Training program

Positions are still available for the Rutgers Environmental Stewards training program

Rutgers Environmental Stewards learn about water resources at an EcoCruise

If you want to help protect the environment and make a difference in your community, but don’t know where to start, then now is the time to join the Rutgers Environmental Steward Volunteer Program. The program is open to anyone, regardless of background or past training, and teaches participants how to tackle important environmental issues and make positive changes at the local level.

Stewards attend weekly classes on a wide variety of topics, including climate change, green infrastructure, environmental justice, and wildlife habitat. Each course is taught by a leading researcher from Rutgers University, a government agency, or the non-profit sector. The 2022 course will run from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays, January 25 to May 17. This year’s course will be a hybrid of Zoom sessions, in-person instruction, field trips, and electives on demand.

Participants choose and complete a volunteer internship project in their community to become Rutgers Environmental Steward certified.

Environmental stewards on a trip to the Forsythe Wildlife Refuge.

Here are some examples of recent projects:

  • A group of stewards participated in a recycling inspection and education program in several communities in Atlantic County, which significantly reduced contamination and improved the quality of materials collected in these neighborhoods. .
  • Lois launched the state’s first Adopt A Storm Drain program. During the pandemic, residents could do their part at home to prevent pollution. The Bill saved 528 pounds of materials from the storm sewer system, helping to improve water quality in her community.
  • Rosann, John and Megan made 1,000 native bamboo bee house kits and included how-to guides that were distributed to three counties in NJ.
  • Jinny organized and led a Cape May Climate Change Science Symposium that brought together scientists and experts from as far away as Alabama to share crucial information with coastal residents.

The internship project provides stewards with real-world experiences and builds relationships by working on local environmental issues. With over 900 volunteers trained since the program began in 2005, Stewards continue to make an impact in their communities.

ES trainees deal with contamination from recycling.

“This program is a great way to address the issues that directly affect us. Participants learn about the science behind these problems, but also tap into a network of experts and resources that can help them solve problems in their communities, ”notes Amy Menzel, Regional Coordinator of the RES program in Atlantic Counties, Cape May and Ocean. “Stewards come from all walks of life, with diverse backgrounds and experiences, but they are immediately part of an ever-growing community of individuals who want to learn and make a difference. Each class is different, but it always attracts smart, curious and passionate people.

The Rutgers Environmental Stewards program is delivered in New Jersey through Rutgers Cooperative Extension, NJ Agriculture Experiment Station and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, in cooperation with county governments and entities such as Atlantic County Utilities Authority, which has hosted the program since 2008.

To learn more or to register, visit

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