Volunteer Opportunities at Oregon Ridge Nature Center

Oregon Ridge Nature Center is always searching for volunteers who love nature and the outdoors. Check out the opportunities listed below, there’s sure to be something that fits your interests and your schedule. If you see something that interests you give us a call or email us for more information. Click here to see the latest flyer.


Naturalist Internships
Oregon Ridge Nature Center is seeking responsible, motivated and organized interns to join our team. Day-to-day duties may include: assisting with and leading hands-on environmental education programs, caring for live animals, program material maintenance, trail and garden work, assisting park visitors, exhibit interpretation and marketing. This is an unpaid, volunteer position.

Counselor in Training - Summer Camp Volunteer - The Oregon Ridge Nature Center is seeking responsible and energetic young people who are looking to make the most of their summer. This opportunity involves assisting Summer Camp staff as they lead hikes, adventures, animal encounters, games, activities, crafts and more!

Trail Guides
Oregon Ridge Nature Center provides diverse environmental education programs to thousands of school children each year. A unique core of volunteers, the Trail Guides, provide small groups of students with outdoor experiences related to their curriculum relevant field trip. Trail Guides share a love of nature and children and enjoy continuing education and exercise. Trail Guide volunteers are trained to lead visiting school children on hikes through the trails of Oregon Ridge Park, exploring the forest, field and stream habitats. To become involved, attend one of the semi-annual (February and September) Trail Guide Trainings at the Nature Center. No prior experience is needed. Your love of nature is contagious, so the children leave not only with a little knowledge but a healthy dose of appreciation for our environment.

At the four-day training you will learn about the animals, birds, flowers, trees and insects that inhabit Oregon Ridge Park as well as the content of the school field trips. Further, you will learn how to effectively share your knowledge while hiking with children on trails meandering through more than 1000 acres of deciduous forest. There is a $20 fee for first-time attendees.

Maryland Master Naturalist
Become a Maryland Master Naturalist! The University of Maryland Extension created this program and Oregon Ridge Nature Center is a host site for the Piedmont Region Program. After initial training, participants provide a minimum of 40 hours of volunteer service to their host site in the first year in order to receive their Master Naturalist Certification. Visit the University of Maryland Extension web site for details.

Note:The Spring 2020 training session is now full.

Applications – pdf form or MS Word form

Click here to view the 2020 flyer.

Completed applications should be sent to: 
Oregon Ridge Nature Center
13555 Beaver Dam Road 
Cockeysville, MD 21030

Ridge Runners
Ridge Runners are teen volunteers ages 13 - 17 who are seeking the unusual: Helping to raise an orphaned opossum, feeding and caring for snakes, turtles and other reptiles and amphibians, or hosting a Tricks and Treats Trail at Halloween. These are only a few of the activities Ridge Runners participate in while working at the Nature Center on weekdays after school or on weekends. Ridge Runners are responsible for animal care, public education and staffing special events such as the Maple Sugaring Weekends, Pancake Breakfast, Music in the Woods and Honey Harvest Festival. Periodically, Ridgies even gather together for an adventurous field trip. If you are a teen or know of a teen with a strong interest in nature and wildlife download the application and send it in. Teens volunteering in the Ridge Runner program will earn community service hours.

Marketing Assistants
Here’s great opportunity to help the Nature Center on your own schedule from the comfort of your home! Our marketing team assists in getting the word out about our programs and events by posting supplied copy and images to sites like Koddler, Chesapeake Family, WYPR, the Baltimore Sun, Explore Baltimore County, Visit Maryland and many more. When you join the team you will be assigned a site (or two if you like!). You will receive periodic emails with copy and images that you will input to the online form associated with your site. You can make a big difference by helping us reach more people and boosting the attendance at our programs.

Garden Volunteers
There’s no better way to spend your time than outside in the garden! The gardens at Oregon Ridge Nature Center are in need of a few additional gardeners or garden groups to help with maintenance. Adopt a garden or join one of the morning gardening groups. Experienced and novice gardeners are welcome!

Bluebird Trail Maintenance
Volunteers are needed to keep records on bluebird nesting activity and to help maintain the boxes along our bluebird trail. This will require volunteers to commit approximately two hours every two or three weeks. Note: As of May 1, 2019, no additional volunteers are needed for this program.

Special Events!

Maple Sugaring Weekends
The last two weekends in February -
You can help us to share the magic behind the fascinating process of making maple syrup. Volunteer opportunities include parking assistants, syrup and maple candy sales, activity leaders or assistants and many other tasks.

Annual Pancake Breakfast
The first weekend in March -  
The Annual Pancake Breakfast is a fundraiser held at the Oregon Ridge Lodge. Pancakes with pure maple syrup, sausage, orange juice, coffee, tea, or milk are on the menu. It takes a lot of volunteers to staff this huge community event! Volunteer opportunites include ticket, syrup and flower sales, kitchen duties, serving line attendants, table bussers and many more.

Music in the Woods
The first Saturday in June -
Music in the Woods is a one-day event held in June. It is an annual event featuring a variety of local musicians performing in a family-friendly atmosphere. Volunteer opportunities include parking assistants, activity leaders or assistants, face painters, help with our hot dog cooking and sales and other miscellaneous tasks.

Honey Harvest Festival
The second weekend in October -  
The Honey Harvest Festival is our celebration of all things Honey! Volunteer opportunities include parking assistants, help with our hot dog cooking and sales, assistance with the raffle and membership tables, cider sales, children’s craft assistants and many other tasks.

Additional Volunteering Opportunities
We present opportunities for volunteers at all levels of operation of the Nature Center. Here are some other examples of how you can participate as a volunteer:

…and of course if you have a special talent or skill that you are willing to share we’d love to hear about it.

*Volunteers may be required to complete an Online Background Check