The most generous gift to the Audubon Center at Debs Park is your time. Whether you plan to volunteer every week, or bring a group for a day of service, your help is greatly appreciated. We offer many opportunities for volunteers ages 9 and up interested in bringing the community together to appreciate, enjoy, and protect birds and nature.
Our Volunteer Service Days are Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 am - 12 pm. Join us in our native plant nursery where we propagate plants and care for restoration sites around the center. Learn about native plants and local bird species as you restore important native habitat within more than 17 acres around the center. We need you, but more importantly, our neighBIRDS need you!
Be sure to bring lots of water, sun protection, and clothes you don't mind getting dirty! Remember to wear closed-toe shoes and dress in layers. Please fill out the downloadable waiver below and bring it with you to your first day.
Audubon Center at Debs Park Volunteer Positions
When guests first arrive at the Audubon Center, the administrative assistant is often the first person they meet. Whether sitting at the front desk or engaging guests in the courtyard, the administrative assistant must be comfortable speaking about the center, the Audubon Society, Debs Park, and local wildlife. They will be an information source about the Center and Debs Park, help set up for special events, answer phone calls, and rent equipment to guests.
The Audubon Center was designed to be a premier environmental education center for the neighborhoods of Northeast LA. Community Naturalists utilize all the educational resources available at the center (including but not limited to: Discovery Room, Children's Woodland, hiking trails, Los Nogales nursery, and our snakes, Fluffy and Rex) to provide programming to school groups, families, and other guests. They may also help provide interpretation during our weekly bird and native plant walks, as well as lead field trips for partnering schools and NPS-led education programs like Every Kid In A Park. They are encouraged to develop and contribute interpretive literature like handouts, field guides, or signage for visitor use. Community Naturalists preferably have a background in education or natural science, but training in interpretation and natural history will be provided.
The facilities worker puts in the hard work to keep the center looking beautiful. Tasks include trash cleanup around the center and parking lot, sweeping the pavers surrounding the center, raking the deconstructed gravel inside the courtyard, irrigating the native garden in the Children's Woodland, hiking trail clean-up, graffiti removal, pruning landscaped areas around the center, cleaning the ponds, and refilling seed and hummingbird feeders. The groundskeeper will also assist with construction/installation projects within the courtyard and Children's Woodland.
We are constantly looking to grow our volunteer program and increase awareness about the center within the Northeast LA community. The outreach ambassador will represent the Audubon Center at off-site locations such as schools or farmers' markets. They must be comfortable talking about events and ongoing programs at the center, effectively communicate the mission and culture of the center, and encourage potential guests and volunteers to come visit. They will contribute to social media and website content, as well as develop flyers for upcoming events and programs. The ambassador will continue to explore new and different methods to attract the community to the Audubon Center.
National Audubon set a goal of growing one million native plants by 2020 to create more bird-friendly communities. In line with this mission, the Audubon Center at Debs Park and Santa Monica Mountain National Recreation Area partnered to run Los Nogales Native Nursery. Nursery gardeners will assist with watering, sterilizing pots, collecting, cleaning and sowing seed, and propagation. Nursery gardeners will receive training in soil mixing, seed collection and processing, propagation, watering, and plant identification.
As is common with urban parks, Debs Park is subject to frequent disturbances, and thus vulnerable to degradation by undesirable (usually invasive) species. The restoration stewards monitor the status of existing restoration sites and prioritize work that needs to be done on each (watering, weeding, mulching, berm repair). Furthermore, stewards help prepare future restoration sites by using weed management practices appropriate to the site and weed species, laying jute netting (if needed), mulching, and subsequently assist (or lead, after completing training) with volunteer outplanting events.
Bird Banding Field Technician
Bird Banding is the practice of attaching small, individually numbered metal or plastic tags to the leg or wing of a wild bird to enable individual identification. Banding birds at Debs Park helps us study resident and migratory bird species’ behavior patterns, population density, dispersal, survivorship, and productivity. As a Bird Banding Field Technician, you will learn proper bird banding protocol over several banding sessions. You will observe how to set up and monitor mist nets, how to properly remove birds from a net, and how to handle and process birds as you collect data and measurements. After several sessions of careful observation, you will begin handling and processing birds under the guidance of Avian Ecologist, Tom Ryan and Audubon Staff.
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