Microvolunteering and virtual volunteering have enabled millions of volunteers to make a difference from the comfort of their own home. But with warm, summer weather making its way back around, you might want get outside and enjoy the fresh air. Here are a few ideas to kick-start your outdoor inspiration.
Count the Birds and the Bees.
Become a citizen scientist with just a few clicks when you download the iNaturalist app and document local flora and fauna. Over 8 million observations and 140,000 species have been recorded, and the U.S. Forest Service relied on it as part of their year-long BioBlitz in the Kaibab National Forest.
Get right out of town.
Voluntourism is as popular as ever, and summertime means great weather and even more opportunities. You can do some initial research and find opportunities here, or find a host of international opportunities here with a platform that lets your filter by region, country, type of volunteer service and program length.
Be a mountain man, or woman.
Connect with like-minded, outdoorsy individuals when you volunteer with the Appalachian Mountain Club. AMC’s mission is to promote the protection, enjoyment and understanding of the mountains, forests, waters and trails of America's Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. There are service activities for teens, outings for families and plenty of individual opportunities to fill your weekend or share your day.
Walk the walk in a National Park.
There are 58 National Parks in the United States, and one or two may be within a short drive. You can find the nearest one, then find out how to volunteer. Single-day and longer-term opportunities are available for people of all ages, although some specialized roles require specific skills. Prefer to make a difference with your voice instead of your hands? You can get involved as an advocate and help keep our parks and streams clean and clear.
Keep it local.
Rather than growing a garden-variety garden, you could create a sustainable one that helps local wildlife. On a smaller scale, you can make a big difference in your neighborhood by getting out for a long walk and picking up trash along your way. Just take a bag along with you and don’t forget the gloves! If you like hiking trails, you can help make sure your favorite path is kept passable and clear of debris. If footbridges or other infrastructure is in need of repair, you can reach out to your Parks and Recreation department and offer to help.
For more ideas and inspiration, try this simple search and use keywords “nature” or “outdoor.”