Housing a collection of artifacts and information, North America’s third-oldest lighthouse, known as Beavertail Lighthouse Museum Association, engages people in conversation about local maritime history. Support the preservation of the lighthouse by becoming a member or a docent, or both. 423-3270.
Preserve Narragansett’s history by joining Friends of Canonchet Farm, which aims to improve and protect the farm’s 174 acres of farmland. Volunteers clear invasive growths, repair ancient rock walls and fundraise to ensure that the farm remains a pleasurable experience for all visitors. 25 Strathmore Street, Narragansett. 783-3951.
In addition to being passionate about environmental education and stewardship, the night sky and marine habitats, Frosty Drew Nature Center and Observatory offers lively discussions, and volunteer opportunities for all. 61-62 Park Lane, Ninigret Park, Charlestown. 859-1450.
Narrow River Preservation Association preserves the quality of Pettaquamscutt Watershed’s natural environment. Volunteers engage with environmental groups in planning and monitoring development within the Watershed. They also offer education and outreach programs.
Preserving our ocean by eliminating plastic waste is the main goal of Ocean Notion, a student-run organization from URI. Using responsible methods of trash collection and recycling, ON gathers litter (and hosts community clean-ups) from shorelines and surf – and that’s important work for the Ocean State.
The Rhode Island Land Trust Council was formed to protect special places: scenic open spaces, natural areas, farms, forests, historic sites, watersheds and drinking water supplies that define the character of our communities and our state. 932-4667.
Connecting people knowledgeable about RI’s animals, plants and natural systems with researchers, educators and the like, Rhode Island Natural History Survey publishes books and articles, and hosts public events, such as the annual Rhode Island BioBlitz, where volunteer teams spend a weekend observing and cataloging natural resources and different species in the wild. URI East Farm, Building 14, Kingston. 874-5800.
Year round, the RI Chapter of Surfrider Foundation’s volunteer Blue Water Task Force collects monthly water samples from all around the state to test for the presence of bacteria. URI’s Watershed Watch laboratory analyzes samples for things like Enterococcus bacteria, making sure our waters are safe for us to enjoy.
Meet the Volunteer
Ken Vetter, Frosty Drew Nature Center and Observatory Wakefield native and Cornell University physics student
Ken Vetter, first visited Frosty Drew Nature Center and Observatory in 2012. It wasn’t long thereafter that he began volunteering during public nights, operating a telescope and lecturing about astronomical phenomena and celestial objects such as binary stars, star clusters and nebulae. When home, he still volunteers, as he believes that Frosty Drew plays an important role in dispelling the myth that you must be a math whiz to be interested in science. “Sometimes,” he says, “we get caught up in our day-to-day affairs, and it’s humbling to remember that there are cosmic events occurring billions of light years from us. Helping others find that sense of wonder is undoubtedly one of the best parts of volunteering at Frosty Drew.”