Get Involved! Become a Volunteer At Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge

Do you and your friends like to become involved in activities that are fun and serve a great purpose? Do […]

Do you and your friends like to become involved in activities that are fun and serve a great purpose? Do you want to be around animals and observe them in their habitats?  There are many opportunities for you to volunteer at Turpentine Creek. 

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge has an organized system of volunteers. Volunteers serve in many different areas throughout the refuge and are highly appreciated. All volunteers must be at least 12 years old (accompanied by an adult if under 18).

Volunteers may serve as:

Project Volunteers:

This type of project is outdoors and is physically demanding. Projects may include, but are not limited to, painting habitat fencing (use of a ladder), clearing a large habitat for expected new arrivals, weed eating along perimeter fencing, and picking up trash along roadsides.

Parade Volunteers:

Eureka Springs has 11+ parades throughout the year.  You can participate by riding on one of our floats and waving to the crowds. You may be asked to distribute leaflets or pamphlets about our refuge. It is a lot of fun to connect with the public and to share pictures and information about the animals that call Turpentine Creek their “forever home.” You may even get to dress up as a tiger!

Group Volunteers:

This is a group that you bring with you (no more than 20 people), such as from a school or club organization. The group will do an assigned project, usually physically demanding. Some examples of possible projects may include painting fences or building benches for new or existing habitats, or planting “river cane” around different habitats.



The refuge has several garden areas and an Enrichment Garden which needs to be maintained. The Enrichment Garden grows herbs and other plants that are used for enrichment for our big cats. Volunteers may work in the garden on a weekly or biweekly basis.

Volunteering from Home:

If you wish to get involved from home, you may purchase products from our Amazon Wish List that are listed on our website. 

You are also welcome to organize groups to bring large amounts of enrichment items for the animals. With this donation, you may be offered a discount on your admission.

For more information about any of the above volunteer opportunities, please contact Carly Thompson at

Docent Program:

Another opportunity to get involved with the refuge is to become a docent. This program requires a high level of commitment. 


  • Must be 18 years of age and have a high school diploma
  • Must complete an Interview process and 1 training session
  • Be able to volunteer twice a month (total of 8 hours)
  • Enjoy talking with guests and enhancing their educational experience
  • Have appreciation for animals
  • Be able to be in the heat
  • Be able to pay a materials fee and purchase a Docent shirt ($30)

If interested, email Shayleen Richert, Education Coordinator 

 Email address:

Other Refuge Related Events:

We also have several events throughout the year that you may wish to participate in as a volunteer.  These events include things like KiteFest and the MoPar Classic (June 22, 2024).

Volunteering is a fulfilling activity that will enrich your life!

Please join us!

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