Catalina Island

Volunteer with the Catalina Island Conservancy

Volunteer with the Catalina Island Conservancy And Experience the Beauty of the Wildlands Many Opportunities to See Magnificent Landscapes and Give Back. By Laura Mecoy,  Catalina Island Conservancy.

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One of the best ways for Catalina visitors to experience the Island’s beauty is to volunteer, and the Catalina Island Conservancy offers many opportunities to view magnificent landscapes while traveling to the destinations for beach cleanups and workdays at the James H. Ackerman Native Plant Nursery.”

A Conservancy-trained naturalist will be your guide as you take a beautiful morning drive through Catalina’s wildlands on the way to one of its stunning windward beaches where you’ll join other volunteers in combing the sand for debris,” said Lesly Lieberman, the Conservancy’s individual volunteer coordinator. “It’s a great chance to see parts of the Island you wouldn’t see otherwise and to know that you’ve helped keep Catalina the very special place we all love.”

The beach cleanups are every second Saturday of the month, and they include Ben Weston, Cottonwood, Little Harbor and Shark Harbor beaches. Transportation is provided, leaving Avalon at 9 a.m. and returning by 1 p.m. Every Thursday, volunteers leave Avalon at 7:30 a.m. for the drive to the native plant nursery in the Island’s interior. Volunteers return by noon that day. “I enjoy driving through the interior and seeing the different scenery and how it changes throughout the year,” said Whitey Mendenhall, a Conservancy volunteer for 22 years who escorts volunteers to the nursery. “I enjoy the companionship with other people, going out into the interior and pointing out some of the plant life along the way.”

The Conservancy also has several events during the year that rely in volunteers for their success, including the Conservancy Ball in April, Catalina Film Festival in September, marathons throughout Southern California, remains beautiful and healthy for generations to come.” the year, the Underwater Cleanup in February and Earth Day in April. Every hour of volunteer time is equal to 50 cents in credit that can be exchanged for any gift in the Conservancy’s Explore Store. Among the gifts are Wildlands Express shuttle passes, Jeep EcoTours and memberships that include Free-Wheeler bike passes in the interior. So far in 2014, Conservancy volunteers devoted more than 19,000 hours to protecting and restoring the 88% of the Island under the Conservancy’s stewardship.”

The Conservancy relies on volunteers to help it fulfill its mission of protecting and restoring the more than 42,000 acres of wildlands under its stewardship,” said Lieberman. “Please join us and be a part of ensuring this very special place, located just an hour from Southern California, remains beautiful and healthy for generations to come.”

To learn more or volunteer for the Conservancy, please contact Lesly Leiberman at least 48 hours before the volunteer opportunity by calling 310-510-2595 ext. 112 or emailing

About the Conservancy Formed in 1972, the Catalina Island Conservancy is one of California’s oldest land trusts. Its mission is to be a responsible steward of its lands through a balance of conservation, education and recreation. Through its ongoing efforts, the Conservancy protects the magnificent natural and cultural heritage of Santa Catalina Island, stewarding approximately 42,000 acres of land and more than 60 miles of rugged shoreline. It provides an airport and 50 miles of biking and nearly 150 miles of hiking opportunities within its road and trail system. The Conservancy conducts educational outreach through two nature centers, its Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Garden and guided experiences in the Island’s rugged interior. Twenty miles from the mainland, the Island is a treasure trove of historical and archaeological sites. It also contains numerous rare and endangered animals and plants. The Island is home to 60 species – and counting – that are found only on Catalina. For additional information, please visit