Around the globe there are people, animals and places that need volunteers, but right here in Tampa Bay there are plenty of opportunities to help local organizations and take care of our own community.
Become a friend of Largo Nature Parks and volunteer maintaining nature trails, removing exotic plants, designing exhibits, caring for animals and assisting with the CommuniTrees program which provides free trees to line streets in Largo neighborhoods. Free wildlife identification training is available for those interested in becoming EAGLE volunteers, the volunteers who lead tours and special programs.
The Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary is the largest wild bird hospital in the United States rehabilitating more than 8,000 birds each year. Volunteers at the Sanctuary can participate in advanced hospital care, assist with outside maintenance, aid in the rescue of birds or work in the office and gift shop. One of the best things about volunteering at the Sanctuary, the hands-on-training you receive makes you feel prepared for any situation you could encounter in your position.
Home of Winter the dolphin, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium accepts volunteers to work in rescue, rehabilitation, release and residence as well as with general operation and educational programs. Volunteers 18 and up can volunteer with marine mammals and sea turtles or work in departments like water quality, guest services, education and hospitality. Junior volunteers ages 16-18 may apply to volunteer with a parent’s permission and may assist with education summer camps, hospitality, guest services, gift shop or the membership desk.
It can be tough work, but volunteering at an animal shelter like the SPCA is also very rewarding. By helping out at the SPCA Tampa Bay, you will be improving the lives of orphaned and rescued animals and learning about animal behavior. Opportunities are available for adult and junior volunteers, and positions include canine, feline and small animal counselors, dog trainers and web pet photographers.
Finally, the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa offers a wide variety of volunteer programs including youth development, special events, animal department, docent and administration, education and operations department. The Zoo also offers opportunities for group volunteer projects. As a former special events volunteer at Lowry Park, I can honestly say that volunteering at the Zoo is a unique experience. You might spend one day setting up a masquerade ball and an auction with celebrity-autographed memorabilia then another dressed up as a mummy scaring unsuspecting guests in a living museum.
“Volunteering”. City of Largo Parks and Recreation.
“Get Involved”. Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
“Volunteer Opportunities”. Lowry Park Zoo.
“Volunteers”. Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary.
“Adult Volunteer Opportunities”. SPCA Tampa Bay.