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:


Teach others about nature! Volunteers lead school group hikes, assist public programs, set up touch tables and information booths, and more. You don’t have to know every rock, tree, and bird. You just need to be enthusiastic and want to share your love of the outdoors with others.


Wrangle some weeds! With more than 315 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' Symphony in the Park, 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

Weed Warriors - Adopt-a-Spot*

  • Volunteer is assigned a space that is theirs to maintain. (Primary duty is invasive species removal.

Weed Warriors - Group*

  • Volunteers commit to participating in group volunteer workdays in which tasks vary depending on the season.

  • Group will meet once a month.

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 concession booths


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



Education Volunteer***

  • Volunteers are stationed at Ijams Pop-Up Programs

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

Upcoming Public Volunteer Events

April 10 | Trail Workday on Tharp Trace | 9:30 am-12 pm 


Help build a new section of trail to address erosion issues on Tharp Trace. You'll learn how to cut, grade, and slope contour! Sign Up to Volunteer


April 24 | Weed Warriors at Grayson Subaru Preserve | 9:30 am-12 pm


Become a Weed Warrior and win against woody invasives on the Grayson Subaru Preserve. You'll help prepare this space to become a nature playscape for children! Sign Up to Volunteer


April 25 | Knoxville Opera: On the Lawn with Carmen and Bizet | 1:30-4:30 pm

Volunteer and listen to some great music at the same time! Email Madelyn Collins to Volunteer

Spring/Summer | Ijams Information Pop-Up on the Plaza | Saturdays and Sundays | 10 am-3 pm

Love Ijams AND people? Welcome visitors, help them navigate the trails, answer questions, and handle basic sales for trail maps and refreshments. This pop-up was previously in the entry of the Visitor Center. Email Madelyn Collins to Volunteer

Sign up for
Ijams' Volunteer Mailing List

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 Madelyn Collins at mcollins@ijams.org.

Want to schedule a workday for your club or group?

Submit Request for Group Workday


Please email Ijams' Volunteer Coordinator, Madelyn Collins, for more information at mcollins@ijams.org

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


Updated Volunteer Manual 

Invasive Species Guide

Trail Volunteering Manual

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