Volunteer Opportunities

Williamstown Rural Lands depends on people like you: there is a lot that we wouldn’t be able to get done without volunteers! Volunteering is also a great way to learn about our work here in the community.

Throughout the year, we offer various ways to be involved: stewardship workdays, community science programs, special events, and programming opportunities. Please check out the options below to learn more, and check back periodically – as the need arises, we will post new opportunities!

Help us monitor the health of our Eastern Hemlock forests!

Eastern hemlocks are a vital part of our landscape but are under threat from pests like Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA). Join us as we survey hemlock health on local public properties. Properties will be monitored at least once per season. No experience necessary – we will provide training to join the project.

Learn to:

  • Identify Eastern Hemlocks and learn about their role in the ecosystem
  • Identify common Eastern Hemlock pests
  • Survey for Hemlock Woolly Adelgid to join this regional monitoring initiative!

The Williamstown Hemlock Monitoring Group meets for 2-3 hours once per month, July – March to train new volunteers and monitor off-trail properties together. Independent on-trail assignments are also available to trained volunteers.

Click here for upcoming opportunities. If you don’t see any, check back soon.

For more information, check out the New York State Hemlock Initiative who are extending their reach into Massachusetts with us!

Help us restore our local ecosystems!

Feeling helpless in the face of climate change and biodiversity loss? Roll up your sleeves and join our effort to restore the local landscape!

Invasive plants threaten the biodiversity of our forests and wetlands: they outcompete native plant species for scarce resources, and in doing so, they disrupt ecosystems that have developed over millennia.

Rural Lands is hosting monthly invasive species removal days from April – October. We will provide all training and equipment, no experience necessary. Each workday will be on a different Rural Lands property in Williamstown.

You will learn:

  • About the variety of habitats found in Williamstown
  • How to ID invasive plants and about their disruptive roles in ecosystems
  • The importance of preserving native plant communities

To look for upcoming workdays, click here. If you don’t see any, check back soon.

Photo of two people hiking in the woods.

Help us maintain and improve Williamstown’s trails!

Trails are a primary way that people access nature. Over time, trails need maintenance: trees fall and block the way, painted blazes fade from bark, or – most common – branches grow into the trail corridor!

Throughout the spring, summer, and fall, we will offer periodic trail workdays. Join us as we conduct routine trail maintenance and build new trail features like foot bridges on local trails. No experience necessary – we will provide all training and equipment.

To look for upcoming workdays, click here. Check back soon if there’s nothing on the calendar.

Image of a group of people doing work outdoors.

Help us spread a love of nature at Sheep Hill!

Sheep Hill volunteers support Williamstown Rural Lands staff during outreach events & programs or general maintenance around Sheep Hill. Opportunities occur throughout the year and are typically 1 – 3 hours. Activities may include on-the-ground event assistance such as parking attendant, drop-in activity leader, event set-up/clean-up and group volunteer days such as Sheep Hill clean-ups. No special skills needed, just a willingness to work as part of a team and to sometimes interact with the public!

Click here to see if there are any upcoming Sheep Hill Event & Workday opportunities. Check back soon if there’s nothing on the calendar.

For education opportunities including leading interpretive hikes/activities or involvement with kids’ programs, send an email with your interests to programs@rurallands.org.

Help us keep amphibians safe during migration!

Every year on the first few warm rainy nights of spring, frogs and salamanders emerge from hibernation. They join a massive downhill migration from the upland forests where they spend most of their lives to the wetlands where they breed. However, many amphibians meet an unfortunate end on the roads and cars that serve as barriers between the forests and wetlands.

But you can help! Keep an eye out for amphibians on the road this spring (March-May) and let us know when you see them with this quick survey.


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