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Volunteer

There are two ways to get involved and support your Nature Centre:

  1. Conservation Project Volunteers assist with projects like Coulee Clean-Up, Shoreline Clean-Up, and Invasive Weed Pulls. We work with a team of 1,800+ volunteers to help steward our 4,000+ acre river valley for the benefit of our wild neighbours. This is a great way for individuals or groups to get involved if you want to dedicate a few hours a year. 

    OR

  2. Volunteer Naturalists assist with daily operations of the Nature Centre - helping to connect visitors to resources, exhibitions, and programs. We rely on a diverse team of 80+ volunteers to accommodate memorable moments of discovery for over 52,000+ annual visitors. This is a great way for individuals to get involved if you want to dedicate a few hours each month. 

​1. Conservation Project Volunteers


River Valley Conservation programs encourage residents of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds to pick up litter and "leave it better than they found it!" 

Your participation is an effective way to have a positive environmental impact and increase your connection to our community!

Helen Schuler Nature Centre coordinates several different initiatives that work together to keep our city looking its best while improving our natural spaces. These programs are made possible thanks to the leadership of our partners:


Before beginning a conservation project, please take a moment to review all Health and Safety Information.


***IMPORTANT PROGRAM CHANGES FOR 2021***

COVID-19: Cleanups look different in 2021 than they have in the past but that doesn't mean you are on your own!

  1. Solo, household, and small team cleanups.
    • Traditionally the Nature Centre has encouraged and supported large group efforts; in 2021 the Nature Centre will support solo, household, and small team cleanups in accordance with public health guidelines. 

  2. Encouraging participants to use their own gloves and bags.
    • Traditionally the Nature Centre has provided supply kits for groups; in 2021 the Nature Centre will encourage participants to use their own gloves and bags (limited glove and bag supply is available for individual pick up from the Nature Centre).

  3. Encouraging participants to make a difference every day by taking part in one of our Cleanup Challenges:
    • Shoreline Saturdays! 
      • Show your shoreline some love on the first Saturday of the month (May-Sept) to see how your actions add up!

    • Join the Litterati!
      • Download the app, take a photo of each piece of litter you pick up, and contribute your data to a global movement to put an end to litter!!

    • Pick up a single piece of litter every day for a month!
      • Every bit of change makes a big difference!

    • Go Plogging!
      • Once a week, bring a bag and gloves to pick up litter when you walk your dog or go for a run. This is a great way to incorporate squats in your cardio workout!

    • Prioritize your space!
      • Remember: your shoreline starts at your front door. Purposefully commit to pick up every piece of litter the wind blows onto your property all year long.

    • Light up social media with your #trashtag!
      • What better way to inspire others than leading by example?!

    • Issue a challenge to a friend...or rival!

Did you know? The City of Lethbridge is designated a Clean Shoreline Community. This means we are working collaboratively with the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup to engage more local volunteers to minimize our impact on the environment and keep it healthy. Litter is a critical issue facing all of Canada's waterways in communities across the country, from lakes and rivers to every ocean coastline. 


Shoreline Clean-Up (May-September)

SCUP 2021 Poster 8.5x11.png

Great Canadian Shoreline Clean-Up logo.pngThe Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is a national conservation program that provides everyone the opportunity to take action in their communities wherever water meets land, one bit of trash at a time!

Join the Nature Centre at a Shoreline Clean-up to help better understand the types of garbage affecting Lethbridge's shorelines. No pre-registration necessary. All you need is gloves, a bag (or bucket), and a checklist to track the types of garbage found. Remember to wear sturdy footwear, dress for the weather, and bring a friend! 

Remember - your shoreline starts at your front door - litter that enters storm drains at the street level will generally lead directly into the river. Cleaning up litter ANYWHERE is helpful and makes a big difference to our watershed's health! Please track the litter you find using the data card


Shoreline Saturdays*

Celebrate your Shoreline on the first Saturday of every month from May to September!
If you need supplies, visit the Helen Schuler Nature Centre anytime between 10am-4pm to pick up gloves, a bag, and data sheet, then go for a stroll and track the litter you pick up! When you are done, submit your data as part of the national Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup database.

  • July 3
  • August 7
  • September 4

Certificates are available upon request. This is especially helpful for high school students looking to get volunteer hours!

Remember – before picking up litter at any time of year, be sure to read the safety information, and follow the latest recommendations set out by public health officials regarding COVID-19. All cleanups must adhere to the ‘Organizing a Solo, Household, or Small Team Cleanup’ Guidelines.


