Volunteer Opportunities

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The Westwood Hills Nature Center is only as successful as its many wonderful volunteers. Volunteer opportunities include junior naturalist, administrative support, educational programming, animal and raptor care, special events, planting trees, habitat restoration, general maintenance and much more. 

Junior naturalist

Do you enjoy hanging around animals, kids or helping with projects? If so, the Westwood Hills Nature Center’s junior naturalist program may be the volunteer opportunity for you. Junior naturalists must be in grades 7-12.

Applications for the summer 2018 junior naturalist program are now being accepted! If you are interested in joining program, complete the 2018 junior naturalist program online registration form by May 1, 2018.

For more information on the program, contact Becky McConnell at 952.924.2620 or bmcconnell@stlouispark.org.

Administrative support

Greet visitors, answer phone calls at the front desk and assist with administrative tasks as needed. Time commitment is weekly on Wednesdays from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Education program assistant

Share the discovery of nature with students during educational programs. Assist the center's naturalists and help guide activities. All necessary training is provided. Time commitment is about 2.5 hours per program.

Animal care

Assist with the daily care and routine for Westwood’s captive animal collection, including reptiles, amphibians and arthropods. Tasks include regular handling of each animal in our exhibit, feeding, occasional cleaning and keeping detailed records. Time commitment is about two hours one day a week.

Raptor care

Become trained in raptor care to help look after Westwood’s captive red-tailed hawk. Responsibilities include handling the hawk, implementing a training plan, preparing food, cleaning the mew and keeping detailed records. Multiple training sessions are required to learn proper procedures. After training, time commitment is 1 – 2 hours one day a week for a minimum of one year.

Water garden caretaker

Gardeners help plant, weed and maintain water gardens at the nature center, including the pond, waterfall and the rain gardens near the picnic shelter. Training and direction is provided. No specific time commitment required.

Maintenance assistant

For those skilled at building and repairs, share your talents by contributing to one of the many projects happening at Westwood. All tools and materials supplied if needed, as well as training and instruction. Time commitment is open-ended.

Natural resource steward

Natural resource stewards work independently outdoors to help maintain hiking trails, remove invasive species to support biological diversity, plant and water new plantings and generally help preserve the ecological integrity of the park reserve. All tools and materials supplied if needed, as well as training and instruction. Time commitment is open-ended. 

General nature center volunteer

Want to volunteer but don’t see anything that fits your skills or interests? The nature center has many opportunities for individuals who want to donate their time and get outdoors, and will work with you to design your own volunteer opportunities.

Service projects

Looking for a service project for your community, scout or service group? Westwood can provide opportunities for park clean-ups, plantings, or other projects. Call 952.924.2544 for more information.


For more information on any of these volunteer opportunities, or to design your own volunteer opportunity, contact:

Laura Smith, volunteer coordinator