We Value our Volunteers

We rely on volunteers from our community to fulfill our mission: Growing Greener Children. Each year, we have over 400 volunteers donate their time to help us offer a wide variety of programs for children and families, and manage the stewardship of our 30-acre property.  With a small staff and a tight budget, your generosity by volunteering your time and talent helps us keep Riverbend financially sustainable in a difficult economy.  We are always looking for volunteers who share our interest in caring for the environment and exposing children to the wonders of nature. Together, we can make a difference.

Benefits of Volunteering

We always strive to provide our volunteers with a fun and fulfilling experience. Your volunteer interview will help the volunteer coordinator match you with the best opportunity based on our needs and your interests.  There are many benefits to volunteering at Riverbend, including:

  • An opportunity to make a valuable contribution to Riverbend and support the cause of environmental protection
  • A way to connect with and provide service to your community
  • A chance to share your skills with others
  • An opportunity to expand your knowledge and learn new skills
  • A chance to make new friends and develop professional contacts
  • Accrue community service hours required by your school or college
  • Receive a Riverbend hat after 25 hours of service
  • Receive Family/Individual Plus Membership after 75 hours of satisfactory service
  • Having fun!

Ongoing Volunteer Positions

We welcome many kinds of volunteers, but the ones who can come weekly make a huge difference in our operations.  Keep in mind that Riverbend is not generally open on the weekends, so we are primarily looking for volunteers who can work during weekdays before 5 pm.  We are also not accessible by public transportation.

For full descriptions of our volunteer positions, see our Volunteer Manual.

-  Habitat Maintenance (weeding, raking, mulching, watering, planting, etc.)
-  Facilities Maintenance
-  Educator/Naturalist
-  Administrative
-  Marketing
-  Summer Camp
-  Animal Care

One-Day or Short-Term Opportunities

Various one-day and short-term volunteer opportunities are available at Riverbend, such as: 

  • We welcome corporate and school groups who want to organize a day of service at Riverbend
  • Participating in occasional weekend service days to assist with habitat maintenance (weeding, mulching gardens and trails, removal of invasive species and tree planting), scheduled a few times a year
  • Assisting with Shiverfest, a Halloween-themed family event held in mid-October which requires over 100 volunteers.  We need volunteers to help with set-up, parking, check-in, pumpkin decorating, face painting, moon bounce, etc.
  • Helping out at other weekend events, such as Summer Solstice Night, Family Camping Nights, etc.
  • Short-term volunteer opportunities are often available for college or high school students on break.  Assignments might include habitat work, helping out at our Year-round Camp Days, or administrative projects.
  • Assisting with a special mailing


Skill-Based Volunteer Opportunities

We need talented adult volunteers to serve as board members or to serve on ongoing committees (finance, development, property, nominating). 

We also need skilled volunteers to work on specific projects, such as:

  • Helping to install a new garden or "adopt" a current one
  • Make repairs to our facilities
  • Serving on the planning committee for Shiverfest
  • Helping to write one or more grant proposals
  • Writing an article for our newsletter
  • Serving as a consultant in your area of professional expertise


Teen Summer Volunteer Program

Do you want to help the environment and learn about working at a nature center?  During the summer we organize a volunteer days on Wednesdays for students aged 13 and up.  Come work on our 30-acre property with other like-minded kids.  We'll be doing a variety of projects:  planting, weeding & mulching, clearing trails, cleaning the barn, cutting invasive vines, watering the saplings in our reforestation area, assisting with our new meadow project, feeding the animals, etc. If you are interested in participating, please fill out our Registration Form.



Prospective volunteers will need to complete several steps before working at Riverbend.

  • If you are interested in volunteering at Riverbend, please complete and send our Volunteer Interest Form to Tara McDonnel at tmcdonnell@riverbendeec.org.
  • If after reviewing your application, it appears that your interests and skills are a good match with Riverbend's needs, Jeanne will set up an informal interview.  At that time, we'll have a chance to get to know you better and discuss possible volunteer assignments.  You'll be given a tour of Riverbend, be introduced to some of our staff members, and have a chance to ask questions.  In preparation for your interview, please read our Volunteer Manual.
  • After your interview, Riverbend will run a Criminal Background Check and Child Abuse Clearance, and call your references before you are formally accepted as a volunteer at Riverbend. 
  • The Community Engagement Coordinator will contact you to let you know whether you have been selected as a volunteer and set up your first volunteer shift. 
  • Before you begin working as a volunteer, we will need you to complete our Emergency Contact & Waiver Form (signed by your parent if you are under the age of 18).
  • On your first day as a volunteer, your immediate supervisor will conduct an orientation/training session, and confirm your work schedule.



Educator-In-Training (formerly known as Camp Junior Volunteer)

Camp Junior Volunteers have been a very important part of the success of Riverbend’s summer camp. As we continue to grow, we are constantly reevaluating and tweaking the program to ensure that campers, staff, and teen volunteer’s get the most out of their summer experience at Riverbend. With that in mind, 2016 brings several new changes to the program in an effort to provide a more personal and hands on experience for each volunteer. One such change is our new name. We believe that the name Educators-In-Training better fits our mission and goals for the program- to create confident leaders, role models, and caring staff and community members for many years to come. To ensure a high quality experience for all, we will only be accepting six EIT’s into our summer leadership program.

