Join Our Volunteer Team
We believe that every person can make a positive difference in protecting and preserving the environment. The Center at Fairfield and the adjoining 155-acre Larsen Wildlife Sanctuary were created by individuals who saw the value of preserving this special ecosystem for generations to come. Center staff strive to maintain and share the beauty of the fields, meadows, ponds, swamps and streams, through a variety of education and natural history programs.
Please consider using your talents to help us continue these efforts. By volunteering, you can help promote understanding, appreciation and stewardship of our natural world. We have additional opportunities for people of all interests and experience levels to contribute, ranging from program leader to front desk greeter. Regardless of your age, interests, or skill level, there is one that is just right for you!
See below for volunteer opportunities. Please note that highlighted in blue boxes are some event specific opportunities. Contact Colleen Noyes for further information. Click here to download a printable application form. Thank you for your interest in supporting the Center at Fairfield!
Adult Animal Care (TLC)
A volunteer is needed to help with cleaning in the Animal Care room. Duties may include washing floors, organizing shelves and keeping the room tidy. The volunteer can pick a few hours a day and time that they are available. The Center is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The days available are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
(There is a separate after school program for teens from 3 to 5 p.m., however, they often do not have enough time to get all of the work done.)
Adult Animal Care Volunteer Spotlight: Sarah Cahill
Sarah Cahill is from Brookfield, Connecticut and travels to the Connecticut Audubon Society’s Center at Fairfield twice a week to clean the raptor cages. Cleaning the raptor cages in our Birds of Prey compound is not what you would call a glamour job! It is a difficult, messy but necessary job that is essential to the health and welfare of our birds. A job like this is not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach. Sarah has volunteered over 100 hours since she started in March of 2019, cleaning the enclosures (including scrubbing the cages in all kinds of weather), removing any remaining food and changing water bowls. This helps to provide a healthy, sanitary environment for the birds to live in.
We asked Sarah a few questions to describe her experience volunteering at the Connecticut Audubon Society.
CAS: What is your favorite part of working with the birds? Least favorite?
Sarah: “My favorite part of working with the birds is taking them out of their enclosures and being close to them; it is such a cool experience to hold a bird on the glove. Another favorite would be speaking with Center visitors about the birds in the compound. My least favorite part is when a bird soils its cage immediately after being put back in the cleaned enclosure.”
CAS: Can you tell us any special stories that have happened while you are volunteering?
Sarah: “There have been many incidences where I’ve inadvertently sprayed myself with the hose and gotten completely soaked. One day in the summer, I saved a frog from Lucy’s (Barred Owl) water bowl. I felt like a hero that day. Another special time was handling Dante (Turkey Vulture). He jumped off my glove and onto the ground. It was a challenge and an accomplishment trying to get that giant bird back onto my glove.”
All of us at the Center at Fairfield are very thankful to have Sarah as a volunteer and ambassador for our Center. Her dedication to the Connecticut Audubon Society, as reflected in her many hours of hard work and care for our resident birds, is truly a labor of love.
Birthday Party Assistants
Provide assistance to staff at weekend children’s birthday parties.
Greenhouse maintenance, weeding, watering gardens and pulling invasive species.
Sweeping, washing floors and helping to keep center tidy.
Greet guests, answer questions about our sanctuary and more! The Center at Fairfield needs a greeter in the main room to assist the public and help with odd jobs. Hours are flexible. The Center is open from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. The days available are Monday through Friday until March.
Nature Walks Guide
Lead nature walks or act as guide assistant.
Help at fundraising events and programs, such as the Fall Nature Festival, Enchanted Forest and Egg Hunt.
Help with daytime school programs.
Walk and monitor trails.
The Friends of Larsen Sanctuary have been busy cleaning up and restoring the trails! This 152-acre Sanctuary, which adjoins the Center at Fairfield, is comprised of varied habitats including rolling woodlands, meadows, streams, marshes and ponds.
For more information on this exciting new effort, please contact Milan Bull.
Animal Care Volunteers Needed (Youth Program)
Our Animal Care Program provides a unique opportunity for teenagers, ages 13-18 years old, to assist with daily feeding, habitat cleaning and general animal care housekeeping, as well as the handling of our animals under direct supervision. Our live animal residents include permanently injured or otherwise human-dependent reptiles, birds and mammals which are an integral part of our educational programming.
Volunteer hours during the school year are Tuesday through Friday from 3 – 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. – noon. Summer volunteer hours change to Tuesday through Friday from 2 – 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 10.a.m. – noon.
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