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We are recruiting volunteers and citizen scientists to help us with the Neighborhood Habitat Improvement Project, which aims to improve residential areas for birds, pollinators and water quality. The descriptions below describe how volunteers can help, participate in science, and learn more about our native plants, birds and pollinators at the same time!

If one of these positions seem like a good fit for you and you are ready to help us out in this year, please sign up for more information and a discount code for our native plant sale.

While you do not need to live in Port Washington, all activities are in Port Washington at this time.

Volunteer Descriptions

Birdhouse Monitor
Description: During the breeding season (April-July), we need help monitoring birdhouse, either in your yard or in public parks in Port Washington. This involves checking boxes for evidence of nesting, number of eggs laid, number of chicks hatched and number of chicks that leave the nest.
Commitment: One or two short nest check per week for the nesting season (April-July), plus time to submit the data. One self-guided and one 1-hour virtual training.

Port Resident Home Garden Participant
Description: Help us understand what is growing in Port Washington. Record what plants are in your yard and any changes you make. No change required.
Commitment: 1 virtual training (30 min-1 hour) and however long it takes to record what is in your yard, plus two surveys on your opinions about gardening.

Garden Consultant
Description: The Observatory is looking for knowledgeable gardeners to talk to Port Washington residents about native plants and brainstorm solutions to garden problems. You do not need to be a native plant expert, but you do need to have experience with gardening in general and an interest to learn about native plants and how they can be used effectively in a residential setting. We will provide training and information.
Commitment: Three 1-2 hour training sessions, plus a minimum of 6 hours of consultations with residents per year.

Native Plant Ambassador
Description: We are looking for Port Washington residents to share their passion for birds and native plants with friends and neighbors and encourage more participation in NHIP at whatever level people are comfortable. While you can tailor your outreach to your neighborhood, this can look like sending postcards to neighbors, inviting neighbors to see your garden, and more. We will provide you with some ideas to start with, educational materials, and training.
Commitment: Up to three 1-hour training sessions, plus approximately 10 hours of engagement with residents. Placement of a yard sign about native plants/bird habitat in your yard.

Invasive Species Volunteer
Description: Invasive garlic mustard, barberry, honeysuckle, buckthorn and more are choking out native plants in city parks. We need your help to give native plants a fighting chance.
Commitment: 1 session of up to 4 hours.

Migration Monitor Volunteer
Description: The Observatory is looking for birdwatchers to help with migration monitoring in Port Washington. Volunteers will follow an established route and record what birds they see.
Commitment: One day per week during migration seasons (Mar-May, Aug-Nov).

Port Washington Parks Native Plant Gardener
Description: The Observatory and the City of Port Washington are installing model native gardens in parks of Port Washington. We will need help maintaining those gardens, including watering newly established plants, mulching, weeding and reporting larger maintenance issues to city officials.

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* 1. Select a citizen science or volunteer program you would like to participate in and receive more detail about (see  descriptions above):

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* 2. Contact Information. We use this to share information with you and determine suitability for location-based programs. We will never share your data.

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