Volunteer Opportunities at ORNC

Are You Seeking Volunteer Opportunities?

Oregon Ridge Nature Center needs people who enjoy volunteering. Listed below are some crucial areas where we depend on volunteers.

Trail Blazers

Love our trails? Join our Trail Blazers to help install erosion bars, remove downed trees, and eradicate invasive species all in the effort to repair our trails and better our park. Regular volunteers will receive a free Trail Blazer shirt. Ages 18+. Most trail work is done on Saturdays 9AM-Noon. Interested volunteers should call (410-887-1815) or email ( with their contact information and we will send dates and times as dates are determined.

Trail Guides

Oregon Ridge Nature Center provides diverse environmental education programs to thousands of school children each year. A unique core of volunteers, the Trail Guides, lead the way to the success of this program. Trail Guides share a love of nature and children, and enjoy continuing education and exercise. If you feel a communion with the Trail Guides, please attend Trail Guide Training at the Nature Center. No prior experience is needed. Trail Guide volunteers are trained to lead visiting school children on hikes through the trails of Oregon Ridge Park, exploring the forest, field and stream habitats. Your feelings about nature are contagious, so the children leave not only with a little knowledge but a healthy dose of love and appreciation for our environment.

The $20 fee for the four-day training session is totally refunded if you become a trail guide. At the training you will learn about the animals, birds, flowers, trees, and insects that inhabit Oregon Ridge Park. Further, you will learn how to effectively share your knowledge while hiking with children on trails meandering through more than 1000 acres of deciduous forest. This is a volunteer opportunity for the spirited heart. Call 410-887-1815 or click here for more information.


Oregon Ridge Nature Center is seeking responsible, motivated, and organized interns to join our team. Day to day duties may include: assisting with and leading hands-on, outdoor environmental education programs, caring for live animals, program materials maintenance, trail and garden work, assisting park visitors and exhibit interpretation. This is an unpaid, volunteer position.

Maryland Master Naturalists

Want to be a Master Naturalist? The University of Maryland created this program, and Oregon Ridge Nature Center is a host site for the Master Naturalists program. After initial training, participants provide a minimum of 40 hours of volunteer service to their host site in the first year in order to receive Master Naturalist certification. Visit the University of Maryland web site for details.

Applications for the spring 2017 training session will be accepted until the classis full. Applications can be viewed and downloaded here - pdf form or MS Word form.

Completed applications should be sent to:
Jessica Jeannetta/Winny Tan
13555 Beaver Dam Road
Cockeysville, MD 21030


Ridge Runners — Teen Volunteers

Ridge Runners are teen volunteers seeking the unusual: Helping to raise an orphaned oppossum, feeding and caring for snakes, turtles, and other reptiles and amphibians, organizing and haunting a Halloween hike through moonlit trails, canoeing on the Chesapeake Bay, and learning to make fire by friction. These are only a few of the activities Ridge Runners participate in while working at the Nature Center on weekdays after school or on weekends. Ridge Runners are responsible for animal care, public education, and staffing special events including Primitive Technology Weekend, Maple Sugar Days, the Honey Harvest Festival and Halloween Hike. And every other month, Ridgies gather together for an adventurous field trip. If you are a teen or know of a teen with a strong interest in nature and wildlife, please call the Nature Center, Tuesday through Friday, at 410-887-1815. Teens volunteering at least a year in the Ridge Runner program will earn required community service hours.

The Oregon Ridge Herb Garden needs your help!

Do you like to garden? Would you like to contribute to a worthy cause? The herb garden at the Oregon Ridge Nature Center has been maintained by the Master Gardeners of Baltimore County for years. They are currently seeking new hands to help with the maintenance of this large garden. If you are interested in helping, please contact the nature center by phone or email and we will put you in touch with the gardeners

Annual Pancake Breakfast: March

The Annual Pancake Breakfast is held at Oregon Ridge Lodge. Tickets can be purchased at the door for adults, and for children aged 8 and under. Pancakes with 100% maple syrup, sausage, orange juice, coffee, tea, or milk are on the menu. Volunteers are needed to mix, cook and serve pancakes. If you would like to help with this fun activity, please call the Nature Center at 410-887-1815.

Honey Harvest Festival: October

The Honey Harvest Festival is freshly made honey ice cream and sweets baked with honey, excited children with brightly painted faces bumping along on a hayride, the first taste of honey wine (mead), hot-dogs garnished with catsup and mustard, a visit to the Gift Shop in search of the perfect nature souvenir, and much more. The Nature Center needs volunteers to bake, sell ice cream, baked goods, mead, and hotdogs, staff the Gift Shop and the membership booth, paint faces, and sell Honey of a Basket raffle tickets. If you can spare 3 or 4 hours on this October weekend, please call the Nature Center at 410-887-1815.

Bluebird Trail Maintenance

Several volunteers are needed to keep records on bluebird nesting activity and to help maintain the boxes along our bluebird trail. This will require volunteers to commit approximately two hours once every two or three weeks. Call 410-887-1815 for more information.

Please call 410-887-1815 if you wish to volunteer for any of the above opportunities.

We present opportunities for volunteers at all levels of operation of the Nature Center. Here are some examples of how you can participate as a volunteer at ORNC:

Canoe maintenance
Council Committees
Council Executive Board
Exhibit development
Garden care
Gift Shop
Native American skills
Program planning
Special Events (honey harvest, maple sugaring, pancake breakfast)
Teen Program — Ridge Runners
Trail Guide Volunteer
Trail maintenance

To find out more about volunteering at ORNC, call us or send us email with your questions or comments.