Volunteers are an important part of Carpenter Nature Center, and we couldn’t offer many of our programs if we didn’t have volunteers to supplement the staff. Some volunteer on a weekly basis while others come out only for our special events which occur several times a year. All of our volunteers are critically important to helping us fulfill our mission.

 Why should you volunteer at CNC? In addition to the tangible benefits listed below, volunteers share their time and talents for a variety of personal reasons. Whether you are looking for some professional experience, like to be outdoors, want to share your knowledge with children, or just want to stay busy, CNC can provide a rewarding volunteer experience.


  • Free use of snowshoes at CNC
  • 10% off gift shop items
  • Invitation to Volunteer social events
  • Subscription to CNC’s newsletter
  • Hourly awards

What can you do at CNC?

Naturalist Assistant – help teach/lead small group hikes. Ages of students vary but primarily K-5th. Teaching experience helpful but the only requirement is enthusiasm and willingness to share nature with children.

Animal Care – We have a variety of animals used for educational purposes. Help is needed with feeding, cleaning, and general care of these animals. No experience needed, we provide training.

Gardeners – Volunteers help plan, plant, and tend the gardens at CNC. All material costs involved are paid by us we just need people to come “play in our dirt.” We are also looking for people to help with our apple orchard.

Special Events – If you are only available during the weekend, there are a variety of things to do at all of our special events. We need a lot of volunteers to staff positions for the Apple Blossom Races in May, Apple Fest in October, the St. Croix Valley Golf Scramble in July and the  Natural Challenge events.

How do I get started?

As with many things, getting started is the hardest part. The best way is to call and reserve a spot at the next volunteer information meeting. Orientations start at 7:00 p.m. and last about an hour. Call Alan at 651-437-4359 to learn more.

If you cannot attend an orientation or want to get started volunteering right away, call the Nature Center at 651-437-4359 and ask for our Volunteer Coordinator, Alan.

Volunteering as a group is a wonderful opportunity and is most welcome. Please consider talking to co-workers, friends, brothers, sisters, parents, or grandparents and see if they would like to volunteer too.

Volunteering pays in more ways than one! A number of employers will donate funds of $50-$500 to the non-profit organization where their employee, or retired employee volunteers. These programs are known by the titles such as Dollars for Doers, or 3M GIVES. There is often a minimum time commitment of 20-40 hours per year, with a limit of one donation per year. If you are not sure whether your company takes part in this program, please contact your Human Resources Department. For any additional questions, and to add companies that donate for volunteer hours, please contact our Development Director.


Carpenter Nature Center would like to thank our current volunteer hours matching Donor Companies – 3M Foundation, Securian, and EcoLab


For more information on volunteering at Carpenter Nature Center, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator.