Volunteer Opportunities

The District is grateful for our dedicated volunteers who share their time and talent with us. We strive to attract and retain quality, committed individuals who want an interesting and unique volunteer experience, while having fun and supporting conservation.

Congratulations Ella Hafenstein, 2021 Volunteer of the Year!

Ella has been a volunteer since 2020 and volunteers for a variety of office tasks, at special events and is always cheerful and upbeat. A red maple tree was planted in recognition of Ella at Lexington Community Park. Thanks to Todd Ward, and his staff at the Village of Lexington Park District for helping plant the tree and pledging to maintain it in years to come and the Village of Lexington Administration allowing it be be planted. Learn more about Ella and her many contributions to the District and the community by watching this video. Thank you, Ella for all you do for the District!

The 81-member volunteer team has contributed more than 2,500 hours in 2021, which has saved the General Fund approximately $25,000. Volunteers contribute high quality data that is used to track soil and water health in Richland County’s eight watersheds.

Volunteers Receive 2018 Awards

Congratulations to volunteers for receiving the 2018 Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) National and Northeast Regional Earth Team Chief’s Office Awards! Through the partnership between NRCS and Richland Soil and Water Conservation District (Richland SWCD), Richland SWCD volunteers also serve as Earth team volunteers. Both organizations collaborate on local projects while utilizing a passionate group of volunteers to stretch valuable resources. Each volunteer task helps paint a picture of how land use affect Richland County’s eight watersheds. In 2018, volunteers donated service hours valued at $45,270.00. Thank you, Volunteers!

Volunteer of the Year Recipients

  • 2015: Frank Shipley: Redbud at Gorman Nature Center
  • 2016: Candy Brenner
  • 2017: Ginnie Baker: near blue bridge in Bellville by B&O Bike Trail
  • 2018: Linda Collins
  • 2019: Mark Meinzer
  • 2020: Denise Tenison: 2 Paw Paw at Clear Fork Stoller Road Trail
  • 2021: Ella Hafenstein: Red Maple at Bicentennial Park in Lexington
  • 2022: Marilyn Roe: Red Maple at Marshall Park in Ontario

Now Recruiting Watershed Investigators!

Watershed investigators volunteer their time to help manage our eight Richland County watersheds. Each tasks helps paint a picture of how land use affects our watersheds. Quality data is collected through testing and making observations. This valuable data is vital for mapping and reporting and will be used to gauge long-terms trends in watershed health. This data will also help identify threatened environmental areas in the county when planning future land use. Training is provided to ensure quality reporting. Access to the internet is needed for precipitation, stream and lake monitoring watershed investigator opportunities for data to be posted on our website.

  • Lake Monitors
  • Photographers
  • Precipitation Monitors
  • Stream Monitors
  • Data Management

Additional opportunities include:

  • Office Assistance
  • Photo and Video Editing
  • Special Events

If you are interested in volunteering with the District, please call the District at 419-747-8685, fill out our application online, or download the application and return it to:

Richland Soil and Water Conservation District
C/O Community Relations Coordinator
1495 W. Longview Ave., Suite 205B
Mansfield, OH  44906

We hope you’ll consider joining our valued team of volunteers and appreciate your interest.

Volunteers Training

Precipitation Monitor Volunteer Training

Watch for the next group training date. If you enjoy keeping track of when it rains or snows, you’ll enjoy this volunteer opportunity. As a Precipitation Monitor you will measure and record rain and snowfall at your home or business. The data is used to gauge long-term trends in watershed health and land use practices. We’ll train you and provide the equipment; you just need access to the internet. Your data is shared with the public on the Water Data Map. This is a great citizen-science opportunity that doesn’t require a lot of time and provides valuable data.

Lake Monitors

Take an active role in water quality. Record water quality data on Clear Fork, Charles Mill and Pleasant Hill Lakes. The data is used to document changes in lake conditions and the information will be used to assist with watershed management efforts.

Precipitation Monitors

Precipitation Monitors collect and record rain and snow fall at home or work. The data that you collect is vital to identifying geographic locations of rain fall and snow fall in respect to the watershed you are recording precipitation from. Our network of volunteer data shows the amount of surface water your watershed collects annually. This information is used to assist communities by estimating the amount of precipitation during an event that may cause flooding reactions to your receiving streams and rivers.

Stream Monitors

Stream Monitors collect data from designated streams from the stream banks in Richland County’s eight watersheds. We provide the equipment and training. Volunteers need access to the internet to post the data on our website. Quality data will be used to gauge long-terms trends in stream health. Download the Stream Monitor Volunteer Training.

Data Management

Data that is collected is entered into computer spreadsheets and software (Microsoft Excel, primarily) that is easily managed and shared.

Workshops and Events

The District hosts workshops, participates in community events and hosts special events such as a pond fish sale, high school land judging competition, and the annual celebration.

Photographers

Take photos at Richland SWCD events and natural resource, conservation and agriculture photos throughout Richland County.