Volunteer at Jug Bay

"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn."
- Benjamin Franklin -

Since the Sanctuary's founding in 1985, volunteers have been critical to our small staff by helping with a wide variety of projects. Every year, more than 160 volunteers donate over 5,000 hours of their time, knowledge, skills, and enthusiasm. 

The Sanctuary strives to maintain and foster a supportive and educational volunteer program in which volunteers learn about the natural world while contributing to the Sanctuary's education, scientific understanding, and habitat protection goals.

Already a Volunteer?

Log Your Hours - Your Work is Valuable to Us!

Thank you very much for volunteering with us!

By reporting your hours you will help the Friends of Jug Bay pursue grants and other resources, besides giving them bragging rights about the wonderful work you do.

Volunteer Opportunities

Many of our ongoing education, research, and stewardship projects are dependent on volunteers. Roll over the links below to learn more about our volunteer opportunities.


Volunteer Naturalist

Lead school students and the public on immersive and engaging outdoor learning programs.


Animal Care

Families and individuals can care, feed, and tend to our three resident box turtles.


Canoe/Kayak Guide

Become a trained canoe/kayak guide and lead trips along the beautiful Patuxent river.


Citizen Science

Join our citizen science-led research programs spanning a rich diversity of topics from stream chemistry to bird-banding.


Trail Monitor

Adopt a Jug Bay trail and walk it monthly to keep it pristine and safe for all to enjoy.

Field Work Fridays

Join a Naturalist to tackle a stewardship project in need of support every Friday, rain or shine!


Trash Clean Ups

Join a global movement to keep our rivers, bays, and oceans trash free. Pick up by canoe or on land.


Invasive Species Management

Join the fight against invading plants and animals that threaten the ecological health of the Sanctuary.


Pollinator-Preserve Wednesdays and Butterfly Garden

Create and care for native pollinator gardens and perform preserve stewardship chores year round.

The JBWS visitor center

Visitor Center Greeter

Smiling faces needed to warmly welcome visitors to the Sanctuary.


Other Opportunities

The Sanctuary to-do list never ends! Contact us for more opportunities and to join our volunteer team today.

How to Become a Jug Bay Volunteer

Volunteering at Jug Bay is fun and no experience is necessary. To join our Jug Bay volunteer community, view our Volunteer Opportunities calendar for upcoming programs. If you find an opportunity that interests you, you can register to join us by signing up within the event listing. Additionally, you can contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Debra Gage, at 410-222-8006 or rpgage00@aacounty.org for more information.

While some programs require training, many are available to begin immediately and you can learn as you go.

Benefits of volunteering at Jug Bay:

  • FREE entrance to the Sanctuary (volunteers must devote a minimum of 40 hours per year to receive this benefit).
  • Sanctuary's monthly e-newsletter and quarterly Marsh Notes for event updates and news.
  • Volunteer appreciation social in the winter.
  • Volunteer picnic in August.
  • Invitations to trainings, special lectures, and events.
  • Networking opportunities and meeting like-minded people.
  • Improved health by having fun in the outdoors!

Volunteer Categories

One-time and Short-term Volunteers

Service learning students and other temporary volunteers may sign up directly for any stewardship opportunities listed in our calendar of events that do not require training; or contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Debra Gage, at 410-222-8006 or rpgage00@aacounty.org.

Volunteer Naturalists

 If you are interested in joining our staff Naturalists to lead K-12 students in hands-on learning experiences at Jug Bay, please contact Education Coordinator at 410-222-8006.


Volunteer groups may sign up for stewardship opportunities that do not require training by contacting our Volunteer Coordinator, Debra Gage, at 410-222-8006 or rpgage00@aacounty.org.

Projects are often seasonally based and may include invasive plant removal, butterfly and rain garden(s) maintenance, habitat monitoring, and river clean ups that can be either along the shore or by canoe.

Please fill out the Service Project Application and our staff will contact you to finalize details and confirm dates and times. Project design will be age appropriate.

Scout Service Projects

Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary encourage scouts interested in doing their Eagle or Gold Award Projects at Jug Bay to contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Debra Gage, at 410-222-8006 or rpgage00@aacounty.org. Debra will provide project ideas that will promote Sanctuary's education, research, stewardship, and protection goals.