Ground Maintenance Volunteer - Cross Creeks NWR

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ORGANIZATION: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

We invite you to come volunteer for one of the hidden jewels of the national wildlife refuge system. Managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Cross Creeks National Wildlife Refuge is 8,862 acres located within the floodplain of the Cumberland River, also known as Lake Barkley. Established in 1962, this area of land and waters were set aside for the conservation of migratory birds with a special focus on wintering waterfowl such as ducks, geese, and swans.

There is a total of two staff members who work hard to restore and maintain optimal wildlife habitat on this nearly 9,000-acre refuge. Their workload picks up drastically during the summer months as the refuge begins to prepare for next year’s waterfowl migration and we could use your help! The refuge is looking for someone who has experience with facilities and grounds maintenance such as mowing and weed eating. If you do not have much experience in one of the fields listed but are interested in our location, please feel free to apply! The work crew at Cross Creeks are very easy-going and always willing to help. While this position can be a lot of work at times, it is not all work and no play. We ask that you work 24 hours per week, which gives volunteers four days off to explore the refuge you will be living on as well as other must-see locations in Tennessee. Cross Creeks is 10 minutes from Fort Donelson, a national historic battlefield from the Civil War era. It is 20 minutes away from Land Between the Lakes, which is a very popular spot amongst locals as well as travelers for its historical sites and re-enactments, many hiking trails, elk and buffalo herds, nature station and planetarium. Cross Creeks is also conveniently located 30 miles from Clarksville, TN and 75 miles from Nashville, TN.

In exchange for your volunteer service, Cross Creeks NWR will provide a covered, concrete camper pad with full hookups, free utilities, propane, a service vehicle, a laundry facility located adjacent to your camper pad and any personal protective equipment needed at no cost to you. Singles or couples welcomed to apply. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me!

The refuge is a great place for wildlife observation, photography, citizen science and outdoor recreation. There is a visitor center that is open Monday to Friday for access to restrooms, brochures, maps, event calendars. We are also looking for a volunteer who is interested in learning more about the refuge, its wildlife, and the recreational opportunities refuges provide as well as sharing their knowledge with visitors. A vast variety of habitat makes up the refuge, ranging from hardwood forests and croplands to wetlands, fallow grasslands and mudflats following alongside the Cumberland River, making Cross Creeks a wonderful destination location for wildlife and nature-lovers alike. There is a 10-mile-long gravel road that is a hot spot for wildlife observation and photography. Several boat ramps can be found scattered across the refuge for boaters and kayakers to access the river. Fun fact about Cross Creeks NWR - its claim to fame happened in 1983 when the first successful bald eagle nest was documented on the refuge. Before that record year, there had not been a previously documented bald eagle nest that was successful in the state of Tennessee since 1961 due to loss of prey, habitat and the widespread use of DDT which caused their numbers to plummet.

The history of Cross Creeks is quite a unique and rich one. 8,000 years ago, the Cumberland River was once home to a tribe of Native American hunter and gatherers - the Warioto tribe. In the 1850s, much of the nation’s iron industry was centered in Tennessee due to the large iron ore deposits in Stewart County. Two charcoal iron furnaces, used to smelt pig iron from ore, operated on lands now within the refuge. These ruins are still listed in the National Register of Historic Places. In 1901, the South Cross Creek Bridge was constructed as part of the original highway that connected Dover to Cumberland City. This old metal pratt truss bridge is one of the last remaining truss bridges in the nation. In 1966, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers blocked the flow of the Cumberland River by installing the Barkley Dam to help control flooding. The water overflowing from the river began creating a lake -- Lake Barkley. Fortunately for us as well as wildlife enthusiasts, this man-made lake is a very attractive spot for migrating waterfowl and shorebirds trailing along the Mississippi Flyway.

If this volunteer opportunity sounds like a good fit for you, don't hesitate to apply. We look forward to possibly working with you this summer!

Start Date - 2024-05-15

End Date - 2024-11-01

Activities include: Fish/Wildlife;General Assistance;Visitor Information

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About U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


5275 Leesburg Pike, MS: NWRS Visitor Services, Bailey’s Crossroads, VA 22041, US

Mission Statement

Working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the premier government agency dedicated to the conservation, protection, and enhancement of fish, wildlife and plants, and their habitats. We are the only agency in the federal government whose primary responsibility is the conservation and management of these important natural resources for the American public.

The agency includes both the National Wildlife Refuge System and the National Fish Hatchery System.

The Service's origins date back to 1871 when Congress established the U.S. Fish Commission to study the decrease in the nation’s food fishes and recommend ways to reverse that decline. (More on our history below.) Today, we are a diverse and largely decentralized organization, employing about 8,000 dedicated professionals working out of facilities across the country.


Children & Youth
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Children & Youth, Environment, Sports & Recreation


We'll work with your schedule.


1371 Wildlife DriveSpringville, TN 38356






  • Monday;Tuesday;Wednesday;Thursday;Friday

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