Join the "WAV"

 Volunteers are key to watershed improvement. Find a volunteer opportunity that fits your schedule and interest level. 

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Volunteering while social distancing

As we all adapt to the realities of COVID-19, personal, family, and public health is a top priority. For those who are working from home and desire to stay connected to community, these volunteer opportunities may be a great fit. Families with kids home from school may use these activities as service learning or as an introduction to local water resources.

To support social distancing and discourage the spread of COVID-19, all volunteer opportunities are conducted independently or with members of the same household. Locations accommodate for 6' distance between individuals. VLAWMO will provide tools and guidance for each activity. 

VLAWMO staff will work with you to fit volunteering into your time commitment and schedule. Contact us via email or at (651) 204-6070 for questions or getting started.

Visit our schools page for maps, activities, and resources for students.

Volunteer Opportunities: 2020/2021


Volunteering for 2020 has come to a close, and staff are preparing for 2021. The following activities are being sought for 2021. Don't hesitate to contact staff at (651) 204-6070 for more information or questions concerning one or more of these options. 

  • Adopt-a-Raingarden: Help refresh our public raingardens. Removing dead and down debris, sediment, and leaves will help new growth bounce back and look sharp. Weeding is needed in late April-June. VLAWMO will provide photos, a free book, and video tutorial for how to conduct weeding. Weeds and plant debris may be left on-site for staff to dispose of, or can be taken to a Ramsey County compost site. See the service opportunities page for public raingarden locations and to find one near you, or refer to VLAWMO to be directed to a raingarden in need. 
  • Birch Lake Sand-Iron Filter: Help maintain the stormwater filter at the corner of 4th St and Otter Lake Road in White Bear Lake. This activity involved raking, pulling weeds, wheelbarrowing, and transporting debris to a nearby compost facility. Leaves and sediment that gather on the top layer of the filter are easily raked off, exposing the sand below. Contact VLAWMO for more details and to arrange a custom plan of action for this role. 
  • Adopt-a-Drain: Meaningful volunteering is just down the street! Visit adopt-a-drain.org to find your nearby stormdrain(s), officially adopt one (or a few), and keep them clean on your own time. It's convenient, easy for kids, and a great home learning opportunity that illustrates the connection between stormdrains and nearby waterbodies. 
  • Invasive Species Control/Buckthorn Bustin': Help VLAWMO and other WAV members take a bite out of buckthorn, garlic mustard, and other invasive species. This activity is event-based, sign-up on the WAV email list below to receive announcements. 
  • Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) monitoring: Help be our eyes-on-the-water, monitoring for new aquatic infestations such as starry stonewort. Monitoring tools include a metal rake on a rope and online learning. Volunteers throw the rake into the water from the shoreline, and inspect the plants that are pulled in. 
  • Spring clean-up: Several places in the watershed are in need of spring trash pick-up. VLAWMO will provide trash bags and trash-grabbers, and will work with county and Saint Paul Water Service partners to dispose of collected trash bags. 
  • Picture Posts: Visit the picture post webpage for information and links on how to participate. Picture Posts are available year-round. 
  • Macroinvertebrate monitoring: For more dedicated volunteers, VLAWMO will support training with existing volunteers for documenting aquatic macroinvertebrates in Lambert Creek and in certain lake channels. Visit the Leaf Pack website for more information. View VLAWMO's Leaf Pack tutorial video here
  • Scenery and wildlife photography: VLAWMO is interested in your social distancing sight seeing! Photos of early morning, evening, sunrises, and sunsets are lacking in our files. Help us express the beauty of our watershed by sharing your landscape and wildlife photography. Share images already taken, or head out on a special photo mission! All photos are credited according to submitter preference (word caption, name stamp, etc.) 
  • Cost-share photography: Help VLAWMO photograph past cost-share projects such as raingardens, native plantings, and bio-swales. VLAWMO provides a list of destinations with instructions on what to photograph and how to organize the files. This activity helps staff document the many projects we've built over the past 10 years, keeping tabs on how they're doing and allowing us to use the photos for promotion materials. 
  • Frog and Toad Call Monitoring:  Visit our story maps page to learn more. 
WAV Meeting Updates

Next meeting: 

March, 2021 - Date and location TBD based on scheduling poll 

Latest Meeting:

Review the October 8th, 2020 meeting notes here

Follow along in video format here. 

Past Meetings: 

Minnesota Water Stewards

VLAWMO is a proud host site for the Master Water Stewards program. VLAWMO sponsors new stewards on select years depending on project and funding availability, as well as local interest. Contact VLAWMO for questions or more information on this program. 

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