Volunteer with Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary

Message from the Manager of the Southern Maryland Recreational Complex (SMRC) Ranger Pat Bright, Jr.

Thank you for your interest in Volunteering with the Maryland Park Service! The Southern Maryland Recreational Complex (SMRC) is comprised of nearly 20,000 acres, spanning three counties. It includes a State Forest, a Wildlife Sanctuary, six State Parks, two State Wildlands, and numerous Natural Resource Management Areas. We boast some of the Free State’s very finest jewels, and an invaluable corps of volunteers strings our these gems together.

Our facilities simply could not run without the selfless contributions provided by our volunteers and “Friends” groups. Wherever you wish to volunteer in the SMRC, we welcome you, as do our vital affiliates: the Friends of Cedarville State Forest, the Friends of Calvert Cliffs State Park, the Friends of Smallwood State Park, and the Friends of Chapman State Park. Together with our small staff, these groups perform park operations, patrols, historic interpretation, special events management, park maintenance, trail work, beach cleanups, environmental education programs, fishing derbies, and much, much more.

Volunteer Opportunities

The Mattaponi at Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary.

Visitor Center Operation

Are you a people person who likes to talk to others about nature? Would you like to learn, or have, knowledge about the native wildlife and habitat of Southern Maryland? If so, Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary has an opportunity for you! We are in need of volunteers to help us operate our visitor center on a semi-regular basis.

Responsibilities include greeting visitors, educating visitors of sanctuary rules and regulations, keeping a clean and safe facility, and opening and closing the visitor center. If you are knowledgeable about any part of the native wildlife and habitat, your skills would be an added bonus. Training will be provided, but past customer service experience is a plus. This isn't a full time volunteer opportunity, however, we would like to be able to have you in our regular rotation once you are trained.

If this sounds like the opportunity for you contact Ranger Karen Jarboe at 301-888-1377 or karen.jarboe@maryland.gov. You must be 18 or older to volunteer for this position, unless you are accompanied by an adult.

Trail Maintenance

We are looking for willing volunteers to help us with trail maintenance projects such as trail corridor clearing to prevent overgrowth of existing trails, seasonal de-burning of trail tread, and checking for downed trees. We may also have larger trail projects we could use help with. If you have experience with trail work or landscaping, or would like to learn, please contact Ranger Karen Jarboe at 301-888-1377 or karen.jarboe@maryland.gov. You must be 16 or older to volunteer for this position, unless you are accompanied by an adult.

Landscaping

Do you like to garden? Like toiling in the dirt? Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary is in need of willing volunteers to help maintain the landscaping around the visitor center. Jobs include weeding, watering, planting, re-planting, weed-wacking, and other random landscaping work. Past landscaping and gardening experience a plus. If you are interested, please contact Ranger Karen Jarboe at 301-888-1377 or karen.jarboe@maryland.gov. You must be 16 or older to volunteer for this position, unless you are accompanied by an adult.

Want more information? Contact the Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary Volunteer Coordinator:
Karen Jarboe
Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary
11704 Fenno Road
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
301-888-1377
E-mail: karen.jarboe@maryland.gov