Thank you for your interest in volunteering at Sweetbriar Nature Center, and supporting our mission of providing Wildlife Rehabilitation and Nature Education to Suffolk County residents.

The nature center is located on a beautiful 55 acre preserve adjacent to the Nissequogue River. We house over 50 animals that we care for and use in our programs for school children, scouts, various organizations, and the general public. In the summer, children abound on the property, and the public comes to visit our enclosed, outdoor butterfly garden, and formal gardens. All of these things could not run smoothly without the help and support of volunteers.

Sweetbriar is successful in a great part due to the hard work and commitment of its volunteers. There are over 150 volunteers helping out at Sweetbriar in varying capacities. Each contributes their time and energy to fit their needs and ours. Staff and volunteers alike feel like they are doing something important for the community. All who help out here enjoy the family atmosphere that prevails at the nature center. We hope you decide to join our team of wonderful volunteers.

For the Earth,

Eric Young, Program Director


There are so many benefits to volunteering. Learn new skills, meet new people and experience the rewards of working directly to make a positive impact on our environment. Add an important piece to your resume, if you are just starting out.

ALL VOLUNTEERS MUST BE AT LEAST 13 YEARS OF AGE. VOLUNTEERS 13-16 YEARS OLD MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY A PARENT OR LEGAL GUARDIAN.  ANIMAL CARE AND WILDLIFE REHABILITATION VOLUNTEERS MUST BE 18 YEARS OF AGE.

Volunteer Opportunities

Program Specialist: Lead one of our many specially designed nature programs for schools, and other groups. This position requires weekday availability and training. Ability to relate to children and a love of the natural world is a must.

Gardener: Assist the lead gardener with watering, pruning, weeding and planting. Volunteers can work both in the formal garden and/or the Butterfly and Moth Vivarium. Gardeners for the formal garden meet Tuesdays starting in mid-March.

Animal Care/Rehabilitation Assistant: Work with the wildlife rehabilitator to care for injured, sick, and orphaned animals. Feeding, watering, and cage cleaning are the primary responsibilities. Rehabilitation Assistants needed mainly in spring and summer months.

Center Receptionist: Greet visitors, take registration, answer the phone and be an ambassador for the Nature Center. This position is available seven days a week on a regularly scheduled basis.

Vivarium Assistant: Assist with all aspects of the daily operation and maintenance of the Butterfly and Moth Vivarium. An interest and fondness of insects is a must. Training will be provided.

Special Events: Join a committee to plan and implement events such as our annual fair, Halloween Spooktacular, Spring Celebration, Butterfly Breakfast or simply help with many of the tasks needed that day.

Please contact Eric Young - eyswbriarnc@aol.com 631-979-6344, extension 102.

If emailing, give a brief description on why you would like to volunteer with us. Include your phone number and the best time for him to contact you.