Volunteering at River Bend

River Bend Nature Center is a great place to volunteer your time and talents! We have a wide variety of volunteer opportunities throughout the year.

Who volunteers with River Bend Nature Center?

Volunteers come to River Bend Nature Center with a variety of ages, interests, skills, and desires. From Master Naturalists, families with young children, to service groups to seniors--we welcome the opportunity to work with a broad base of people dedicated to helping us pursue our mission.

Whether you have a few hours a week, some extra time on weekends, or an interest in coming occassionally during the year, we have volunteer opportunities to meet your time commitments and

Volunteering with River Bend is a rewarding experience that benefits not only the environment and our visitors, but enriches the lives of our volunteers. We hope you will become part of our dedicated group of volunteers.

Volunteer Opportunities

Below you will find descriptions of many of the volunteer opportunities we have at River Bend. If you have other interests, ideas, or special skills that you would like to share with us, please let us know. We will work together to develop a project that is meaningful and mutually beneficial.

Volunteer Naturalist:
Over 15,000 elementary students visit the center each year. These visits provide students with a unique field trip experience taught by both staff and trained volunteers. A desire to learn more about nature and a willingness to share your enthusiasm and knowledge with the students is all you need to be a volunteer naturalist. Prior experience is not necessary since training is provided.

Office Volunteer:
Many hands are needed to operate River Bend, especially when it comes to folding letters, preparing mailings, and labeling envelopes. If you have time during the day we can use your assistance about once a month to work on office projects. 

Building Host Volunteers: 
Greet and welcome visitors—be the face of River Bend. Responsibilities include engaging with the public, answering questions, offering memberships, handing out pamphlets, etc. Volunteers are trained in greeting visitors and answering phone calls.

Land Management Volunteers:

  • Restoration Club Volunteer: Learn hands on restoration techniques here at River Bend to combat invasive species and restore the land to a native conditions.
  • River Bend Rangers: Use the UTV Gator with a child or grandchild to serve as a weekend ground keeper. Shifts are on Saturdays and you would serve as a trail monitor. Possible tasks would include assisting trail users with questions, picking up litter, and clearing trail.
  • Cross Country Ski Groomer: Assist with grooming over 7 miles of ski trails throughout the season using snowmobiles and grooming equipment.
  • River Bend Mowers: Assist throughout the season to mow and maintain the 10 miles of trails and nature center lawn.
  • Maple Syruping Volunteer: Work with the staff to tap between 75-100 maple trees or monitor the evaporator and watch the sap turn into syrup!

Special Events:
River Bend holds several special events each year with many opportunities for volunteers. Events include Bats, Bones and Bonfires, WinterFest, Fat Tire Bike Event, Trivia Bee, Maple Syrup Fun Run, and Pancake Brunch, Maple Syrup Open House and more! Volunteers are utilized for set up, food preparation, selling tickets, parking, leading walks, and more!

Group Service Projects:
If your scout group, service club, or other type of organization is looking for a meaningful service project, please give us a call. We may have projects in mind that would fit with your goals, or we can work together to develop a project that would meet both of our needs.

Apply to be a River Bend Nature Center Volunteer

Please complete the form below and submit it to us. Within 1-2 weeks you will be contacted by us regarding volunteer opportunities. Thank you for your interest in volunteering at River Bend!

Volunteer Interest Form

Forms can be submitted by:


PO Box 186, 1000 Rustad Rd
Faribault, MN 55021-0186 USA


Or in person!