Volunteer Training

The Friends of the Arcata Marsh (FOAM), a non-profit organization founded in 1989 to advance scientific knowledge of and public education concerning alternative treatment and reuse of wastewater, is the educational support of the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary. FOAM relies on enthusiastic volunteers to staff the interpretive center and provide tours and talks at the Marsh. See a brochure (PDF) for more volunteer information.

FOAM currently trains docents (tour leaders) via a mentor system, where those interested are given a CD of background information, then "shadow" an experienced leader on at least two tours. At these sessions, volunteers learn how to lead educational Marsh walks that include topics such as the history of the Marsh,  as well as birds, plants, invertebrates, wastewater treatment, and wetlands at the Marsh.  FOAM offers tours every Saturday at 2 p.m. for 90 minutes. Volunteers also lead special request tours for groups (e.g. school kids) on weekdays.  If you are interested in getting docent training, please send Elliot Dabill an email or give him a call at (707) 407-0395.

The City requires volunteers to be at least 18 years old, fill out a volunteer application packet, and get fingerprinted (at no expense to the applicant) before becoming a volunteer.  Volunteer application packets are available at the Arcata Marsh Interpretive Center.  Once a volunteer application is approved, the City's Interpretive Naturalist can also train interested volunteers on staffing procedures at the Interpretive Center. For more information on docent training and volunteering at the Marsh, call (707) 826-2359 or send an email to FOAM.

For those interested in volunteering more informally, invasive plant removal days are another volunteer opportunity several times a year - check the Volunteer Work Day Schedule for specific dates.