Did you know? Data collected and submitted as part of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup helped to inform the upcoming Federal Government Ban on Single Use Plastics in 2021! Our local conservation efforts helped inform major federal policy. Thank you for helping us to be a part of this change! Learn more
*Cleanups are subject to change according to recommended COVID-19 safety measures.



Invasive Weed Pull (May- August)

IWP 2021 Poster 8.5x11.png

Join the fight against invasive plant species – attend an Invasive Weed Pull event to learn how to identify and remove invasive plant species from Lethbridge's natural areas! 

Invasive Weed Pull events help to protect the natural biodiversity of our region. We encourage our community to participate so can effectively deploy an 'Early Detection, Rapid Response' for prohibited noxious weeds in our river valley. Specifically, Invasive Weed Pull events target spotted knapweed and diffuse knapweed.

No pre-registration necessary, simply meet at the designated location on the corresponding date/time. We provide gloves, bags, and orientation so you know what to look for!

Please note, weed pull events may involve strenuous physical activity. 


Weedy Wednesdays* 

Do your part to protect our local biodiversity on the third Wednesday of every month from May to August! Visit the locations below anytime between 6-8pm to get an orientation and supplies, then help us minimize the impacts of prohibited noxious weeds.

  • June 16 – Elizabeth Hall Wetlands
  • July 21 – Galt Museum
  • August 18 – Coulee Climb at Helen Schuler

Certificates are available upon request. This is especially helpful for high school students looking to get volunteer hours!

Remember – before participating, read the safety information, and follow the latest recommendations set out by public health officials regarding COVID-19. All conservation projects must adhere to the 'Organizing a Solo, Household, or Small Team Cleanup' Guidelines.


*Cleanups are subject to change according to recommended COVID-19 safety measures.



Coulee Clean-Up (A​​pril 22 - May 31)


Coulee Clean-Up is a made-in-Lethbridge conservation program designed to preserve and protect Lethbridge’s river valley environment by removing garbage and debris from natural areas. 

Litter has no place in our river valley! Litter negatively impacts the overall health and aesthetic of our local environment. Our wild neighbours, including plants, mammals, birds, insects, fish, reptiles and amphibians, depend on a healthy ecosystem for their survival. You can do your part to help keep our city clean by registering for Coulee Cleanup and picking up litter left behind in natural spaces! 

Registration is free, fast, and easy! 


How to Register & Participate?*

  1. Select your area using the Coulee Cleanup online map: http://bit.ly/2qYhkqO 

  2. Complete the REGISTRATION FORM

  3. Prepare for your cleanup by arranging your own cleanup supplies from home (gloves, bags, hand sanitizer) and reviewing the safety information

  4. Take a before and after photo of your cleanup area, share on social media & win cool prizes!

  5. Issue a Cleanup Challenge to friends, family, or colleagues! 


Please register so we can track the areas that have been cleaned, recognize your volunteer effort, and coordinate our collective efforts. (Even if you have already completed a litter cleanup earlier this spring, please register your cleanup!)

Remember – before picking up litter at any time of year, be sure to read the safety information, and follow the latest recommendations set out by public health officials regarding COVID-19



After your Coulee Cleanup

  1. Place garbage bags (tied tightly!) next to existing City of Lethbridge garbage cans.

  2. Wash your hands!

  3. Report the total number of garbage bags, participants, as well as information on any strange finds or observations to the Cleanup Coordinator by responding to your registration email confirmation.


*Cleanups are subject to change according to recommended COVID-19 safety measures.



2. Volunteer Naturalists


Please note: as of June 10, 2021 we are accepting new volunteer applications! Watch for onboarding and training dates to be set for early-July.  

Join our ongoing volunteer team and become part of a community of people inspired by nature!  Our volunteers have a keen interest in the natural world around them and a love of sharing it with others.  

We are always seeking energetic individuals to assist us in our day-to-day operations!  Whether it is helping visitors connect with our exhibit program, answering questions, assisting with programs, reporting sightings from the trail, or helping out behind the scenes. 

We are interested in connecting to discuss further if you:

  • love nature
  • enjoy working with people
  • have 6 - 8 hours a month
  • have a passion for life-long learning
  • are looking for a dynamic experience

There are abundant opportunities at the Nature Centre and so many ways that you can get involved.  No experience necessary!  We provide the training and ongoing support.

For more information about volunteering with the Nature Centre:

curtis.goodman@lethbridge.ca
403 320 3064