VOLUNTEER!

You can volunteer with Miami Blue Chapter. You might know what you can do and would like to do, and we would like to hear from you! To learn more about any of the volunteer opportunities below, contact miamiblue@bellsouth.net.

We also have our identified needs:

  1. Booths at events: We provide educational booths for a variety of events throughout the year – for example, the Ramble at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in November and Native Plants Day in March, which takes place at a different local park each year. Volunteers staff the booth and talk with folks who stop by, encouraging them to join NABA, learn about butterflies, butterfly gardening, etc. Shifts can be as long as you want – an hour or so, or all day. These fun events let you get to know a lot of people.
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  2. Educational programs: We provide presentations for groups such as garden clubs, environmental educators, park docents and park staff, and other NABA chapters. We have already developed several programs, with PowerPoint shows and handouts, and are always enthusiastic about developing new programs. We need volunteers to deliver these programs. Some are daytime, some are evening, some are weekend programs – there’s a place for your schedule.
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  3. Garden tours: We do butterfly garden tours; if you would like to volunteer your garden, your duty is to be at home for the visit, prepared to answer questions about your garden and to share your experiences. If you would like to coordinate and lead a garden tour, that would be terrific!
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  4. Field trip leaders: We conduct approximately a dozen field trips each year and need leaders. We suggest prospective volunteers come on three or four field trips and read a selection of handouts on effective field trip leading – and then co-lead a couple of trips. Then you’re ready, and can choose which trips you might like to lead. We are also eager for new ideas for new trips that new leaders suggest.
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  5. NABA Counts: NABA chapters conduct annual butterfly counts and submit the data to NABA; our chapter’s counts include a 15-mile circle with a starting point at Shark Valley in Everglades National Park; a circle with a starting point at the east end of Loop Road on Tamiami Trail; and one of the oldest counts in the country, the Coral Gables Count, which includes the Deering Estate, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, the Kampong, Crandon Park, and Bill Baggs/Cape Florida State Park. Counts are a great way to build your identification skills, and all skill levels are welcome. There is a $3.00 fee to participate in a NABA count and be listed in the annual publication of data.
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  6. Butterfly Days: Our signature annual event is Butterfly Days at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden – a full weekend of butterfly programs with distinguished speakers, book signings, kids’ activities, plant sales and merry-making. There are numerous volunteer needs for Butterfly Days, and if you volunteer for MBC, you are admitted to the Garden free of charge.
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  7. Refreshments for quarterly meetings: We meet quarterly, at 1:00 pm on a Sunday, and for each meeting, a volunteer is needed to provide refreshments for about 30 attendees (we suggest a platter of fruit, a platter of cookies or cake-bites, and a cooler of ice and water and any other soft drink you like). The “refreshment provider” is free to coordinate the effort with others if they like. We usually meet at Castellow Hammock Preserve, 22301 SW 162 Avenue, Miami FL ; 305-242-7688.
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  8. Butterfly monitoring projects: We are permitted by Miami-Dade County to conduct monthly butterfly surveys in three restricted pineland areas; some of these are done during the week and some on weekends. They usually begin around 9:00 am and end near lunch time. Additionally, we will be monitoring released Miami Blue butterflies for a University of Florida research project on Key Biscayne. We need volunteers for this field work, and will orient and train you to do it reliably.
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  9. Conservation/ advocacy letters: Our Conservation Chair alerts us to situations in which citizen letters to government agencies and/or politicians are needed. He supplies the talking points, but it’s important that these letters are in an individual’s own style. We need letter writers from time to time who can turn around a short letter quickly.
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  10. Conservation meetings: Our Conservation Chair attends many meetings in South Florida related to butterfly issues; at times he is unable to cover a given meeting and needs a stand-in. You would be well briefed in order to know the background of issues and what’s going on. You would not be expected to speak, however, but only to represent MBC, and take careful notes.
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