Riverbend is looking for six energetic and motivated students between the ages of 15 and 18, to assist with our summer camp program and have a positive impact on the lives and education of younger children. Educators-In-Training will spend their time observing and assisting professional educators and assistant educators with group management, daily activities, modeling of appropriate behavior, and providing nurturing support of campers. In addition, volunteers will get to participate in activities with the children, including games, nature exploration, field trips, and more. Volunteers work primarily with our youngest campers and are a vital part to the success of the program.


  • 25 hours of cumulative experience working with children in a CIT program, babysitting, community experience, or similar experience.
  • Experience working with multiple age groups of children.
  • An excitement for the great outdoors and a passion for sharing it with children.


Teens who are accepted into the program must complete the following requirements:

  • Attend our mandatory EIT training session on Sunday, May 15th 2016 from 10:00-4:00 pm.
  • Commitment to volunteer for at least three but up to eight full weeks (weeks need not be consecutive) during the summer of 2016, hours are Monday-Friday 8:30-4:00. Weeks must be scheduled prior to the start of the summer.


EIT’s perform a vital role in Riverbend's summer camp program. Depending on the EIT’s time and growth in the position there will be potential for increased responsibilities throughout the summer including but not limited to check in and check out, leading an Activity Day program, and planning and implementing lessons. Basic duties include:

  • Assisting camp staff with assigned tasks that help with the general management of educational groups, primarily for children 4-6 years of age.
  • Providing a role model for the younger children on the appropriate ways to behave at camp and how to successfully explore the natural world.
  • Assisting with the leading of Circle Time and Activity Day.
  • Assisting with implementation of lesson plans and activities.
  • Assisting with the clean-up of education spaces, including picnic areas, outdoor classroom, supply room and others.
  • Assisting with 4 year old lunch.

Thank you so much for considering joining Riverbend’s growing summer camp community! By taking part in our EIT program, you will build your resume, gain valuable leadership experience, meet new people, and have a fantastic summer outdoors!

Educator-In-Training Program Application Form

Thank you for your interest. We are currently not accepting any more applications for the 2016 Summer Season.



College Internships

Qualified college students or interested adults who are able to commit at least 100 hours (for example, 20 hours/week for five weeks, or 10 hours/week for ten weeks) can apply for a supervised internship.  Internships offer more intensive training and mentoring, a chance to work more closely with our staff members, learn how Riverbend operates at a deeper level, and the opportunity to work on an independent project.  Tasks will be balanced between learning opportunities for you and service to Riverbend.  For the most part, our internships are unpaid, although we do offer a modest stipend for our Summer Habitat Intern. Contact our Volunteer Coordinator for more information if you are interested in our internship program. 


The 2016 Habitat Intern positions have been filled. Please check back next year.

Riverbend Environmental Education Center is accepting applications for two 2015 Summer Interns to assist with the stewardship of our 30 acre nature preserve.  The Habitat Management Interns, under the supervision of the Volunteer Coordinator, will help maintain our trails, gardens, ponds, and woodland and meadow areas, assist with our reforestation project where 2000 saplings have been planted over the past few years.   Primary tasks will include planting, watering, weeding, mulching, pond maintenance, clearing trails of fallen branches, stocking our woodpile, and the removal of invasive species. Interns will also help to run the new Auquaponics Greenhouse which will be installed by May 2015.  They may also help with minor repairs and general maintenance of the barn, outdoor classroom, tool sheds, deer fence, and parking lot area.

The Property and Volunteer Manager will work with the interns to develop management skills.  Management tasks will include working with individual volunteers, helping to manage volunteer groups including the weekly teen volunteer program, assisting with garden design and plant selection, participating in staff meetings, and other administrative projects.

The Habitat Interns will work approximately 10 weeks for 10/hours week, and will receive a stipend of $75/week.  Work weeks are flexible to accommodate family vacation plans but the interns must be available for 10 weeks of work between mid-May to mid-August.  Three mornings per week are strongly preferred.  Specific days of the week will be determined by the Intern and the Property and Volunteer Manager, but must include Wednesday, which is when we offer the Teen Volunteer Program each week.  College credit can be arranged by the intern and his/her college, if desired.


  • College student or recent graduate over the age of 18
  • Experience with and/or interest in gardening
  • Interest in ecology, botany, environmental studies, conservation, or landscape architecture
  • Ability to work independently and in groups
  • An outgoing leader who can comfortably supervise other volunteers, especially teenagers
  • Physically strong and able to work outdoors in hot weather and on a hilly terrain


Riverbend is located in the western suburbs of Philadelphia.  We are not accessible to public transportation, so interns would need access to a car.  Interested students should contact tmcdonnel@riverbendeec.org or 610-527-5234 x110 for an application.  Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.










Latest News


Help Riverbend Bump It Up!

Riverbend recently received an extremely generous pledge of $150,000 from friends Nick and Dee Adams. One-third goes directly to our annual fund, but only if we are able to raise $50,000 in new and increased gifts. Help Riverbend BUMP IT UP with a gift this season....


Summer Camp Registration now OPEN!

Visit our summer camp page to see the exciting camp themes and adventures.

Directions & Info

View maps & get directions to Riverbend. click here

Contact us:
By Phone: 610.527.5234
or Email