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.

woman volunteer holding loppers in woods

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 man volunteer standing next to a tree tube near a forest, smiling

why choose Force of Nature

  • Hands-on 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 and peers.
  • 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 our Force of Nature Class of 2024 will open in fall 2023. All who are interested are encouraged to start volunteering with Natural Lands now – click here for the schedule and to register.

  • The Force of Nature program is competitive, and priority is given to applicants who have previously volunteered with Natural Lands.
  • Force of Nature training runs February through April, with sessions scheduled on Saturday mornings and Thursday evenings, held in-person at various preserve locations, or virtually via Zoom. Volunteers must complete a minimum number of sessions to graduate the program. Click here for the 2023 schedule.
  • Application deadline: December 20. All materials received by this date will be assured full consideration.
  • Selected candidates will be contacted by January 12, 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 by the first day of training. For current Natural Lands members, the program fee is $150. A limited number of scholarships are available.
  • In-person sessions will be held indoors and outdoors. The health and safety of Natural Lands’ staff, volunteers, and visitors remains our top priority. Currently, Natural Lands is not requiring masks or proof of vaccination to participate in the Force of Nature program. We will continue to monitor the situation and adhere to CDC and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania COVID-19 safety guidelines and will update our policies as needed, which may include wearing masks if recommended by the CDC. If you are sick, please stay home.

Questions? Send a message to Debbie, our 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