Volunteer

Rural Action offers many different ways to volunteer and take an active role in sustainable development in southeast Ohio – whether you want to work on restoration projects in the field, work with youth, or offer your knowledge and expertise, Rural Action has a place for you to help.

Volunteer positions are available in each of our programs, and we also invite you to create your own position to match your interests. Ongoing, short-term, or special event opportunities are available.

Browse our Volunteer Job Descriptions listed below and contact volunteer@ruralaction.org for more information and to discuss how you can get involved.

Development/Communications

Development Volunteer- Assist the Development Liaison with office work, including: membership renewals and other mailings, database entry and management, file organization, thank you letters, etc. Time estimate: 2-4 hours per week, flexible scheduling.

Adventure Auction Donation Volunteer- Working with the Development Director help promote and organize a live Auction fundraising event in the spring of the year. Contact regional businesses that can supply products or services to complete five or more auction packages. Conduct asks for donations over the phone and in person to these businesses. Follow up on asks until donations have been confirmed or asks have been declined. Arrange delivery or pick up for donations. Maintain donation records and relay information to committee chair. Time estimate: 4 hours per week, flexible scheduling.

Rural Action Librarian/Archivist- Sort through and organize historical Rural Action/AOPIC photos and publications; maintain the current digital photo database; organize and maintain the Rural Action reference library; and develop new systems for preserving important materials. Time estimate: prefer commitment of 3 months, flexible during office hours 9-5, M-F at the Kuhre Center for Rural Renewal in Trimble, OH.

Volunteer Photographer- Photograph Rural Action events and programming; help compile a digital database of striking images for use in multimedia presentations, print publications and marketing tools, and on the web. Special projects, such as photo essays, are encouraged. Time estimate: flexible depending on event, often evenings and weekends.

Volunteer Writer- Write newsletter articles, blog entries, and/or press releases covering Rural Action programs and local restoration and sustainable development news. Assist the Media Team with newsletter and e-newsletter production, as well as editing, as needed. Attend Rural Action events to cover stories. Projects are flexible, based on volunteers’ interests and experience; special projects are welcomed. Time estimate: 1-2 month commitment preferred, flexible scheduling depending upon project, some evenings and weekends required.

Groundskeeper Volunteer- Assist in maintaining the grounds at the Kuhre Center for Rural Renewal offices in Trimble Ohio including mowing, weeding and planting flower beds, trimming bushes and general beautification of grounds. Time estimate: 2 hours per week spring through fall season; flexible scheduling.

General/Maintainence

Clerical Volunteer – The volunteer will provide Rural Action with a skilled receptionist who can interact with the public in a professional manner and provide the clerical support needed to ensure the efficiency, timeliness and image of the organizational. Must be able to answer a multi-line phone system, maintain files, create documents and process correspondence, and other administrative duties as needed. Estimated time: 4-6 hours per week between the hours of 9:00 am-5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Flexible scheduling but two days a week during morning hours are preferred. This position requires the volunteer to be on site at the Kuhre Center for Rural Renewal in Trimble Ohio. Carpooling may be an option.

Sustainable Forestry

Sustainable Forestry Field Volunteer- Conduct site assessments for local landowners and advise on best management practices and economic opportunities; educate landowners on how to improve their land to meet their specified interests (e.g. medicinal plants, wildlife, timber). Time estimate: 4-6 hours per event, single event or series.

Sustainable Forestry Research and Journalism Volunteer- Conduct research on invasive plants, medicinal herbs, and/or forest related products. Write informational sheets on these and other topics and update Rural Action’s website as needed. Attend Rural Action events and write stories for our online and print newsletters. Time estimate: 4 hours per week, flexible scheduling.

Sustainable Forestry Workshop Instructor- Research topic and create lecture and presentation(s). Coordinate with other event speakers, if applicable. Present lecture and/or facilitate field demonstration. Assist with event promotion by sending information to networks. Time estimate: varies, single presentation or series.

Sustainable Agriculture

Local Foods Research Volunteer- Call and visit food providers to gather information. Collect information from food providers, enter and analyze data, and create reference sheets for use on Rural Action websites. Time estimate: 2-3 hours weekly, minimum 3 months, ongoing opportunity.

Chesterhill Produce Auction Volunteer- Assist with setting up, running tickets, clerking, helping with business plan, promotion, etc. at the Auction in Morgan County; dependent on skills and interests of volunteer. Time estimate: 3-4 hours weekly, flexible scheduling depending on activity.

Farmers Market Volunteer- Assist with set up at the Trimble Township Farmers Market in Trimble and Athens Farmers Market to inform people about the benefits of supporting new markets. Time estimate: growing season, flexible scheduling, Saturdays for Athens Farmers Market, 9:30 to 1:15pm; Trimble Market, Fridays 3:45 to 6:15pm.

Farm Labor Volunteer- Assist with farm work for local grower, may include physical labor, promotional skills, web skills. Time estimate: flexible as agreed upon by farmer and volunteer.

Watershed Restoration

Monday Creek Window Display Artist- With the input of Monday Creek staff and possibly community youth, design and create window displays for the office in downtown New Straitsville. Time estimate: 9-5, M-F, flexible scheduling, new display created every 2-3 months.

Environmental Education Volunteer- Assist with activities provided by watershed groups which include outdoor educational and recreational activities; instruct arts and crafts or drama; activities during lock-ins and network with others including community volunteers, local organizations, social workers, and teachers. Time estimate: variable, flexible, ongoing opportunity or single event, generally spring through fall and watershed day camps (June and July).

