Volunteer Information


Why Volunteer?

OSU Research Forests trails begin with you! The rewards are great and the requirements simple. If you enjoy forests, exercise, and meeting others who share common interests, you'll fit right in. You are invited to join us in providing high quality recreation opportunities for future generations to enjoy.

For more information on how to become an OSU Research Forests volunteer, contact our volunteer coordinator, Matt McPharlin

Join a Workparty

Join our listserv to receive emails about monthly workparties and Forest happenings.

  • Join OSU Research Forests staff for four hours to work on a specific forest project. You bring yourself, your helpful spirit, and some sturdy shoes, and we’ll provide all of the safety equipment and tools you need to make some real progress.
  • Trail construction or maintenance: Learn some new skills and contribute your ideas while digging in the dirt to create new opportunities and improve beloved trails for people to enjoy.
  • Invasive species removal: Get a workout and make a visible difference pulling invaders such as Himalayan blackberry, English Ivy and scotch broom to support the growth of native plants in sensitive areas.
  • Peavy Arboretum Maintenance: Make the Arboretum look its loveliest by joining in the landscaping effort. Volunteers help with weeding, removing invasive plants, pruning trees, and mowing to provide a special place for local residents and families to connect with nature.

Host a Workparty

Do you have a club or an organization that is looking for volunteer work? Contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Matt McPharlin, to schedule a workparty for your group.

Join a carpool to the work party by creating a profile in DriveLessConnect.com and searching for the network McDonald Dunn Forest Volunteers.

Become a Core Volunteer

Each of our Core Volunteers contribute hours on a weekly basis and are responsible for the bulk of the maintenance on OSU Research Forests trails and in Peavy Arboretum. Core Volunteers are highly trained and contribute their significant knowledge, skills, and time to keeping our recreation program running at full speed.

Do you have a little extra time each week and like to get dirty? If so, contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Matt McPharlin to apply or receive more information about this opportunity 

Special Events

Now recruiting!! Volunteer for Get Outdoors Day on June 1st. More information and registration here!

Volunteer Contributions

2021 Volunteer Program report (pdf)

Vineyard Mountain trail (2015-16) was just the beginning of a long distance trail connecting Lewisburg Saddle with Peavy Arboretum. The second phase, known as Dave’s Trail (2018), links Vineyard Mountain with the Powder House trail. Other recent volunteer accomplishments include completing High Horse (2019) and Beautiful Trails (2016). And thanks to our partnership with local mountain biking club, Team Dirt, we can boast of the completion of No Secret Trail (2018) - OSU Research Forests' first primary use mountain biking trail. You can be part of more amazing trail systems like this by lending a helping hand (see below).

Interested in Volunteering? Contact:

Matt McPharlin
Recreation Field Coordinator/Volunteer Coordinator