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Volunteer event dates and updates

Volunteers and staff identify a butterfly Adopt-a-Patch volunteer Louis Everett

Check back for updates on dates and locations or add your name to our volunteer events and updates email list.

To register as a volunteer for any of the following projects or events, phone 403 859-2224 or fill in the form indicating the name of the project you are interested in within the message box of the form.

2015 event dates


Year round

For those with their own camera equipment and capable of taking high-quality photographs that fulfill the details of a shot list.

More information

Campground Hosts

May 15 - Sept. 19, 2015 – Belly River Campground (primitive facilities)
May 19 – June 15, 2015 – Crandell Mountain Campground

Volunteer for at least two weeks at a time.

More information

Native Plant Gardens

Ongoing work as volunteer’s time permits through September.

More information

Wildflower and Native Grasses Seed Collection

Half-days mid-June through August. Dates to be announced.

More information

Shoreline Cleanup

Saturday September 12 - Cameron Bay on Cameron Lake.

More information

Whitebark Pine / Limber Pine Planting

September, dates to be announced

Interested volunteers can sign up earlier for training and to be on a contact list, as due to various factors, including weather, there often is only a few days’ notice for the actual planting dates.

More information

Christmas Season Bird Count

One day, mid-December, date to be announced

Organized by the Lethbridge Naturalists Society in collaboration with Waterton Lakes National Park. Self-service materials (record sheets, maps) to conduct the count will be posted at the Fire Hall in Waterton community.

More information

Updates and news

Shoreline Cleanup

May 9, 2015 

Spring cleaning has never been so scenic!

Way to go everyone - visitors, residents and volunteers alike - for keeping Waterton’s shores free of litter! By all accounts, the park’s 16 shoreline and dock volunteers, together with Awesome Adventure’s five volunteer divers and young kayakers had a great day removing litter from the waters of the marina and the shores of Emerald Bay and Driftwood Beach on Upper and Middle Warterton Lakes. We were all heartened by only finding what amounted to two garbage bags full of litter; from beverage containers (the most common) to buckets.

The diver’s most unusual find was a Blackberry smartphone and a pair of pants at the bottom of the marina. For the shoreline volunteers, it was a few construction nails and a sidewalk paving brick that stood out.

Mark September 12 on your calendar for the Cameron Bay shoreline cleanup.

Spring Flowering Plant Count

May 30, 2015 

Array of colour and species upstaged by...

More than 20 volunteers came out under clearing skies Saturday, May 30 to record the array of species in bloom and have fun learning and sharing botanical knowledge. Great to see so many enthused about park plants! Almost all were new to the flowering count within the park.

The hit of the morning wasn’t the uncommon or rare plants spotted or the early date at which many plants are blooming this year, but the crashing sound in the brush. Bear!? Out walked a newborn elk calf.

A couple of photographs were quickly snapped as people scrambled to back off a safe distance. Mum soon appeared to usher her calf back to safety; fortunately not about to chase off the surprised volunteers (with mothering elk, three bus lengths or more is safe distance). For the first 7-10 days of the calf's life, mum will cache it in a good hiding spot. Its spots give it extra camouflage while she is away grazing to produce her very energy-rich milk for it.

The flowering count is annually held throughout Alberta the last weekend of May by the Alberta Native Plant Council, which is the repository of the count information. 

Volunteer Season Kick-Off

May 30, 2015

Volunteers start the season in style!

Twenty-six enthusiastic volunteers came out for the annual volunteer season kick-off at lunch on Saturday, May 30th. The wonderful diversity of ages, association with the park and home locations made for interesting conversations over lunch. Everyone then had the treat of sampling various savoury and sweet treats s they participated in a short pictorial overview of the activities for this year.

When the paperwork of volunteer registrations was completed, about half headed off to do some work in either the native plant gardens or at the Blakiston Fan “Adopt-a-Patch” loca-tions. We’ll see the rest as they return for their chosen, upcoming volunteer projects. By the way, there are a couple of park patches remaining for adoption.

Spring Bird Count

June 6 and 7, 2015 

It’s a record!

It’s a record-setting year! A total of 135 species of birds were recorded, exceeding the previous high of 133 set in 2008. (The Waterton spring species count has been done every May since 1984, except for one missed year in 2006.) The weather cooperated with warm temperatures, low winds and no rain. Nineteen birders took part in the event, driving about 300 kilometers and walking about another 50 kilometers.

Mourning Warblers were seen for only the second time in the count history and Solitary Sandpipers for only the third time. The biggest “missed species” was Golden Eagle. Gulls showed up in record numbers, perhaps attracted by hordes of tent caterpillars that were defoliating trees and shrubs.

There were some species seen that are listed by the Waterton Park Bird Checklist as being Very Rare or Accidental. Very Rare species counted were American White Pelican, Swainson’s Hawk, Hammond’s Flycatcher, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Bank Swallow, Rose-breasted Grosbeak and House Sparrow.

No new bird species were added to the overall count list but 16 species of mammals were reported, one identified by tracks and the remainder by sight. Not many people take the time to record reptiles and amphibians but one party did report finding a Red-sided Garter Snake.

The spring bird count is held annually throughout Alberta in May and is coordinated by Nature Alberta (the repository of the count information), and their local clubs. Thanks to Theresa Dolman of the Lethbridge Naturalist Society for her years of service in leading the count.

Canada Day - special event volunteers

July 1, 2015 

We couldn’t have had the parade without volunteers.

Nine enthusiastic and helpful volunteers came out to provide traffic control with a smile and wave during the bike parade that kicked off the celebration. It was a joy to watch the excitement and pride on the children’s faces as they rode through town. Following the parade, over 300 people gathered at the community center to celebrate with hotdogs, cake and ice cream.

Butterfly Count

July 21, 2015

It’s a Record!

Wow! It’s a record annual count for Waterton Lakes National Park! Volunteers and experts caught over 650 butterflies from 36 species on Tuesday, July 21. Thanks to the 42 volunteers and experts Mira Vanhala, Kim Pearson and Jaimee Dupont who joined Parks Canada and the Nature Conservancy of Canada for this annual Butterfly Count. All enjoyed a beautiful, sunny morning catching, identifying and releasing butterflies in the park before moving to the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Palmer Ranch east of the park in the afternoon. The data collected will be submitted to e-butterfly and is a valuable resource in determining species distribution.

Knapweed Rodeo

July 25, 2015

A Huge Success

With 21 bags pulled the 22nd annual Knapweed Rodeo was a huge success. Thank you volunteers! Multiple rain showers didn’t dampen the fun as volunteers and park staff pulled spotted knapweed, earned competition buckles and enjoyed a mid-day picnic of roast beef and vegi wraps. If you missed it, round up your family and friends to come next year, and let us know by signing up here on the website.