Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, have fun, and help others. It's a good way to get some work experience if you're starting your career and to stay more active after you retire. Here are some of the best places to volunteer in the Fort Worth, Texas, area.

The Log Cabin Village

This living history museum teaches visitors how people lived in the Fort Worth area in the 1800s. This attraction opened in 1966, after the city of Fort Worth moved six historic log cabins there and restored them. Today, you can also see the Foster Cabin, a log plantation house from the 1850s, a one-room schoolhouse from the 1870s, a smokehouse, and herb garden, a blacksmith's workshop, a water-powered mill, and more. All of these buildings have authentic artifacts that let kids and adults get a detailed view of Old West life. 

You can volunteer to be a historical interpreter who pretends to be a citizen from the time. These volunteers must commit to working an average of twice per month for 12 months, and they must be willing to work outside without heating or air conditioning. This place also needs people to help maintain the herb garden, rake leaves, and trim hedges. You and your family will receive free admission to the Log Cabin Village, and you'll get 10% off items in the gift shop. Volunteers also get to attend an annual event to thank them for their service.

If you don't have time to volunteer twice per month, you can still help out at special events that happen throughout the year. You must commit to helping at an average of three events per year. You could work as a greeter, give information to visitors, direct craft activities for kids, and more. The Log Cabin Village is open from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. 

The Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge

The Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge covers 3,621 acres, and it has more than 20 miles of hiking trails. It's one of the biggest city-owned nature centers in the United States, and the U.S. Department of the Interior named it a National Natural Landmark in 1980. Visitors can explore forests, prairies, and wetlands, and the Nature Center has its own bison herd.

Guided hikes, canoe rides, and hayrides where you can watch bison feedings are available. There are also summer camps for kids. You can volunteer to navigate a canoe or kayak for visitors or naturalists. You can also become a docent or nature interpreter who leads guided tours and participates in special events. Training is required, and you'll need to attend a series of workshops in fall or spring. You can also help grow and propagate wild plants in the greenhouse or become a roving naturalist who greets visitors and answers their questions.

The Hardwicke Interpretive Center has several animals that can't be released back into the wild, and they act as Wildlife Ambassadors. You can volunteer to care for these animals, and you must be willing to help at least one day per week. The Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the Hardwicke Interpretive Center is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Habitat for Humanity

At Habitat for Humanity, you can help build homes for people who need them. Every year, they construct more than 50 homes and make repairs to more than 100. Volunteers must be 16 or older, but they don't need any construction experience. Many groups from businesses or schools volunteer together to increase teamwork while helping others. You can also participate in a week-long trip to build homes in other countries. Past destinations include the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, and Kenya. Twice per year, volunteers paint several local homes in one day during the Cowtown Brush Up.

People who have volunteered for 100 hours and demonstrated their construction knowledge can become Construction Leaders who manage other volunteers and ensure safe procedures and quality work. Training is required, and becoming a Construction Leader is a great way to demonstrate your skills to potential employers. You can also volunteer at a Habitat for Humanity ReStore. You'll sort donations, pick them up from donors, and sell new and used building materials.

The Fort Worth Botanic Garden and Botanical Research Institute of Texas


Image via Flickr by Shiva Shenoy | Licensed by CC BY 2.0

The Fort Worth Botanic Garden and Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT) has a variety of indoor and outdoor gardens and exhibits, three gift shops, and a cafe. There's also a library with collections of botanical art and illustrations, several exhibits, and a seed bank. The living roof recreates a Texas prairie, and the herbarium is one of the largest in the United States. It includes plants, algae, fungi, lichens, microscope slides, and more.

Many of the outdoor gardens are decorated with permanent sculptures, and you can volunteer to help cultivate the plants. You can also help people find materials in the library and preserve old books and prints. Volunteer mailing assistants help edit and assemble BRIT's scientific journal, and specimen filers store plants in the herbarium. Adult education facilitators focus on training teachers to educate their students about the environment. Other volunteers help sell garden memberships, decorate for holidays and special events, read to young kids, and teach them about conservation.

A variety of programs for kids, adults, or families are available. Junior volunteers are between 14 and 17 years old, and they must give 15 hours of service per semester and 30 hours of service in summer. The Fort Worth Botanic Garden and BRIT are open every day from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

In Fort Worth, you can help others, preserve the environment, and teach people at these great places. Volunteering helps the community while giving you unforgettable experiences. What are your favorite places to volunteer in the city? Are any of the organizations you support looking for help? Contact us and let us know if we missed any good places to volunteer.

Categories: Local