Bird Sanctuary / Nursery Maintenance Volunteer
This is a remote volunteer opportunity.
Houston Audubon seeks Volunteer Caretakers who can park their RV at our Coastal Operations Center
(Coop) and Volunteer Campground at High Island seasonally. The Coop features RV hookups, showers, and an outdoor picnic pavilion to make your volunteer experience convenient and comfortable. Take advantage of this opportunity to camp while contributing 24 hours of service per week conducting tasks such as monitoring sanctuaries, greeting visitors and selling day passes, equipment maintenance, grounds keeping, sharing information about our bird sanctuaries and more!
We are looking for volunteers with knowledge of birding (do not need to be experts, but must be interested in learning more about birding and sharing that information with the public), as well as skills in basic home maintenance.
Description of Duties:
Represent Houston Audubon and our High Island Sanctuaries when in uniform. Must be able to work effectively with people of all ages, cultures, backgrounds, and knowledge levels.
The RV Volunteer Caretaker will be supervised by our Coastal Conservation team and has the opportunity to interact with visitors, collect fees, answer questions, and provide information on the Sanctuary. Specific operational tasks of this position include:
- Walk trails at High Island Sanctuaries to monitor property, greet visitors, and sell day passes.
- Maintain grounds at each of the Coastal Sanctuaries and improve structures such as boardwalks and benches.
- Assist Coastal Conservation team with upkeep of Houston Audubon buildings by performing simple electrical, plumbing, and handyman work.
- Monitor visitor activity and ensure compliance with sanctuary rules. Report suspicious behavior, unusual persons, violations and/or emergencies to Law Enforcement or Supervisor immediately.
- Assist with monthly volunteer work parties and help High Island In-charge volunteers with Spring Migration work.
- Maintain communications with the Coastal Conservation team and submit weekly volunteer reports.
- Help manage Coastal Natives Nursery including seeding trays, bumping up plants, transplanting, irrigating, etc.
- Campsite with hookups for power, water and sewage and Wi-Fi service dedicated to volunteer and staff use.
- Two RV spots available with full hook-ups.
- Coverage for on-the-job injury through Houston Audubon’s volunteer insurance program.
Goal/Outcome of Role:
- Contribute to and improve the experience for visitors at the sanctuaries.
- Augment or enhance the work of paid Houston Audubon staff.
- Complete work that would otherwise not get completed without volunteer help.
Knowledge, Skills and Behavior Expected:
- Able to negotiate a wide range of issues with common sense and practical knowledge.
Professionalism and tactfulness, enjoys interacting with the public
- Ability to think and react appropriately in a variety of situations.
- Knowledge of birding and interesting in sharing information about birding with the public.
- General home maintenance and basic handyman skills including carpentry, electrical and plumbing.
- Farm machine experience preferred but not required.
- Work independently once trained.
- Three months minimum commitment as an RV Caretaker volunteer to allow for training time and learning the role.
- Preference will be given to volunteers available to stay through April 2022 (Spring Migration).
- Minimum of 24 hrs per week per person for use of the camp host spots with hook-ups.
- Must possess a valid driver’s license and personal vehicle insurance. Occasional use of personal vehicle for Houston Audubon business may be required.
- Volunteers will be required to work outdoors in hot and humid weather.
- May be required to stand or sit intermittently for long periods of time.
- Singles or couples welcome however couples volunteering together would both be expected to support Houston Audubon’s mission and complete required volunteer hours per person
- Complete safety training prior to beginning prior to beginning field work and comply with safety protocol.
- High Island is in a somewhat remote part of Galveston County, Texas. The nearest common amenities, such as hospitals and grocery stores are about a 20 minute drive away in Winnie, TX.
- Cell phone reception varies by carrier.
- Seasonal Expectations:
- Nov-February, High 60’s, low visitation
- March-May, High 70’s, high visitation
- June-August, Highs 90+ high humidity, low visitation
- Sept-Oct, Highs 80+, medium visitation
- High Island is a small community with a population ~300. Volunteers should be prepared to interact with people of varying opinions and sociopolitical persuasions.
- Shared laundry facilities and shower available on-site.
- Volunteers will be expected to wear comfortable clothes and sturdy, closed-toe shoes along with provided hat and nametag identifying them as a Houston Audubon volunteer.
- Please email a one page cover letter with resume highlighting your skills and qualifications directly related to the position, including any prior work camping experience with references, and a picture of your rig to, Pete Deichmann, Coastal Sanctuaries Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org.