Volunteers play a vital role in our organization by both building additional capacity to help achieve our mission and by strengthening the connection between PEC and the communities it serves. One of the greatest resources in the Piedmont region is the incredible range of talent and expertise of its citizens, combined by a shared commitment to making our communities better.
- New to the program? Fill out the Application to get started >>
- Already applied to volunteer? Log in to our Volunteer Center >>
Be an ambassador for PEC: Volunteers can be
helpful at events like the Heritage Harvest
Festival in Charlottesville.
Photo by Marco Sanchez
Volunteer in the Piedmont
Show your commitment to protecting and promoting Virginia’s Piedmont by becoming a PEC volunteer! Volunteering is not only a great way to contribute to an important cause - there are also many personal benefits:
- Have a positive impact on your own community
- Meet others who share your interests
- Learn new skills and improve your career prospects
- Gain a sense of accomplishment and improved self-esteem
- Gain new experiences and learn more about your community
- Receive special rewards available only to PEC Volunteers, including access to special events, group outings, and more!
What are the requirements?
Volunteers help with a stream-monitoring
project. Photo by Andy Washburn
- A passion for protecting and promoting the attributes of the region that make it so special (open space, clean air and water, natural viewsheds, agriculture, access to fresh & local foods, vibrant small towns)
- A professional and friendly demeanor
- A valid government ID
- Your own transportation to and from work locations
- Must be high-school aged or older (some volunteer assignments may be limited to those 18 and older)
How do I get involved?
In order to make sure we’re the right fit for you – please review the list of volunteer job descriptions. Most volunteer assignments will fit into one of these categories. After you review the categories, you can submit an application by completing this secure online form.
If you have a special skill or subject matter knowledge that you feel could be helpful to PEC, please let us know in your application. After submitting the form you will be contacted with additional information regarding training and volunteer opportunities.
PEC is frequently engaged in local policy discussions related to conservation and land use. Volunteers can play an important role in both educating the general public about current issues and making sure they know how to have their voices heard. Assistance may include circulating petitions, posting flyers that announce public hearings, writing letters to the editor, speaking at community meetings, or planning hosting a meeting.
Most clerical work takes place at PEC’s Warrenton and Charlottesville offices, though some tasks can be done at a county office or at home. Projects may include mailings, data entry, preparing materials for a meeting, answering phones or making calls. Some tasks may require special skills, such as familiarity with a certain type of software, while others require minimal experience or training.
All outdoor work assignments require some physical ability, though most are not overly strenuous. Projects may include trail cleanups, tree plantings, stream restoration projects, leading hikes, or assisting with conservation easement baseline reports. In most cases minimal experience or training is required.
One of the most important ways that volunteers can help PEC achieve its mission is by becoming a PEC Ambassador. This usually involves staffing a table at festivals, fairs, conferences, and other events. Because PEC Ambassadors serve as the public face for PEC, prior attendance at a volunteer orientation session may be required. The session is designed to give participants a solid understanding of the work that PEC does as well as guidance on how to deal with controversial issues.
Special Event Assistant
PEC plans and participates in a wide range of special events throughout the year, particularly in the fall and spring. Volunteers may be asked to help with planning, set-up and clean-up, greeting guests, ticket sales, minor food prep, or other work that will help the event run smoothly.
On occasion PEC needs assistance from volunteers that have a special skill set or access to special equipment. Examples include photographers, videographers, graphic designers, surveyors, and more.
Subject Matter Expert
PEC often needs help from experts on a wide range of topics. Work may involve writing/editing a publication, teaching in an educational setting such as the PEC Fellowship Program, leading tours, or presenting information to a governing body. Topics vary widely, and in the case of public hearings, are dependent upon what issue is being discussed. Topics may include but are not limited to water, air, or soil quality, transportation, urban planning, historic preservation, agriculture, and local food systems.