Volunteer: Native Plant Seed Collection

Volunteers gathering native plant seed.

The Native Plant Seed Collection volunteer assists park staff in collecting native grass seed for use in park restoration/conservation projects.


  • Identify native grass, shrub, and forb species such as: Purple Needlegrass (Nassella pulchra), California Fescue (Festuca californica), Coyotebrush (Baccharis pilularis), and Lupine (Lupinus sp.)
  • Determine stage of growth of particular native plant species
  • Follow seed collection protocols
  • Deliver seed to park staff and report back regarding work performed, hours, and location information

Volunteers must have an interest in native plants and possess the ability, desire, and willingness to identify native plant species. Volunteers must be able to hike over occasionally rugged terrain.

Volunteers are required to provide their own personal outdoor gear, such as hiking boots, water bottle, etc.

Schedule and Time Commitment
Generally, there are two ways to volunteer: dropping in on scheduled workdays or working independently on an ongoing basis.

Workdays are normally scheduled from May through September. Additional workdays may be scheduled for later in the season as different species mature. Volunteers are asked to make a one-time commitment of up to 4 hours and are welcome to work as many of the workdays as desired.

Currently, there are no scheduled work days. For more information, please contact Dylan Voeller (see below).

On work days we meet at 10 am in front of the Bear Valley Visitor Center (directions). After a quick talk about the project, volunteers and staff will carpool to the collection site. Volunteers should bring weather appropriate clothing, sturdy shoes, lunch and/or snacks, sun protection, and plenty of water.

Individuals wishing to work independently on an ongoing basis should apply under the Current Opportunities listing or contact Dylan Voeller (see below).

Training on specific plant identification, biology, and seed collection protocols will be provided.

Benefits to the Volunteer
The volunteer will receive education on native plant/grass identification and restoration techniques and enjoy the satisfaction in helping to create a native plant/grass seed collection for use in park restoration/conservation projects. The volunteer will also gain personal enrichment and experience working in a national park setting.

Group Type
Individuals and groups up to 15 to 25 people are encouraged to participate. (Group size limitations vary depending upon the area and species to be collected.)

Minimum Age
Minimum age is 7 to 8 years old, and children under 16 years must be accompanied by an adult. Volunteers under 18 must have a signed parental consent form. Please contact us (see below) for more information.

Housing and camping/RV sites are unavailable.

Application and Contact Information
For scheduled workdays, advanced registration is encouraged and appreciated although not required for individuals. Groups should register in advance for scheduled workdays by applying under the Current Opportunities listing or by contacting Dylan Voeller (see below).

Individuals wishing to work independently on an ongoing basis should apply under the Current Opportunities listing or contact Dylan Voeller (see below).

For more information about the Native Plant Seed Collection program, please contact Dylan Voeller at 415-464-5216 or by email.

Did You Know?