleeves and get dirty! Trail volunteers maintain more than 12 miles of trails throughout the grounds by mulching, weeding, and removing invasive species.


Host a great party! Volunteers are essential in helping Ijams with some of the biggest and best events in East Tennessee. From the Wonder of Hummingbirds Festival and Ijams River Rescue to the nature center's largest fundraiser, Ijams' Twilight at Ijams, volunteers assist in every aspect of Ijams events. Every month has opportunities to help with events, big and small.


Get in on the action! In every nonprofit organization, “behind the scenes” volunteers are the unsung heroes. They answer phones, help visitors navigate the trails, assist with office work, take care of the bird feeders, and generally keep the place running smoothly.


Natural Resource Management

Solo Pickers*

  • Volunteers comb the grounds and pick up litter with gear provided from the Visitor Center.

Lead Pickers*

  • Volunteers take charge and help scout, lead, and plan public cleanups.

Trail Maintenance Volunteer*

  • Volunteers help maintain Ijams Nature Center trails.

Trail Scout Volunteer*

  • Volunteers monitor the condition of trails and other spaces at the nature center.

* Volunteers are expected to commit per season (e.g., Winter, Spring, Fall,  Summer).


Guest Services Volunteer**

  • Volunteers are stationed at Ijams' outdoor pop-up booths to help visitors navigate the trails


** Volunteers are expected to commit per season (e.g., Spring, Fall, or Summer)

Upcoming Public Volunteer Events

Trail Volunteer Public Workday on Secret Pond Trail | Oct. 16 | 9:30 am-12 pm

Like spreading mulch? It's time to resurface the Secret Pond Trail, and you can help! Learn More and Register

Public Workday at Grayson Subaru Preserve | Oct. 23 | 9:30 am-12 pm

Join the team at Grayson Subaru Preserve to remove non-native invasive plants to  help prepare the space to become a nature playscape for children! Learn More and Register

Weed Warriors Public Workday at Grayson Subaru Preserve | Oct. 23 | 9:30 am-12 pm

Yes, there are TWO workdays on Oct. 23! This Weed Warriors group also will be working at Grayson Subaru Preserve, but will focus on woody invasives. You'll learn Ijams' stump-and-treat removal method using herbicides. Learn More and Register

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Ijams' Volunteer Mailing List

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Can you think of other creative uses for your talents? Let Ijams put your skills to work to make the world a better place!

To learn more about volunteering at Ijams, please contact Sammy Shorey at sshorey@ijams.org.

Want to schedule a workday for your club or group?

Submit Request for Group Workday

Get Involved!


Please email Volunteer Coordinator Sammy Shorey for more information at sshorey@ijams.org

Looking for Online Volunteer Orientation? (Please do not take the orientation quiz unless you've been in contact with Sammy, but feel free to read.)  Download Slides


Volunteer Manual 

Invasive Species Guide

Trail Volunteering Manual