Huff Run Watershed Restoration Partnership Field Work Volunteer- The volunteer will monitor the heavily polluted stream and keep the roadsides beautiful in our community. This outdoor volunteer position is central to Huff Run’s watershed restoration efforts, providing ongoing information about stream health. Activities will include: conducting water quality sampling (agricultural, aquatic insect (MAIS), and fish sampling) and assistance with roadside litter clean-ups in collaboration with the adopt-a-highway state program. Estimated time: roadside clean-ups take place 2-4 times a year, estimated 4 hours each time. Water quality sampling occurs up to five times a year, three hours each time. Aquatic bug sampling takes place two days in July, and fish sampling is two days in August. The Huff Run office is located in Mineral City OH.

Huff Run Watershed Restoration Partnership Events Volunteer-The volunteer will assist in planning and implementing various events throughout the year. Annual Events include: Awareness Day Field Trips for local students- help before, during, and after the event, picking up supplies, assisting with planning for sessions such as macroinvertebrates, water quality, and electrofishing, grade pre and post tests, and take photos; Mineral City Party in the Park (a community festival planned by local nonprofits and the Mineral City Village Council)- pick up supplies, set up tent, hang flyers, assist during the event with the craft table, children’s games, popcorn popper, AMD tie-dye, or handing out balloons. Estimated time: will vary throughout the year for each event ranging from 2-6 hours per week or more. Scheduling is flexible at the discretion of the volunteer.

Environmental Explorers Club Volunteer- Assist Huff Run Watershed Restoration Partnership staff at monthly Environmental Explorers Club meetings: teach and help club members with their projects. Time estimate: 4 hours on meeting day, 4 hours prep time per month done in person, via email or phone. Meetings are held in Tuscarawas County on the 3rd Saturday of the month.

Sunday Creek Watershed Day Camp Volunteer- The volunteer will assist in the supervision of children at the camp and also assist with camp activities. At the discretion and interest of the volunteer they may also plan and coordinate their own activities for camp participants Length of service: five (5) days, Monday-Friday, for eight (8) hours per day during the Sunday Creek Watershed Camp. Estimated hours per week: eight hours per day for a period of five days, totaling 40 hours. Volunteers may also assist with individual days if they are unable to commit to the entire week. Schedule will be from approximately 8am to 4pm each camp day.

Sunday Creek Watershed Group Outdoor Events Crew- Plan outdoor formal events at Sunday Creek including our bi-annual Buckeye Trail Maintenance, and Adopt-A-Highway Clean-ups, annual River Sweep Clean-Up in June, assist in helping plan watershed tours, and 5K fundraiser. Other opportunities may include tree plantings, pocket park landscaping and maintenance, and other various projects. Time estimate: variable, flexible, ongoing opportunity or single event.
Sunday Creek Watershed Group Pocket Park Steward- The volunteer will be responsible for the revitalization, landscaping, and maintenance of a small park area in Glouster, Ohio to create a usable community resource for the village. Will engage in hands-on manual labor involving weeding, shoveling, pruning, planting, litter removal and miscellaneous landscaping duties. Estimated time: at the discretion of the volunteer during the growing season. Flexible scheduling is available. Occasional meetings will be scheduled with the Sunday Creek Watershed Group to discuss plans and progress regarding the park.

Sunday Creek Watershed Group Volunteer Clean Up/Tree Planting Crew- The volunteer will be directly eliminating trash pollution and helping to clean the watershed on the ground through outdoor activities involving litter removal and tree planting. Activities will include picking up litter and trash in and near Sunday Creek at formal events and informal excursions to problem sites. Volunteers may also, or exclusively, participate in tree plantings at restoration sites. The volunteer will be included in a database and called when an opportunity is available. Estimated time: generally 2-4 hours per event with events taking place possibly once or twice a month. Flexible scheduling available for most events.

Sunday Creek Watershed Group Window Display Artist-The volunteer will design and create vibrant, engaging and community oriented displays in the storefront windows of the Sunday Creek Watershed Group office in Glouster, Ohio with the input of Sunday Creek staff and possibly community youth. Estimated time: at the discretion of the volunteer. A new display is expected every two-three months. Hours per week are flexible, but must be during regular office hours (9-5, Monday through Friday).

Sunday Creek Watershed Group Water Quality Field Collection Assistant- As part of Sunday Creek Watershed Group’s mission, water quality throughout the watershed must be consistently monitored through data collection during team field excursions. The volunteer will accompany Sunday Creek Staff into the field and collect water samples and field data for scientific analysis. Estimated time: one day (6-8 hours) per month. Most hours will be completed on a single field excursion. Schedule will be determined by the Watershed Coordinator with as much advance notice as possible given to the volunteer.

Appalachia Ohio Zero Waste Initiative

Communications Internships – The volunteer will assist in working towards AOZWI’s goals of minimizing waste, supporting recycling businesses, and providing zero waste education to schools and community members and leaders in rural Ohio. The volunteer will help with writing and compiling our monthly newsletter, writing press releases and public service announcements, maintaining social media and updating our website, and participating in communication and outreach events. Estimated time: 8-10 hours a week, flexible scheduling.

General Internships – AOZWI accepts applications from interns of all educational backgrounds who are interested in learning and gaining experience in zero waste work.  If the volunteer has a specific area of interest in this field they may work with the supervisor to create a custom internship based on those interests and skill sets. Estimated time: 8-10 hours a week, flexible scheduling.

General Volunteers Assist AOZWI with various projects including – dumpsite cleanups, zero waste events, educational programs, communications, database entry, and office work. General volunteers will be added to our volunteer list and will be contacted when AOZWI needs help with these types of projects. Time estimate: flexible depending on event, often weekends and evening.