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Get Involved

Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards thrives with the help of our volunteer base to achieve our goals. By engaging volunteers, providing skills-based training, and working in the field with people who give generously of their time and skill to help care for our wild places, we are growing the stewardship community and accomplishing our goal of protection through connection. 

Upcoming Volunteer Events


Black Mountain Trail in Cranberry Wilderness, WV

What: Light trail maintenance & debris collection
When: October 23rd, 2021 at 10:00am

Where: Contact Kirsten Belcher kirstenbelcher@wildernessstewards.org to register and get more details on the event

Trail Mileage: 1.5 miles (3 miles round trip)
Contact: kirstenbelcher@wildernessstewards.org to register

#OptOutside with SAWS

What: Register today to beat the post-Thanksgiving crowds and #optoutside instead! We’ll be doing some light maintenance on trails in Mountain Wilderness and spend the day in the fresh air. We will likely clear trails of trees and remove overgrown vegetation.

When: Friday, November 26th at 10:00am

Where: Mountain Lake Wilderness near Blacksburg, VA

Contact: Eric Giebelstein at ericgiebelstein@wildernessstewards.org for more details and to sign up for the day!   

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Connecting Virtually

We are interested in talking with you about how we might work together virtually! Whether it’s one of our Wilderness Rangers presenting to your group or classroom on Zoom to talk about Wilderness 101 or Leave No Trace recreation, or scheduling a virtual meeting to discuss a potential partnership, please let us know how we can support your work. Email us at saws@wildernessstewards.org to discuss options.  

Individual Stewardship

There are also many ways that you can become involved as an individual steward as you enjoy time in the outdoors: citizen science apps and programs are a great way to participate. 

Here are some of our favorites:

  • Photograph plants, animals, and other organisms on your own or as part of a BioBlitz. Use the iNaturalist app or iNaturalist.org to upload your observations and add them to a global database of biodiversity to support local to global research projects.

  • Participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count, an annual event that gets bird watchers to count birds across the continent and then tallies the highest number of birds of each species seen together at one time.

  • Be a visibility volunteer for the Appalachian Mountain Club. If you live or hike in states from Maine to Virginia, you can take photographs from a mountain view to help scientists study air quality and haze pollution.

  • Survey frog and toad populations in your area by participating in the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program, which will teach you how to identify frogs and toads by their calls.

  • Monitor the timing of plant flowering in the Appalachian Mountains as you hike trails. The Appalachian Mountain Club will use the data as part of a study to understand how changes in climate are affecting mountain flora.

  • Help find, map and prevent invasive species in America's wilderness areas, wild rivers, and other natural areas by becoming a Wild Spotter™ citizen scientist volunteer. Download the mobile app before your next hike!!



As always, we encourage you to #recreateresponsibly and to follow Leave No Trace principles, and being an active part of making the outdoors safe, accessible and welcoming for people of all identities and abilities.