Youth Volunteers for Conservation

high school teens posing with brush clearing tools

Youth Volunteers for Conservation (YV4C) is the Heritage Center's hand's-on program that challenges high school students to make a real impact in caring for Dane County's natural areas. Led by a core team of high school student leaders (YV4C Leadership Council) and Dane County Parks staff, student volunteers gain on-the-ground experience in land conservation, build leadership skills, and make new friends. All while enjoying the health benefits of outdoor, physical activity. 

YV4C engages high school students throughout the school year (September - May) in monthly volunteer habitat conservation projects and outdoor activities. 

There are two different ways you can ensure Dane County's wild spaces are protected and cared for! Apply to become a Conservation Volunteer or take on additional responsibilities by joining our Leadership Council. Students may participate over multiple years, though annual applications are required.

Share out this great opportunity with our program flyer or join our email list to receive updates and notifications about our open volunteer events for high school students and other all-ages volunteer activities. Contact Claire Lamberg with questions or for additional information.

YV4C Workday FAQs, Schedule, and Sign Ups

Welcome 2021 - 2022 YV4C Volunteers! Please read through our Workday FAQs in preparation for a busy and rewarding year of conservation work.

The schedule for our first eight YV4C Volunteer workdays is detailed below. All workdays take place from 10:00 a.m. - Noon. Please sign up in advance for the workdays that you would like to participate in.

  Sign Up!   Date   Activity   Location (link to map)   Parking Notes
  Click to View Volunteer Opportunities on   Saturday, December 11   Cancelled   Cancelled   Cancelled
  Saturday, January 8   Woodland conservation   Capital Springs Recreation Area   Park in lot
  Saturday, February 12   Woodland conservation   Stewart Lake County Park   Park in main lot
  Saturday, February 19   Backyard Bird Count   WG Lunney Lake Farm Park   Park in lot at Shelter #1
  Saturday, March 12   Prairie seeding   Donald County Park   Park in gravel lot or along Sutter Dr.
 Saturday, April 9   Canceled   Canceled   Canceled
  Saturday, April 30   Youth Service Day   McCarthy Youth Park   
  Saturday, May 14   TBD   TBD   
     Saturday, May 21   YV4C Spring Celebration   WG Lunney Lake Farm Park Park in lot at Shelter #2

Volunteer Waiver

If you are under 18 and would like to participate in any of our Dane County Parks volunteer activities please download, complete, and return the linked waiver to Contact Claire Lamberg or print off and deliver your signed waiver to Dane County Parks staff the day-of your first volunteer event. Once we have your signed waiver on file you are cleared to participate in any number of our Dane County Parks volunteer events and there is no need to resubmit additional waivers.

*You will not be able to e-sign or save your waiver if you open the waiver in your web browser.*


Join Youth Volunteers for Conservation

Student Benefits

  • Make a real impact in caring for Dane County's natural habitats
  • Build your college resume and earn letters of recommendation
  • Enjoy outdoor adventures with students from all over Dane County
  • Gain leadership skills and fulfill volunteer/service hours

Student Requirements

  • Aged 14–18 and enrolled in grades 9th–12th
  • Must commit to attending 6 of the 9 monthly service activities
  • Volunteer activities are from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month, September–May
  • An interest in environmental conservation and stewardship
  • **Leadership Council members also attend a monthly 1.5 hr virtual planning meeting**


Please join our email list to receive program updates. Contact Claire Lamberg if you are interested in volunteering for our YV4C workdays, have questions, or for additional information. 

Join the YV4C Leadership Council

Want to join as a Conservation Volunteer and share your voice in program planning? Become a student leader with the YV4C Leadership Council. We need your voice and ideas to guide and strengthen this program.

As a Leadership Council member you will help recruit new students, lead volunteer stewardship days, and plan program activities. In addition to participating in the once-per-month volunteer service activities, you will also join our monthly YV4C Leadership Council virtual meeting and take on additional projects according to your interests. YV4C Leadership Council members serve a year term (August to August).

Interested in learning more? Connect with the YV4C Leadership Council webpage (in development).


Online applications for the 2022 - 2023 YV4C Leadership Council are open! The deadline to sumbit an application is May 2nd. Contact Claire Lamberg if you are interested in volunteering for our YV4C workdays, have questions, or for additional information.