What type of volunteer projects are there?
The ABWF sponsors projects that fall into one of four basic categories: 1) Trail maintenance and building; 2) Invasive Weed eradication; 3) Citizen Science projects; and 4) Education/Public Awareness programs. Our goal is to offer a variety of projects that will appeal to many ages, abilities, and interests.
Who can volunteer?
We try to accommodate anyone who wishes to volunteer. Groups are welcome. These volunteer work experiences can be great family time. Our work does tend to be on the more difficult side, but mostly because our work locations are generally inside the wilderness and require some effort to get there. On any given job, there are generally tasks that are of an easier nature—using loppers to prune away brush that covers the trail, for instance, or carrying things for the workers or helping with meals. The nature of the work tends to favor teenagers and older, but if you have a family that wants to help, we can accommodate you. If you have any reservations about whether a project is right for you or your group, please contact us directly.
Are they difficult?
Some projects are a single day in length, while quite a few are multi-day undertakings. We provide descriptions of the projects through our website, newsletters, and via emails and flyers. Included is information about the location of the project and nature of the work we are doing as well as the level of difficulty of a given project. Trail projects are typically the most difficult due to the challenges of accessing the backcountry (often on foot, potentially backpacking) and the physical demands of the work (using trail tools like pulaskis, picks, shovels, moving rock & gravel, etc).
How much does it cost?
It's FREE! Food is provided foror multi-day events. The ABWF also provides tools, safety gear/First Aid, and group camping gear (stoves, cookware, group tarps, etc.). For overnights, you provide your own bedding, a tent/shelter, and personal gear and clothing, plus eating utensils.
What should I bring?
For all projects, wear long pants and hiking boots, and bring work gloves if you have them. ABWF will also have some gloves on hand. Sunglasses are appropriate eye protection. In addition, a lightweight day pack to carry at least 2 liters of water, your lunch and snacks (usually provided), good protective rain gear, sun protection (hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, bandanas, etc) and any extra layers you might need. You are welcome to bring bear repellent. For a more detailed list, view our Gear List for Single Day Projects or Gear List for Multi-Day Projects.
How do I get there?
You will need to transport yourself to the trailhead or rendezvous spot. We will try to coordinate car-pooling wherever possible. On multi-day projects we almost always have a horse-packer haul in our tools, food, supplies, and some of your heavier personal gear into camp, saving you from having to haul a heavy pack into your volunteer experience. So even if you are not a ‘Backpacker’ you can enjoy and be of great value on a project. You simply need to enjoy hiking and camping out!
What are the benefits?
Where to begin? Spending time in the Wilderness…Physical activity in a healthy setting…Working with and getting to know other volunteers…The satisfaction of hard work, well done…Free Food!…The sense of accomplishment at the end of a day…And it’s work for the worthiest of causes—our Wilderness…