Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge offers a variety of volunteer opportunities. Individuals or groups will find their donated time very rewarding. There are many projects which need to be done that currently take time from our primary staff that cares for over 100 exotic cats and bears. There is no contact with the animals – but possibly working around them, and must be 12 or older (accompanied by an adult if under 18).
Each year we will offer 4 pre-planned volunteer days and a few ‘pop-up’ volunteer days at the Refuge. Volunteers who participate these days will be offered a ‘punch card’ that they should bring with them each time they volunteer. At the end of the year, any volunteers who have participated in at least 4 of the volunteer days will receive a special gift. If a volunteer comes and brings a friend to each of the volunteer days they will get an additional gift!
Due to the animal care and other duties of our Volunteer Coordinator, we will get back to you as soon as possible, but please be patient when making inquiries about volunteer opportunities.
Please keep in mind that most projects are physically demanding and are on uneven and often rocky terrain. All projects are outdoors and therefore are weather dependent.
TCWR hosts volunteer days when projects are available. They usually occur on Saturdays allowing for time to group individuals or small groups together to complete a larger project. Updates on work calls are placed on our Facebook page. We also have a list of longtime volunteers, if you would like to be added to that list, please let us know.
These volunteers can help with projects such as:
- Painting (ladder work required)
- Clearing existing enclosures
- Grounds maintenance
- Construction projects
- Highway Cleanup (4 times a year)
- Habitat Construction – when projects are available
If you know anything about Eureka Springs, you know it loves an opportunity for a good parade. Currently, Eureka Springs hosts 11 parades a year that TCWR participates in. Because we are so busy every day taking care of the animals, we really need people willing to ride on the parade trailer, wave, and have a great time. Having a continual presence in the community not only helps raise awareness for our cause but also shows support to our local community. The parades last about an hour on Saturday afternoons. While this level of volunteering would require a small level of commitment, it would still be tremendously helpful.
If you are interested in bringing a group to volunteer, please review the projects available listed above and contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Carly Hepburn, to begin planning your project 2-6 months prior to your event. We try to accept as many groups as possible depending on the project and budget availability. Due to safety constraints and tool availability, we limit the size of the group to no more than 20 people.
Volunteering From Home
If you are unable to make it out to the Refuge, but still want to be involved, consider getting items from our Amazon Wishlist. Handing out our informational fliers in the community is another great way of educating the public, and getting future supporters involved with the mission of TCWR.
Gardening at Turpentine Creek
Gardening at Turpentine Creek would ideally be for people looking to volunteer on a weekly or bi-monthly basis. We have a handful of flower beds around the grounds and a beautiful Enrichment Garden. We want guests to have an all-around great experience while visiting, and keeping the beautiful landscaping in check is an important part of that. The Enrichment Garden is full of aromatic and calming herbs that we give to the cats, so it is important that it is also regularly maintained.
For more information about volunteering programs email our Volunteer Coordinator, Carly Hepburn.
This level of volunteering requires a high level of commitment; please take this into consideration when inquiring about the docent program.
- Be at least 18 years of age and have a high school diploma
- Complete the interview process and 1 training session (TBA)
- Be able to volunteer twice a month (total of 8 hrs)
- Enjoy talking with guests and enhancing their educational experience at TCWR
- Have an appreciation for animals and TCWR
- Be able to be in the heat (shade canopy provided)
- Be able to pay the materials fee for training materials and docent shirt ($30 for materials and shirt the first year, and $15 each year after the first)
- An interview that can be scheduled with Beckie Moore.
For more information about becoming a docent email Beckie Moore.