We are so appreciative of our volunteers at the Howell Nature Center! More than 150 volunteers donate 25,000 hours of their time every year — an invaluable service to the many lives we touch daily.

Current Volunteer Opportunities

  • Adopt-a-Garden: Help to cultivate the many on-site gardens by planting, watering and weeding. (age: 18+; commitment: 4 hours/week seasonally)
  • Adopt-a-Wildlife Exhibit: Help keep an exhibit perfect! Volunteers help clean and enhance a specific animal exhibit in HNC’s Wild Wonders Wildlife Park. Get to really know a specific bird, reptile or mammal. (age: 18+ or accompanied by an adult; commitment: flexible)
  • Junior Volunteers: In this summer program, students ages 13 to 17 help in the wildlife clinic by caring for baby ducklings and assisting the clinic staff with food preparation, light cleaning and special projects. (age: 13-17; commitment: 3-hour shift, one assigned day weekly, summer only) NOTE: This volunteer opportunity fills up fast so contact us early!
  • Wildlife Clinic Volunteer*:  Help support the rehabilitation of the thousands of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians that are treated here each year. Volunteers help feed the animals, clean their enclosures and assist with other wildlife support tasks as needed. (age: 18+; commitment: 4 hours/week)
  • Wildlife Mammal Foster*: May, June and July are known as “baby season” in our Wildlife Clinic – the time of year when orphaned and injured baby wildlife make up the majority of intakes. Foster volunteers with flexible schedules care for stabilized mammals at home and must attend two mandatory spring training sessions (2019 Foster Training will be held in mid-April, date to be determined, serving summer 2019) hosted by wildlife clinic staff. Some costs will be incurred for foster supplies. Must live within 30 minutes of the Howell Nature Center. (age: 18+; commitment: spring/summer; April through September)
  • Special Events: HNC hosts numerous special events and fundraisers throughout the year. Volunteers assist with event planning, registration, parking, ticket sales, decorating, soliciting donations and donated items, and more! Many of these events are ideal for high school students seeking community service hours. (age:  16+; commitment: varies by event)

*Please note you must be 18+ to work with wildlife


If you have questions regarding the application, please reach out to our Coordinator of Volunteers at claricef@howellnaturecenter.org.

Volunteer Partner Groups

Bring your organization, business, or family and give back in a BIG way! Group volunteer opportunities include gardening, building projects and more. To learn about Partner Projects, including Eagle Scout and Gold Award projects, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator at claricef@howellnaturecenter.org.



If you think you have what it takes, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator: (517) 546-0977 or claricef@howellnaturecenter.org. 2022 Spring Foster Training will be held in Mid-April, and Summer Foster Training will be available in June.

Foster volunteer requirements include:

  • Feeding and cleaning 4-5 times daily
  • 18+ years of age
  • Wildlife must have no exposure to children or pets
  • Formulas and supplies (Volunteer’s expense)
  • 3-6 month commitment: April-September
  • Minimal handling to keep the animals wild