The watershed association offers a range of volunteers - from working one-on-one with staff, to collaborating within a team of volunteers, to working at home, in the field, or at the office.

volunteer-group-photo-for-webVolunteers activities are diverse – outdoor, indoor, multiple seasons, one-off, with other volunteers, solo, writing, tabling, monitoring field sites, organizing events.

Click here for volunteer inquiry form.


As a volunteer, you might:

  • sample water at streams around the watershed
  • put together a mailing
  • staff an event table on behalf of the Watershed Association
  • work with other volunteers to remove trash from a stretch of the river
  • take photo’s of sites around the watershed for use in publications
  • monitor biocontrol treatment sites
  • organize an outreach event
  • intern
  • survey dams and culverts

To learn more, visit Volunteer Opportunities or call the Watershed Association office at 781-575-0354.

Descriptions of Volunteer Opportunities

Call for Nature Observations

Seeking your words for a seasonal, natural journal specific to the Neponset River Watershed and environs! Submit your nature sightings to be posted on-line. Send to Nancy Fyler at fyler@neponset.org.

Since 2006, the Watershed Association has gathered and shared nature observations made by people around the Neponset Watershed to create a local, seasonal journal. Together, we are producing a Neponset natural calendar.

Now, when you hit the dead of winter and longingly think to yourself, “Now, when will I see those bright-orange Baltimore orioles?” Or, “When will those funny Jack-in-the-pulpits be out?” Well, just visit the Neponset Nature Blog to find out when these species have been spotted in the past. Or, do a search for the species you’re curious about, on our website.

View our current Neponset Nature Blog, or view our archived nature sightings by clicking on  the desired year in the column at right – after clicking here.

Post your nature photo’s in our Flickr Group, “Neponset River Watershed.”

Citizen Water Monitoring Network: Water Samplers Needed!

The Citizen Water Monitoring Network (“CWMN” – pronounced “swimmin”) is a volunteer-based monitoring program that assesses water quality in Neponset waterways. Each year, roughly 50 volunteers take water samples, monitor dissolved oxygen levels, and transport samples from 41 locations around the watershed, six times throughout the spring, summer and fall.

For the monitoring season, we seek volunteers to fill the following CWMN positions:

  • water samplers
  • dissolved oxygen samplers
  • sample coordinators
  • sample transporters

Each position plays a vital role in helping the Watershed Association to monitor water quality throughout the watershed. In addition to filling those positions, we also seek “Fill-In Samplers” whose duty it is to help cover sampling locations when a station’s regular volunteer is unable to sample. We provide training and equipment, and you provide a few hours of your time. The result is a comprehensive look at water quality around the Neponset River Watershed, which helps the Watershed Association to monitor the river and prioritize clean-up and restoration efforts. To learn more, contact our Environmental Scientist, Chris Hirsch at 781-575-0354 x302 or hirsch@neponset.org

Office Helpers

Do you have a little time available to help out on a regular basis? If you can plan on a half-day or more each week (or per month!) on a regular basis, we can put you to work at the office, doing all kinds of things from helping with mailings to organizing data, to preparing equipment for water-testing days. This role involves working one-on-one with staff or independently at the office or at home. Being able to commit to a reasonably regular schedule over at least a couple of months is the key to making this kind of volunteer role work well. For more information, contact Ian Cooke at 781-575-0354 x305 or cooke@neponset.org.

Summer Intern

Each summer, the Watershed Association hires a volunteer intern. The internship provides an excellent opportunity to gain experience working for a river watershed association, aka a small, environmental nonprofit. Learn more about this opportunity by contacting Nancy Fyler at 781-575-0354 x307 or fyler@neponset.org.

“On Call” Helpers

These volunteers have their names added to the “on call” volunteer email list and agree to “help when they can” with short-term group efforts to prepare mailings, provide an extra set of hands on the day of a special event, or assist with other miscellaneous tasks as they come up. Volunteers must have “helping hands” and enjoy working with fellow volunteers. Your own transportation is usually required. The location varies depending on the need – e.g., sometimes at the office and sometimes at a special event location. Time and schedule also depend on need. Generally, short-term projects are 1 to 2 hours in duration. Commitment is determined by the volunteer. For more information, contact Ian Cooke at 781-575-0354 x305 or cooke@neponset.org.

Special Events Volunteers

These volunteers help to plan, organize or carry out watershed association public programs and special events such as canoe trips, nature walks, river cleanups, the Annual Meeting and other activities. Volunteers can help in many ways, for example, by serving on the planning or publicity committee for an event, by leading a program in your area of expertise (i.e., a bird walk), or by providing willing hands to help out on the day of an event. Location varies depending on the event. Volunteers may work from home, at the office or at the event site. Timing depends on the volunteer’s role, as do required skills. Time commitment is determined by the volunteer. For more information, contact Nancy Fyler at 781-575-0354 x307 or fyler@neponset.org.


Do you take pictures? We need pictures! We are looking for folks who like to take pictures (or who already have them). We need pictures of beautiful landscapes, pictures of pollution, pictures of flooding, pictures of watershed association events and volunteers. Most of all we need pictures of people (and faces) who are out enjoying or working on the watershed. You can take pictures wherever you want, whenever you want and share them with us. We’ll add them to our high resolution photo library (you can also join our group on Flickr.com!). If you’re willing, we also can add your name to our list of “on-call” photographers that are willing to help take photo.’s of special events, volunteer projects or other specific topics, as the need arises. For more information, contact Nancy Fyler at 781-575-0354 x307 or fyler@neponset.org.

Tackle Your Own Special Project

Do you have a chunk of time available and an interest in tackling your own special project? We have lots of “projects” that need doing, like organizing a river cleanup, surveying stream crossings, researching river history, making a river video, reopening a canoe launch, preparing a marketing survey. The possibilities are endless! As a special project volunteer, a watershed association staff person will work with you to identify a discrete project that matches your interests and skills, to develop a “scope of work” for your project, and to connect you with any training or special resources you may need. Then it’s up to you to manage your project, implement it, and bask in the glory of the outcome. Special Project volunteers can work in the office if they like or at their own home, and the schedule is entirely up to you. If there’s a problem in the watershed that’s always bugged you or something you always wanted to get done, this is the volunteer role for you! For more information, contact Nancy Fyler at 781-575-0354 x307 or fyler@neponset.org.

Advocate for Neponset Watershed Protection

Advocate for watershed protection! Join the watershed association’s e-mail list to receive advocacy updates, and then act according to your own schedule. See the top-right-hand corner of the page for a sign-up field.