Become a Volunteer

Volunteers for field work or help on administrative tasks can start right away working with one of our committee chairs. We also have a student intern and volunteer program and work with local schools and colleges so students get volunteer hours and school credit.

All educational and research services are provided by trained docents. The Petaluma Wetlands Alliance (PWA) provides training each year for community members who are interested in becoming city-appointed docent volunteers for the Petaluma Public Wetlands. The course consists of lectures on wetlands, ecology, plants, birds, other wetlands animals, and hands-on techniques used with school groups. Docents are asked to make a two-year, 20-hours-per-year commitment as a docent.  We ask that applicants pay $40 toward the cost of training materials.

Volunteer Activities

Become a Docent

  •  Lead tours for the public at Shollenberger Park, Alman Marsh, and the Ellis Creek Wildlife Sanctuary
  •  Visit elementary schools and conduct educational activities at Shollenberger Park, using hands-on, science-based activities
  •  Public speaking and wetlands advocacy

Monitor and Research Birds and Wildlife

  •  Participate in monthly bird surveys as observer or data recorder
  •  Build, inspect, and maintain bird and bat housing

Wetlands Restoration and Maintenance

  •  Minor trail repair
  •  Cleaning up trash and debris
  •  Removing invasive weeds
  •  Planting native species

Publicity and Marketing

  •  Communicate PWA’s mission and activities to the public
  •  Help generate funds for the PWA via grants and public contributions
  •  Solicit organizations or groups to help with various wetland-related activities
  •  Educate the public about wetlands


  •  Organize events and fundraisers
  •  Basic accounting tasks
  •  Write news articles, grants
  •  Research information
  •  Provide and maintain technology and website

Use the form below to send an online application

    Please tell us what interests you:

    Become a docentMonitor and research birds and wildlifeWetlands restoration and maintenancePublicity and marketingAdministrative support

    Tell us about yourself

    Please list any work experience, educational degrees, coursework, or personal skills which may be relevant to your work as a docent:

    I affirm that all the information above is true and correct to the best of my knowledge. If accepted as a docent trainee, I understand and agree to a two-year commitment to the Petaluma Wetlands Docent Program. I agree to give at least 20 voluntary hours per year. I am available to attend the training classes and to provide services during the week. If I am not available during weekdays, I agree to volunteer in other ways each year for two years.

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