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Heard Volunteer and Service Programs

Thank you for your interest in serving at the Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary in McKinney, Texas!  

We have four programs for volunteer service and one for mandated service.  Information for all five programs is located below. 

You are welcome to contact the Volunteer Coordinator at volunteers@heardmuseum.org at any time. Please be aware that the position is less than half-time and does experience some seasonal rushes. Your patience is much appreciated!

Volunteer teaching kids about the butterfly house

Adult & Youth Volunteers

Each Heard Volunteer plays a vital role in the museum’s ability to fulfill its mission to bring nature and people together to discover, enjoy, experience, restore, and preserve our priceless environment. 

Volunteer opportunities are varied and include activities such as working on the sanctuary or in the native plant gardens, guiding trails, caring for Animal Ambassadors, and assisting with classes, fieldtrips, or special events.

To become a Heard Volunteer, please complete the following steps:

  • Fill out the online application, including paying the $10.60 background check fee.
  • Submit supporting documents (instructions are included on the application form). 
  • After your application materials have been processes, you will be invited to attend a mandatory new volunteer orientation. 

Short-Term Service 

Limited Duration Service Program for Adults

Perhaps your employer grants paid days for you to offer voluntary service in the community or maybe your club requires that you perform service hours as a condition of membership. If so, you’ll fit right in with the Heard’s short-term service opportunities!

This program is open to adults needing 20 or fewer voluntary service hours per year. These opportunities often will involve working outdoors with our Sanctuary and Garden volunteer teams

Become a Short-Term Volunteer

Short-Term Service 

Student Service

This program is geared toward middle- and high-school-aged students who are looking for an opportunity to accrue a specific number of hours in fulfillment of an organizational service requirement.

Examples of organizations requiring such service hours include Green Cord, NHS, scouting programs, etc. Opportunities are limited and all students ages 15 and younger must be accompanied by a parent at all times.

Become a Student Volunteer

Short-Term Service 

Group Service Projects

The Heard welcomes corporate groups, church groups, scout groups, and other groups interested in serving together. 

For group service projects, a donation of $25.00 to offset the cost of coordinating and preparing for the group is very much appreciated!


Minors aged 13 and older are welcome with adult supervision.


Please be aware that virtually all of our group projects are outdoors.  Projects vary by season and mostly involve work in our gardens or on our 289-acre wildlife sanctuary. Small groups of 5-10 work best for our space, but at times we have projects that can scale up for larger groups.

Interested in a Group Service Project?

To request a spot on our project calender, please fill out the online Group Volunteer Project Inquiry:

Court-Ordered or Pre-Trial Diversion

Mandated Hours Program

This program is for those who have been court-mandated to perform community service as a form of societal restitution or for those who are involved in a pre-trial diversion program. Participants must be aged 18 or over, although minors aged 16-17 might be accepted if accompanied by a parent.


You must wear long pants, closed-toe shoes and a shirt with sleeves and no graphics. Tattoos and piercings must be covered. Smoking is not allowed. The work we need done varies from day to day, and often involves outdoor labor or indoor cleaning.


If the gate is not yet open, please do not block it. Do not park in the spaces close to the museum; leave them for museum visitors.


It is not possible to schedule service ahead of time. Court-mandated participants are taken on an as-needed basis and in the order in which they arrive.

Please arrive at the museum at 7:30 a.m., Tuesday through Saturday, with your picture ID. Community service participants are not accepted on Sundays or Mondays.

If the gate is not yet open, please do not block it. Do not park in the spaces close to the museum; leave them for museum visitors.