Shipley Nature Center relies on the help of dedicated adult and student volunteers for many aspects of the Center’s maintenance and operations. Almost any skill is needed and appreciated. Appropriate experiences are available for those wishing to enhance and maintain professional skill sets.

Please take a moment to review our Volunteer Application. You may bring the completed application to the SNC office, or email it to info@shipleynature.org. We look forward to meeting you and appreciate your interest in helping us provide nature education and encourage stewardship in this very urbanized part of Southern California.

Policy Note:   Minors volunteering at SNC are to be accompanied by 2 adults or by his/her parent/guardian .  Please complete the Volunteers Age 18 and Under Hold Harmless Form and the Volunteer Application prior to the start of your volunteer service.   We greatly appreciate the energy and enthusiasm of our youth.

Group-Volunteer Application

There are many ways to become involved:

Habitat Maintenance

Habitat RestorationA morning spent outdoors in nature is exhilarating and fun. If you can join us on a regular basis, you may find your place in maintaining the habitat and trails. We are on the grounds with our volunteers Monday thru Fridays, 9:00 a.m. through noon. We will provide training for pruning, planting, and irrigation of California native plants. We will require a day and time commitment from our volunteers. Please call ahead to sign-up at (714) 842-4772.


The Shipley Nursery Volunteers propagate native plants from cuttings, tend the plants for sale and help with plant sales. Volunteers meet each Friday morning from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. They also help maintain the native plant and butterfly gardens across from the stream. The major native plant sale is held the last Saturday in September and kicks off the winter planting season for natives. Plants are available for sale throughout the year with sales being a major source of funds for Shipley Nature Center.


Volunteers manage the Compost Center and may be found at work most Friday mornings from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.. They also assist with seminars typically held on Saturdays four times per year.

Bird Surveys

We invite you to spend the morning with fellow nature enthusiasts and participate in our monthly bird survey held on the last Friday of each month. See seasonal schedule below. No experience is necessary. To sign up, email lena@shipleynature.org.

Seasonal Schedule of Bird Survey Times

March through October

begins at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 10:00 a.m.

November through February,

begins at 9:00 a.m. and ends at 11:00 a.m.

Visitor Services

Are you a cheerful person willing to assist our staff during the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Monday through Saturdays? Assistance is needed to answer phones, keep the gift shop tidy, help with small clerical duties, and more. A few hours on any of these days would be much appreciated.

Docent Program

Shipley Nature Center has an exciting docent program where volunteers who have been trained are able to offer tours, represent Shipley at events, host Saturdays at Shipley, and provide services in any way that is needed to make sure that the community is involved with what is happening in this wonderful native plant area of Central Park. If someone is interested in becoming a docent, training is offered and a well-developed handbook is available, so that each docent feels competent in representing Shipley. It is a wonderful way to become more informed about Shipley and to participate in the activities here. If anyone is interested in becoming a docent they should contact the Shipley office and you will be contacted about the next training program. Shipley Volunteers

The Docent handbook for volunteers of FSNC will provide you with a complete guide to what is offered at Shipley from the history of Shipley, the native plant habitats, restoration efforts, the animal and birds found at Shipley, and our educational programs. This is a good way to become familiar with just what Shipley has to offer. Join with the hundreds of Shipley volunteers and become a Shipley Docent.