How does Friends of Ballona Wetlands work to restore the dunes? Carefully, without chemicals or machines, and with a lot of help from over 75,000 volunteers of all ages from all over Los Angeles and beyond! why are wetlands important? »
Give back by Volunteering with Friends of Ballona Wetlands!

Calendar of Community Activities »


For more information or to sign-up to Volunteer, please email: volunteer@ballonafriends.org


Volunteer Opportunities

Office Volunteer, Thursdays 1-3pm
Help us stay organized, maintain our contact database, and get stuff done!

Education Volunteer, Weekday Mornings
• School Visits, Thursday Mornings
Travel to schools with one of our Education Staff Members to assist with educational activities.
• School Tours in the Field, Monday, Wednesday, Friday Mornings
Help us set-up educational materials and host an education station in the field.

Summer/Spring Camp Volunteer, Various Weekday shifts from 8:30am-3:30pm
Kids love our educational nature camp! And so will you! Volunteer to greet campers and assist with student check-in/out, chaperone field trips, prepare educational materials, and assist with educational instruction or general supervision.

Community Event Volunteer, 3rd and 4th Saturdays, plus Special Events
Every month our regularly scheduled community events attract dozens of visitors to the wetlands. Help us greet and sign-in visitors, set-up and break-down supplies, and supervise groups.

Sign-up to help with our SPECIAL EVENTS:
• Migration Celebration: April 1st 7am-4pm (shifts available)
• Moonlight on the Marsh: Need help several months leading up to October 7th, 2017.
• Earth Day: April 22nd 8:30am-12:30pm
• Bird LA Day: May 7th 8:00am-10:00pm
• Coastal Cleanup Day: September 16th, 2017 8:30am-12:30pm

Photography Volunteer, Various Times and Days
Take photographs for the Staff at our Community Events, Special Events, or on Tours.

Habitat Restoration: Stewardship in Action
 
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Friends of Ballona Wetlands’ award-winning volunteer Restoration Program provides the opportunity to restore this precious coastal ecosystem while learning about its value.  Volunteering engages participants in hands-on restoration of the unique and rare coastal habitat at Ballona.

Something as simple as moving a plant from one area of the planet to another can result in big problems.  According to a 2004 Cornell University report by Pimental, Zuniga, and Morrison, there are over 50,000 invasive introduced plant species in the United States.  The economic and environmental impact of these species cost the United States roughly $120 billion per year in losses in agriculture, forestry, fishing, tourism, as well as the loss of our natural heritage.


Plants, invertebrates, vertebrates, and animals, and even microbes get introduced both intentionally and accidentally, but always as a result of human activity.  They are sometimes introduced for food, fiber, landscaping, accidentally through human travel, or through the importation of animals, food, and other plants.


If the plant can tolerate or adapt to the climate of the new area it can reproduce, spreading seeds to new areas, including wild natural areas.  Since the predators for these introduced plants are back in the habitat from which they came, they have little competition in their new spot.  Native plants and animals are displaced as introduced plant species take over.  And these new rarely serve a purpose in the new ecosystem.  Governments and citizens all over the world are recognizing this issue.  At Ballona, we get together to do something about it…


Between 1999 and 2007, Friends of Ballona Wetlands volunteers removed over eight thousand four hundred cubic yards of invasive plants, trash, and debris from the wetlands, equaling more than four hundred and fifty tons of material.  Additionally, over eight hundred native plants have been carefully planted and tended by dedicated volunteers until established in the coastal sand dunes of Ballona.  These native plants have reproduced and flourished, creating precious pockets of life for native insects, reptiles, birds, and small mammals.  It is with great joy that we witness cottontail rabbits dash across the sand and into the silver dune lupine, or hear the sound of the California Towhee as she forages for food in the brush.


Along with habitat restoration activities, FBW also facilitates the cleanup of Ballona Creek during special project days for corporate groups, community groups, and “Eco Holidays” such as Earth Day and Coastal Cleanup Day.  During these events individuals, families, and community groups demonstrate heartfelt enthusiasm as they contribute to our ongoing efforts to revitalize our waterways.