Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Become a Volunteer

Volunteer Guidelines

  • To volunteer you must be at least 18 years of age, or obtain written consent from your parent or guardian.
  • Individuals and groups may volunteer depending on the needs of the Florida Forest Service.
  • Due to the physical nature of some of the volunteer work, volunteers must be healthy enough to do the work without jeopardizing their own well-being or the well-being of others.
  • Volunteering offers you experiences that are personally rewarding and challenging. It can also serve as on-the-job training for certain program areas and may be considered official service for volunteers who are seeking Career Service employment with the Florida Forest Service.
  • Where duties require, Florida Forest Service uniforms are provided with specially designed volunteer insignia.
  • You will receive official certificates of appreciation for volunteer work, signed by the Commissioner of Agriculture and Director of the Florida Forest Service, official service pins, and other awards for each 1,000 hours of volunteer service, and coverage against claims for injury.

Volunteer Service Areas

Campground Host
Administrative Assistance
Educational & Interpretive Programs
Ecosystem Restoration
Trail Maintenance
Survey Assistance of Threatened/Endangered Flora & Fauna
Tree-seedling Nursery Operations
Forestry Computer Operations
Forest Fire Protection 

Campground Host Service

Campground Hosts stay on-site at one of the Florida Forest Service recreation areas and help manage the campground. Hosts answer campers’ questions, give directions, pass out literature, help with light maintenance and make themselves available for late-night emergencies. In return, campground hosts get a free campsite for the time they volunteer and the satisfaction of knowing they are helping folks fully enjoy their forest experience. For more information on how to volunteer as a campground host, please contact  Blackwater Forestry Center,  Withlacoochee Forestry CenterLake Talquin State Forest, or  Tate's Hell State Forest.

Administrative Assistance

Volunteers may have the opportunity to work at the main headquarters of a Forestry Center or District Field Office or in Tallahassee. Copying, filing, answering telephones, greeting the public, sharing information about the forest and its operation, issuing fuel wood permits or giving directions are all key volunteer activities.

Educational & Interpretive Programs

Depending on an individual's background and experience, and with a little training, the volunteer will assist with or conduct various educational and interpretive programs such as:

  • Wildfire prevention/Smokey Bear 
  • Tree identification 
  • Forest history 
  • Forest ecosystems 
  • Threatened and endangered plants and animals 
  • Other cultural and natural resource programs

Programs may be offered at recreation areas, forest headquarters, schools, and for civic groups.

Ecosystem Restoration

As stewards of the forest, professional foresters, biologists and ecologists study the health and condition of the forest. Removing exotic plants and planting native trees and grasses can help restore the vigor and condition of the forest system. Volunteers have helped greatly with these types of projects.

Trail Maintenance

The upkeep and maintenance of trails is an ongoing challenge. Volunteer groups have played an integral part in maintaining the forest trail systems by keeping them clear and well marked.

 Survey Assistance for Threatened or Endangered Flora and Fauna

As the Florida Forest Service receives more state lands to manage, it is important to know what cultural and natural resources exist in order to develop a comprehensive management plan for the land. Surveys of threatened and endangered plants and animals and for cultural resources assist the Florida Forest Service's professional foresters, biologists and ecologists in managing these resources so they will be available for future generations.

Tree-seedling Nursery Operations Assistance

The Florida Forest Service has a tree nursery in Chiefland where bare-root pine seedlings, tubeling pine trees and wiregrass are grown to reforest public lands. Help is needed for sowing seed, thinning and transplanting seedlings, boxing trees, and weighing, sorting and bundling bare-root trees.

Forestry Computer Operations Assistance

To keep pace with technology, the Florida Forest Service is now using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), network systems, Global Positioning Systems (GPS) etc., to conduct natural resource data collection and management. Computer data entry assistance is needed to input information into the GIS systems information about land boundaries, trails, forest types, etc.

Forest Protection Activities Assistance

As volunteer Forest Rangers or Volunteer Forest Ranger Assistants, individuals will have the opportunity to assist Florida Forest Service Firefighters with suppressing forest wildland fires and conducting prescribed burning. Volunteer Forest Rangers must have the same certification as a Forestry Firefighter and pass the Florida Forest Service's health and physical fitness tests. Volunteer Forest Ranger Assistants are not involved in wildfire suppression but serve in a vital support role maintaining firefighting equipment, manning radio transmissions and patrolling the fire line under the direct supervision of a certified Forestry Firefighter.

Required Forms

Volunteer Application [ Adobe PDF Document ]