Friends of the Dunes



Volunteer Services Agreement

Volunteer Registration

This is where to begin if you're thinking of being a volunteer for Friends. The Volunteer Services Agreement form needs to filled out each year, and is basically liability waiver to make it legal for you to work for us. The Volunteer Registration form lets you give us a bit more info about the kinds of work you'd like to do, as well as your skill levels and availability. It also has a handy "comments" box that lets you give us feedback, or ask some questions.

Restoration Volunteers

Dune Restoration

Human Hands are the Tools of Restoration

Add glove, shovels, and brush axes to human hands, and you have the strongest dune restoration tool around. Within months of initially removing invasive plants, volunteers witness native plants re-sprouting on their own. Our methods of removal have minimal impacts to the dunes, and thus native plants are able to repopulate the dunes on their own.

Join the Dune Ecosystem Restoration Team (DERT)


Help restore the dunes by volunteering with the dune ecosystem restoration team. Volunteers help remove non-native invasive plants in order to promote native plant and animal life in the dunes. No experience necessary. Training, tools, refreshments, camaraderie and beautiful scenery are provided. Returning volunteers are eligible for free t-shirts and hats. All ages welcome!

DERT meets most Saturdays each month. Visit our calendar for dates and times or subscribe to our DERT email list and be kept up to date on where and when to meet.

Drop-in Restoration at the Humboldt Coastal Nature Center

If you don’t like to follow schedules and have time during the week to volunteer, this is for you. After an initial orientation you can spend as many hours as you like helping to remove invasive plants at the Humboldt Coastal Nature Center. Just check in at the center and we’ll set you up with gloves and tools. Contact Jess at 707.444.1397 or to get started.

Dune Ecosystem Restoration Team (DERT) Leader

Occasionally we have large groups or multiple restoration events occurring at the same time and can use extra leadership help. We prefer DERT leaders to have gone through Bay to Dunes training, Coastal Naturalist Training, or have participated with DERT on a regular basis. Contact Jess at 707.444.1397 or to discuss this opportunity.

Alternative Spring BreakAway

Alternative Spring BreakAway

Many college students across the nation are choosing to spend their spring breaks volunteering for good causes. Students perform short-term projects for community agencies and learn about issues such as literacy, poverty, racism, hunger, homelessness and the environment. Friends of the Dunes has hosted groups from as far away as Vermont since 2000.

We provide students a free place to sleep, use of a kitchen space and access to showers. Students work to restore the dunes at different sites each day while learning about the variety of dune habitats found in Humboldt County. There are planned tours throughout the week to visit the Campus Center for Appropriate Technology (CCAT) at Humboldt State University, the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary, and the redwoods.

If you are interested in scheduling a group contact us at or call 707.444.1397.

To get more information about the Alternative Spring Breakaway program their website is

Education Volunteers

Environmental Educator

Be a volunteer environmental educator by guiding field trips that teach elementary school students about coastal environments. Volunteers are needed for our “Bay to Dunes” and “Cows and Cattails” field trip programs. Through hands-on activities, field trip guides teach kids about native dunes plants, habitat restoration, salt marsh ecology, animal tracking, birdwatching, freshwater invertebrates, dune geology, and human history. Fieldtrips are held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays during the fall and spring. No experience is necessary, just a desire to share nature with young students, and to learn more about our coastal environments. A full training is provided every spring & fall.

In addition to trips, volunteers are needed to give presentations in the classrooms preceding a field trip to give the students some background. To find out more about any of these opportunities, call 707-444-1397 or email for more information.

Visit our calendar to learn about training dates and locations.

Ocean Day Class Leader

Volunteer to be a class leader for Ocean Day in June. Ocean Day is a large event with about 1,000 students participating! We need class leaders to guide school groups in habitat restoration and beach clean-up activities. A training is provided, and volunteers receive a free t-shirt! Contact Suzie at 707-444-1397 or for more information.

Coastal Naturalist Training

Coastal Naturalist Training Become a Friends of the Dunes Coastal Naturalist! Every fall, we offer an in-depth 6 week training covering topics like botany, geology, birds, insects, animal tracking, cultural history, coastal ecology and interpretation techniques. The course is for community members interested in expanding their knowledge and appreciation of the coast. While you may take the course strictly for your own enjoyment, the course will also prepare you to become an active volunteer with Friends of the Dunes. For more information on how to register, click the link below, email or call 707-444-1397.

More info and full schedule for Coastal Naturalist Training

Special Event Volunteers

Friends of the Dunes participates in a variety of special events including tabling at fairs and festivals. Check out the calendar for details on upcoming events or call 444-1397 to find out more about how you can help. Volunteers are always needed at our two major annual events:

Volunteer at Special Events

Sand Sculpture Festival

Wine by the Sea

Ocean Day

Lupine Bash

Get Outside Gear Sale

Office / Organizational Volunteers

Merchandising/Marketing Coordinator

Friends of the Dunes merchandise not only helps provide funds to keep help support programming, but it also serves as an important outreach tool. We carry chocolate bars highlighting dune habitats, Hortense Lanphere's Bedlam on the Slew, beach and dune pocket field guides, t-shirt and hats. We are looking for an energetic leader for this volunteer position to outreach to the community and help us market these items as part of our fundraising campaign. The Merchandising Coordinator will work closely with the Executive Director to help monitor inventory, contact businesses interested in carrying our products, keep outlets stocked, place orders, help create displays, work with other merchandising volunteers and our web master to develop new venues for our products. The ideal merchandising coordinator would have some experience in merchandising and marketing and a commitment to the Friends of the Dunes Mission.
Estimated time Commitment: 5-10 hours/month.

Join a Committee

There are plenty of opportunities to get involved in several exciting projects. If you are unsure about joining a committee, consider working on a specific task first, and then you can decide if you want to be an official committee member. Current needs include planning for the outdoor gear sale, and Sand Sculpture Festival. If you have interests or skills to share, please call 707-444-1397.

Be an Office Volunteer

Office volunteers are needed to help with data entry, membership mailings, merchandise sales, media relations and more.

Friends of the Dunes | PO Box 186, Arcata CA 95518 | 707-444-1397 |

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