Volunteer…help us thrive!

Credit: Bill Lynch

At the heart of the Great Swamp Watershed Association (GSWA) lies an extraordinary force that propels our mission forward — volunteerism. Our good work of science, education, land preservation & stewardship, and advocacy wouldn’t get done without them!

If you are interested in joining this volunteer force and helping us thrive, SIGN UP TODAY on the Volunteer List. By doing so, you’ll receive timely email alerts detailing the current volunteer needs at GSWA. These volunteer opportunities are vast, ranging from engaging in local stream sampling to crafting impactful blog posts, and from maintaining trails at our Conservation Management Area to supporting office tasks such as envelope stuffing.

If you have a particular area of interest, email the staff member in charge to specifying your availability and get actively involved today! For Education and Outreach to help our educational programs be successful or Land Stewardship and Advocacy for protecting and preserving the watershed, email Hazel England at HazelE@Greatswamp.org. For Water Quality to become part of the Stream Team, email Sandra LaVigne at SandraL@GreatSwamp.org. For Other Opportunities like volunteering for Communications, Events or Office Work, email Val Thorpe at VThorpe@Greatswamp.org.

Education and Outreach

Volunteers are needed to assist staff with in-classroom presentations using our hands-on watershed model. Simple, thorough training allows volunteers to make confident presentations to schools to help educate about water pollution in and around the Great Swamp Watershed and Passaic River. Volunteers working with children are subject to a background test. 

Volunteers are a great asset at outreach events, teaching the public about the important work we are doing in and around the watershed. Outreach events take place at town fairs, farmers markets, and company picnics throughout the year.

Volunteers are the heart of the Education and Outreach Committee, helping to guide educational programs, get the word out about upcoming events and assist with making our educational programs a success.

Land Stewardship and Advocacy

90% of our land management is conducted with Land Stewardship Volunteers. From planting native species to removing invasive species, creating new trails to maintaining our miles of hiking trails at our 73-acre Conservation Management Area in Harding Township, we rely on land management volunteers throughout the year.

If you are handy with a hammer, can make a mower move, or enjoy gardening, we could use your help with ongoing property maintenance projects around our headquarters office. Just a few hours a month would help us out tremendously to mow, maintain, and beautify our office and garden.

If you’re interested in local environmental issues, we could use your help. Anyone willing to either follow development issues in their local newspaper or attend their local planning board or board of adjustment meetings and report back on pertinent issues is welcome.

Water Quality

For those who like to get their feet wet, volunteers are needed to help with our many stream monitoring programs, including visual stream assessments, chemical monitoring, and E. coli monitoring. Additional opportunities for volunteers include stream restoration events and other water quality-related programs and events. Our ‘Stream Team’ members meet a few times per year, and new members are always welcome. Stream Team members must be 15 or older. We offer public stream assessment training sessions in the spring and fall. 

Other Opportunities

Our Communications Task Force meets monthly. Volunteers write blog posts, articles, and help with social media outreach. New members are always welcome!

It takes many hands to create a successful fundraising event and the Music Fest in May is no exception. Volunteers can help with planning, festival day set up, parking, registration, and break down. There’s is really lot to do for this event, but it is a fun music-filled event.

Taking place in October of each year, our annual gala is a huge undertaking and is our biggest fundraiser. Volunteers help solicit auction items, advertisements for our program booklet, and sell tickets. Volunteers can also be used for the Silent Auction setup and at registration.

Whether it’s helping at an event or stuffing envelopes for membership renewal mailings, GSWA has ongoing volunteer opportunities for office type work throughout the year.