Conservation Corps volunteers provide support to the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument (MSHNVM) by helping in the repair and maintenance of trails and facilities as well as by helping in research support and resource protection through one-day, weekend, and week-long projects.  Activities include trail maintenance, recreational-site restoration, noxious-weed removal, stream restoration and assistance with scientific-research projects.

Major Duties Include:

  • Support the planning, participation, implementation and/or overall leadership of the Mount St. Helens Institute (MSHI) work parties.
  • Participate in multiple one-day, weekend, and/or week-long events.

Physical Demands:

  • Volunteers must be able to hike terrain of varying difficulties.
  • Volunteers must be able to pack tools, safety equipment, and their own personal provisions (such as food and water) in and out of work sites.
  • Volunteers should be able to perform a variety of duties which include but are not limited to: using hand tools, using long-handled tools for trail maintenance, bending at waist and knees, reaching, twisting at the hips, kneeling, lifting and digging.
  • As this program operates during summer, volunteers must be comfortable with physical exertion in hot, exposed areas.  Many places in the MSHNVM lack shade and water.

Needed Skills and Experience:

  • Volunteers signing up for multi-day work parties should be prepared to camp in remote settings.
  • Love for outdoor recreation and desire to care for Mount St. Helens and its surroundings.
  • Desire to have fun and make new friends with similar interests.
  • Ability to attend trail training days.

Optional Skills and Experience:

  • Background experience with trail-maintenance concepts and equipment
  • Leadership experience
  • Knowledge of tree-planting techniques
  • Knowledge of noxious weeds and their removal
  • Fence building, sign-post installation, or other building-related skills
  • Cooking with camp stoves
  • Fireside storytelling, instrument playing, or other fun campsite activities
  • Knowledge of the area and local trails

Time Commitment:

Work parties will be scheduled mostly on weekends (one- or two-day events), with some opportunity for week-long projects.  The summer project schedule will be published in early March 2015.  Volunteers are encouraged to participate in a minimum of 3 volunteer events throughout the year.


At least one MSHI staff member will be present at all events and work parties.  MSHI will provide leadership, training and safety supervision for day-long and long-term volunteers.  Volunteers interested in sharing supervisory duties as a MSHI crew leader are encouraged to contact Volunteer Programs Director Allison Watson or phone at 360.891.5199


  • The Mount St. Helens Institute will provide liability insurance for its volunteers. Health insurance is not provided.  It is the volunteer’s responsibility to provide his/her own health coverage in case of a medical emergency.
  • Volunteers will gain recreational site maintenance experience.
  • MSHI staff, crew leaders and trainers will provide knowledge of Leave No Trace ethics, scientific information about the landscape and other outdoor-related concepts.
  • Low cost CPR/First Aid training opportunities provided.
  • Outdoor fun with like-minded folks from around the area.


The following list is required for each event. However, each work party is different, required gear may vary.  Please check with the Mount St Helens Institute for more details about what you should bring.

  • sturdy hiking or work boots
  • long pants
  • water for drinking during event
  • food (unless event specifies that it’s provided)
  • all-weather gear
  • sunscreen

MSHI will provide:

  • work tools
  • work gloves
  • safety eyewear
  • hardhats
  • First Aid Kit

Apply for Conservation Corps here

Contact Volunteer Programs Manager Allison Watson for more details about a Conservation Corps Volunteer position by calling 360.891.5199 or emailing