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Your A-Z Philadelphia Environmental Volunteer Guide
Philly

Your A-Z Philadelphia Environmental Volunteer Guide

How to give back locally, from Goats to Gardens, Bottles to Boats, and everything in between.

Ask anyone at any nonprofit, and they will all agree – volunteers are the heart of every organization. Volunteers even make up one-third of the nonprofit workforce

Volunteers provide a much-needed service while gaining a variety of physical, mental, and social benefits – stress reduction, improvement in physical and mental health, improved self-worth, increased social circle, and more. 

With more than 2,200 nonprofits in Philadelphia alone, finding the perfect match can feel overwhelming. 

Woah, Philly has a lot of nonprofits. How do I find the right fit?

According to Volunteer Pro, there are three kinds of skills – basic skills, people skills, and technical skills. From their website, “The design of any volunteer role should include a shortlist of the minimum skills required in each category.” Before you swipe right on an organization, let’s build your “profile.” 

To find your perfect volunteering match, think about the following questions:

  • Are you looking for a scheduled opportunity or one-time projects or events?
  • How many hours can you realistically volunteer? 
  • Would you like to volunteer by yourself or someone else?
  • How far are you willing to travel? 
  • What kind of volunteering are you looking for? IE, physical work, office and clerical work, work using your skill set, work that is the opposite of your day job, canvassing or phone calls, etc. 
  • Is there a certain cause that aligns with your values?
  • Does your employer offer corporate volunteer grants?

Matchmaking Organizations

We’ve put together the ultimate guide to green volunteer opportunities in Philly. Want to help local nonprofits but are short on time? You’ll also find other ways to support nonprofits below. 


Protecting Natural Resources

Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia

Promoting bicycling as an environmentally friendly, healthy, and economical form of transportation and recreation through advocacy and education.

Clean Air Council

As Philadelphia’s oldest environmental non-profit, the Council has been fighting for everyone’s right to breathe clean air since 1967. 

  • Suite 300, 135 S. 19th St., Philadelphia, PA, 19103
  • Ways to Support
    • Volunteer on your terms. Just email jlee@cleanair.org with your interests, and they’ll get back to you ASAP. 
    • Donate here.

PennFuture

Protect our air, water, and land, and empower citizens to build sustainable communities for future generations.

  • 1429 Walnut St., STE 701 Philadelphia, PA 19102
  • Ways to Support
    • Volunteer to make your voice heard on environmental issues. 
    • Donate here.

Environmental Education

The Discovery Center

To provide education and adventure programs that inspire self-discovery, foster personal achievement, and build community across Philadelphia. 

Overbrook Environmental Education Center

To remove barriers from the public’s full appreciation of our region’s technological and environmental resources. 

  • 6134 Lancaster Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19151
  • Ways to Support

The Schuylkill Center

To inspire meaningful connections between people and nature.

  • 8480 Hagy’s Mill Road, Philadelphia, PA 19128
  • Ways to Support

Fight Food Insecurity and Food Rescue

Sharing Excess 

To partner with grocery stores, restaurants, wholesalers, and farmers to deliver surplus food to a network of nonprofits, food banks, and community organizations.

Share Food Program: Philly Food Rescue

Philly Food Rescue is the sustainability, food recovery, and donations arm of the Share Food Program. 


Litter Prevention, Beautification, and Reducing Waste

Bottle Underground

Diverts post-consumer glass from landfills by upcycling, downcycling, and reusing bottles and jars, while educating our community about the lifecycle of everyday materials.

  • Bok Building 1901 S Ninth St., Philadelphia, PA 19148
  • Ways to Support
    • Volunteer: Collection glass from the community, clean bottles for our partners, or move glass. 
    • Donate: Glass or monetary

Circular Philadelphia 

To drive growth of a thriving circular economy in the greater Philadelphia region through advocacy, education, infrastructure development, and collaboration. 

FABSCRAP

Endeavors to end commercial textile “waste” and maximize the value of unused fabric.

