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be a Force of Nature

Natural Lands’ Force of Nature® volunteer program is a way for you to support land conservation and connect people to the outdoors through strong dedication to Natural Lands. Force of Nature volunteers receive extensive training and leadership opportunities, and commit to serving at least 20 hours per year.

A man holds loppers in a winter forest of bare branches.

what you'll do

Force of Nature® trainees participate in a comprehensive, hands-on training and service experience that enables you to learn from Natural Lands staff experts, and then give back as a valuable volunteer.

Force of Nature training is offered annually each spring, covering a variety of land management, habitat restoration, native plant gardening, event support, outreach and ambassadorship topics.

A volunteer holding loppers smiles at the camera while cutting a vine.

why choose Force of Nature

  • Hands-on land stewardship training from Natural Lands’ expert staff.
  • Access to exclusive Explore More! continuing education opportunities.
  • Natural Lands membership.
  • Force of Nature gear including a volunteer shirt, ballcap and nametag. Receive additional perks for achieving milestone hours.
  • Quality handouts and reference materials.
  • Recognition at Natural Lands volunteer celebrations.
  • Ongoing support, encouragement, and education from Natural Lands staff.
  • Opportunities to meet and befriend enthusiastic people who share similar interests.
  • Choice of myriad volunteer roles based on different interests and location.
A woman wearing blue kneels in the dirt outdoors. Gloved hands plant a green plant with long thin leaves.

ready to apply?

Applications for the Force of Nature Class of 2022 will open in November 2021. Details and training schedule will be updated at that time. 

Spaces are limited in our popular Force of Nature volunteer program. Applications are competitive, and priority will be given to applicants who have previously volunteered with Natural Lands.

The 2021 training sessions will be held largely virtually; there will be several in-person, outdoor activities. During hands-on sessions, staff and volunteers will interact in small groups, following safety protocols that include mask-wearing and social-distancing.

  • The Force of Nature Class of 2021 training runs February 6 through April 10, 2021. Most sessions are Thursday evenings, 6:00-8:00 pm virtually, with three (3) in-person Saturday afternoons. Trainees must complete at least nine of the 15 sessions to graduate from the program. Click here for complete schedule. 
  • Application deadline: January 6, 2021. All materials received by this date will be assured full consideration. Selected candidates will be contacted by January 20, 2021, to schedule an interview.
  • Participants must be age 18 or older.
  • We are committed to diversity and inclusion in all our work, and we strongly encourage BIPOC candidates and LGBTQ+ candidates to apply. 
  • Participants will be asked to complete background checks, including: criminal history, PA Child Abuse History Certification, and FBI Fingerprint Based Criminal History, if required. Natural Lands will facilitate these background checks during training.
  • The program fee (including new membership) is $200, payable to Natural Lands at the first day of training. For current Natural Lands members, the program fee is $150. A limited number of scholarships are available if the fee presents a hardship.

Questions? Contact Debbie Beer, director of volunteer engagement.

We have opportunities for all volunteers. Come out and join one of our upcoming volunteer events.

Force of Nature Volunteer Portal for Graduates

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