How to: Volunteer to Protect the Corridor
Whether it’s visiting a park nearby or taking small steps right at home – like composting, reusing water bottles or planting native flowers – there are simple ways to pitch in for nature that fit each unique wild style!
With nearly 1,000 people moving to Florida each day, it’s more important than ever to balance economy and ecology by protecting and connecting the abundant forests, rivers and wildlife that make up the Florida Wildlife Corridor. Not only do these natural spaces offer outdoor activities for millions of Floridians and tourists, but they also provide passageways and homes for more than 2,000 species.
To sustain Florida and the Corridor for generations to come, we must do our part to protect our favorite wild spaces today. No matter how big or small, here are a few ways you can Live Wildly.
Give Back to the Corridor in Your Daily Life
- Raise awareness by visiting the Corridor. Bring a few friends – even better if they’ve never been to the Corridor – and post pictures on social media about your adventures using #LiveWildlyFL.
- Reduce single use plastics. From plastic water bottles to Styrofoam takeout boxes, try switching to more sustainable options, such as reusable water bottles and food storage containers. It may seem small, but individual acts can lead to big change – and will decrease the number of plastics that can harm manatees, turtles and other wildlife in the Corridor.
- Invest in clean energy. Though not an option for everyone, investing in renewable energy, such as installing solar panels, can be a great way to do your part. With an average of 237 sunny days each year, Florida is an ideal location for solar power.
- Attend a Live Wildly event. If volunteering consistently isn’t possible for you, get involved and support our mission by attending Live Wildly events across the Sunshine State.
- Advocate locally. The Florida Wildlife Corridor Act passed in 2021 and has led to increased awareness and protection of the state’s most sacred spaces. Pay attention to local efforts that could help – or hurt – the Corridor.
- Wear Live Wildly merch. You’ll raise awareness about the Florida Wildlife Corridor on your sleeve and will donate to Corridor protection efforts – all proceeds go directly to helping connect the Florida Wildlife Corridor!
Looking for more ways to give back? There are several volunteer and internship opportunities for those with a little more time on their hands.
Serve as a Campground Host or Park Resident
Have you ever dreamed of living in the great outdoors? Do you have some free time on your hands? Do you want a free vacation? If you answered yes, yes and most definitely yes to these questions, then we have good news for you – you can live at a Florida state park for free! If you volunteer for a minimum of 20 hours per week as a campground host or park resident, you receive a free campsite for up to 16 weeks at a time.
Campground hosts assist with welcoming campers, answering questions, selling basic items and cleaning and maintaining campground facilities. Park residents do similar tasks at parks that do not have campgrounds or other overnight housing. Choose your favorite Corridor spot and sign up to volunteer – but hurry, spots fill up quickly, especially during cooler months!
Volunteer with a Group or Solo at Florida State Parks
Grab your girl gang, family or school club and spend time together while also giving back to the Corridor. Florida state parks offer group volunteering for students, families, community groups, churches and more, with activities such as beach cleanups, trail upkeep and maintenance, and exotic plant removal throughout the parks.
But you don’t need to be part of a group to volunteer in the Corridor. You can also sign up as an individual, where you might welcome visitors, lead tours, assist with special events or help with park cleanups. Search for open volunteer opportunities here.
Join a “Friend Group”
No – not like the one in your phone’s group chat. Friend groups, or Citizen Support Groups, support specific Florida state parks through volunteering, education, events and fundraising. If one Corridor spot holds a special place in your heart, consider joining one of over 80 “friend groups” to focus your volunteer efforts on protecting your favorite state park for years to come.
Intern with Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection
Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) manages and protects the state’s air, water and land. If you feel passionate about making a difference on a policy level, their internships provide a great way to get started. Whether you’re interested in a career in engineering, environmental law, environmental science, park management or communications, DEP offers internships to help you jump-start your career – and help protect the Corridor while doing so. You must be 18 years or older to apply, and you can find the application here.
DEP also offers 6-month to one-year paid opportunities through the Florida Conservation Corps AmeriCorps Program. Ideal for a gap year after high school or college, the program offers three on-the-ground projects that require 35-40 hours of work per week.
- Project ANT (AmeriCorps Nonnative Plant Terminators) focuses on removing invasive plant species and restoring natural habitats
- Project ROAR (Regional Outreach Awareness Recruiters) helps with volunteer outreach and recruitment
- Project TREC (Trail Restoration and Enhancement Corps) works on maintaining and restoring trails.
Volunteer with the National Park Service
Does the thought of spending your free time exploring Big Cypress, hiking through the Everglades or adventuring deep within the Osceola National Forest bring you immense joy? As a volunteer with the National Park Service, you get to enjoy and help preserve your happy place. The park service offers one-time, short-term and long-term volunteer opportunities, including serving as a garden steward, maintenance worker, guide or ambassador. You might spend your day weeding, painting, talking to tourists in the visitor center or providing directions and information to wandering travelers.
Search for volunteer opportunities in Everglades National Park and more here!
Whatever wild way you decide to give back to the Corridor – it makes a big difference. Tell us how you’re choosing to help protect the Corridor @LiveWildlyFL.