  • Bok Building, 1901 S Nineth St., Basement B05A, Philadelphia, PA 19148
  • Ways to Support: 

The Block Gives Back 

To promote community involvement and engagement throughout Philadelphia by targeting issues within the community and devising a plan to recruit local volunteers, businesses, organizations and community leaders to help us in working toward a solution.


Parks & Plants

Awbury Arboretum

To steward the relationships between Nature, history, and community, and continue to tell its story.

  • The Francis Cope House, One Awbury Road, Philadelphia, PA 19138
  • Ways to Support: 
    • Volunteer: Orchard and land stewardship, event support, Mort Brooks Farm help days, and communications support. 
    • Donate.

Bartram’s Garden

To create equitable relationships among people and nature through immersive, community-driven experiences that activate the Bartram legacy, Garden, and House, on land and on the Schuylkill River, in Southwest Philadelphia.

  • 5400 Lindbergh Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19143
  • Ways to Support: 

Fairmount Park Conservancy

To restore and maintain Philadelphia’s parks.

  • Ohio House, 4700 States Drive, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19131
  • Ways to Support: 
    • Volunteer:
      • Individual Volunteer Workdays: Removing invasive species, weeding, trash pick-up, trail maintenance, and more.
      • Groups: Workdays are custom-designed around your team’s interests, needs, and schedule, and they are led by their professional volunteer coordinators
    • Donate

Friends of the Wissahickon

To conserve the natural beauty and wildness of the Wissahickon Valley and stimulate public interest therein.

  • 40 West Evergreen Ave., Suite 108, Philadelphia, PA 19118.
  • Ways to Support: 
    • Volunteer Opportunities: Stewardship, habitat monitoring, litter cleanup, Flora and Fauna data gathering, trash clean-ups, trail improvements, invasive plant removal, graffiti removal, and general park beautification.
    • Donate here.

Love Your Park

To support communities in activating Philly’s neighborhood parks and watershed natural areas, with a special focus on inviting Philadelphians to get involved by volunteering.

Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

To support communities in activating Philly’s neighborhood parks and watershed natural areas, with a special focus on inviting Philadelphians to get involved by volunteering.

  • 100 N 20th St., Philadelphia, PA 19103
  • Ways to Support
    • Volunteer Opportunities:
      • For Individuals: support PHS programs and communities throughout the year, in a variety of ways: in community gardens, at public landscapes, by planting trees, and at the Flower Show, to name a few.
      • For Groups
    • Make a Donation.

Philly Goat Project Inc.

To provide education, therapy, job training, wellness, and community engagement activities in partnership with the dynamic and delightful capacities of goats.

  • 6336 Ardleigh St., Philadelphia, PA 19138 (located at Awbury Arboretum)
  • Ways to Support
    • Volunteer: Event help, barn cleaning, paddock cleaning, and goat walking.
    • Donate.

Philadelphia Orchard Project

POP has planted orchards with a diverse range of community-based organizations throughout Philadelphia.

  • The Woodlands, 4000 Woodland Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19104
  • Ways to Support

Water

Clean Water Action

To win strong health and environmental protections by bringing issue expertise, solution-oriented thinking and people power to the table.

  • 1315 Walnut St., Suite 1650, Philadelphia, PA 19107
  • Ways to Support

Fairmount Water Works

To foster stewardship of our shared water resources by encouraging informed decisions about the use of land and water.

  • 640 Waterworks Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19130
  • Ways to Support
    • Volunteer: Tour guides, grounds cleanup and garden assistance, education activities, and day-to-day visitor services. 

Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed (TTF)

To improve the health and vitality of our watershed by collaborating with our municipalities and leading our communities in education, stewardship, restoration, and advocacy.

  • Globe Dye Works, 4500 Worth St., Philadelphia, PA 19124

Become a Supporter!

If you love what we do you can support our mission with a one-time or monthly contribution.
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Inspired by her college internship with an ocean advocacy non-profit, Leslie started her career planning stream cleanups and writing about watershed issues. Leslie is an accomplished writer and social media expert. When she isn’t chasing a toddler, you can find her writing, planning events, cooking, reading, hiking, and helping brands tell their stories. View all posts by Leslie Hudson
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