The Garden City Bird Sanctuary



opposite 181 Tanners Pond Road

Garden City, NY 11530


Whether your thumb is “green” or “blacker, gardeners are needed to help in planting, watering and weeding of the gardens here at the Sanctuary.  As a bird sanctuary, we try to foster the growth of native Long Island vegetation and the control of exotic invasive species.  Knowledge of plants and gardening is helpful but not necessary.  During the summer, we also need “tenders” for a community vegetable garden, and all produce is donated to the Interfaith Nutrition Network.

Docents/Welcoming Volunteers

Sound environmental education is the priority at GCBS.  Docents and welcoming volunteers work with sanctuary staff to provide educational and promotional information to the public, answer questions and lead trail tours for individuals and school groups.    We need people to sit near the entrance gate during open hours, so all visitors sign in. No previous experience necessary, however, volunteers must be willing to learn, and be enthusiastic.

Special Events

Each year the GCBS sponsors several special events such as our Benefit Yard Sale, Members picnic, Make A Difference Day, Arbor Day Festival, Nature Art and Photography Exhibits as well as Winterfest.  Volunteers are encouraged to assist in planning and setting up for these events.  It’s a great way to get to know Directors and fellow volunteers.  

Home-Office Support

Paperwork seems to multiply! Volunteers are welcome to assist in filing, archiving photos and news articles, recording research data, maintaining the membership records, library, arranging educational materials, helping with mailings and many other tasks. Some can be done from the comfort of your home.  


If you have unique artistic talents we are always looking for ways to make the environmental center and sanctuary more attractive and educational.  Help create new displays for use at the site or on programs, or set up craft projects for our young visitors.


Trail Maintenance

The GCBS has 7 acres of meadows, woodlands and trail systems require ongoing maintenance to keep them in top form for visitors.  Depending on the season, trail maintenance volunteers will perform tasks such as raking, post and rail replacement, painting, shoveling, pruning, sweeping, and debris removal.


Like wood? There is always a need for new nesting boxes, arbors, picnic tables and outdoor structures, and some require continued maintenance for aesthetic and safety reasons.  Put your hobby to good use for community benefit.  

Research Volunteers

The Garden City Bird Sanctuary is involved in several research projects such as monitoring the new wet meadows, eradication efforts of invasive plants, tree studies, bird surveys at the Sanctuary, and monitoring nesting sites.  Volunteers will assist the directors in existing research, maintenance of research materials and general support at research sites.  School and Scout projects are also supported, so if you have a potential project, let us know!! This position requires only enthusiasm and willingness to learn.

Why Volunteer?

The mission of the Garden City Bird Sanctuary, Inc. is to manage protected greenspace for environmental stewardship and community services programs.  All of the progress since our start in 1995 has been through volunteer community service. Meet and work with other volunteers with similar interests. Gain the satisfaction of knowing that your time is spent helping others and your environment.

Help Make “Sump-Thing” Happen!

The original Garden City Bird Sanctuary began as an “Adopt A Spot” program in cooperation with the Nassau County Department of Public Works at a 9-acre storm water storage basin. It became the pilot program for a “Dual Use” initiative that enabled public access and use of many of Nassau’s over 600 sumps for community benefit.  

It takes a lot of volunteer effort to relandscape and maintain the site, establish walking trails, restore a portion of the historic Hempstead Plains, and monitor the birds.  With volunteer help, we continue to make “sump-thing” happen!

The success of the award-winning Garden City Bird Sanctuary has enabled use of additional “sumps” such as the Centennial Gardens and Bird Sanctuary in Floral Park, Kellenberg School recreational fields in Uniondale, and additional community soccer fields in Levittown.  In 2010, the Hickory Hollow Trail was dedicated through the efforts of a Boy Scout Eagle Project.  Today, the site has over 150 donated trees and shrubs as an informal “Memorial Walk” and annual dedication services are held to acknowledge new plantings.  

Who Volunteers?

Over 5,000 volunteers have helped at the site since the beginning, and well over 250,000 hours of volunteer service has been conducted. Volunteers include:

  • Individuals with interest in gardening or birds
  • School groups
  • Scouts and Scout groups
  • Boy Scout Eagle projects
  • Girl Scout Bronze, Silver & Gold projects
  • Religious organizations – Bar/Bat Mitzvah
  • Confirmation hours
  • Clubs and Associations
  • Corporations and employees
  • Court referrals for community service
  • Fraternities and Sororities
  • College classes
  • Research projects
  • Families

For information, contact

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