Volunteer at the Visitor Centre

Are you looking to spend time with people who are passionate about wildlife and wild places?

MARS Visitor Centre has a great team of dedicated volunteers–join us!

MARS Visitor Centre Guide

What does a guide do?

Greet our curious and enthusiastic visitors. Lead small groups (children, families, adults) on outdoor and indoor tours. Provide information on MARS history, patient stories, ways to protect wildlife. Describe and advocate for work of the hospital, interpretation at flight pen and at ambassador owl, eagles, hawk & crow enclosures. Engage guests in the indoor exhibits hall. Assist with general cleaning of the centre, including sweeping floors & cleaning bathrooms.

Am I suited to this volunteer job?

This position is ideal for people who are comfortable speaking informally with people of all ages, are enthusiastic about nature and the environment, and enjoy working with a team.

What is the commitment?

Four hours twice or three times a month. Our visitor centre is open Friday to Sunday. Training is provided.


MARS Gift Shop Volunteer

What does a gift shop volunteer do?

Greet visitors, offer basic MARS information, collect donations, and ring through people’s purchases. Assist with pricing and display of items.. Count and balance cash and credit / debit transactions on a computer POS system. Assist new members with signing up and filling out forms and receipts for donors. Help with general cleaning of the centre, including sweeping floors & cleaning bathrooms.

Am I suited to this volunteer job?

If you like working with the public in an indoor setting, advocating for wildlife and MARS, and working in a retail environment, this position is ideal for you. Yours is the first friendly face our guests see. Previous experience in retail is helpful but not necessary. 

What is the commitment?

Three hours twice or three times a month. Our visitor centre is open Friday to Sunday. Training is provided.

MARS Special Event Volunteer

(We aren’t currently recruiting for Special Event volunteers)

What do special events volunteers do?

These volunteers represent MARS at public events in our community and help to raise funds to support our hospital. Set up tables and displays at MARS and at events; sell raffle tickets, memberships, items from our gift shop and collect donations using cash and credit card transactions; talk to the public about MARS’ work to rescue, rehabilitate, and release our wild patients. Assist in packing up of supplies & tables at end of events, returning materials to MARS.

Am I suited to this volunteer job?

If you are comfortable with people from all walks of life and enjoy variety, being a volunteer at special events will suit you. These events happen at different times of year in the Comox Valley and Campbell River area.

What is the commitment?

These positions are “on-call”, often on weekends. Training is provided.


Construction/Property Maintenance Volunteer

What does a construction / maintenance volunteer do?

Provide labour and/or skills in carpentry, electrical, plumbing, heating, site prep, or design expertise for projects that could include displays, cabinets, painting, repairs, signage, fencing, building structures etc. Site projects include trail building and maintenance, invasive plant removal, ditch clearing, and lawn mowing. Tasks would be performed from time to time, usually on weekends, on an “on-call” basis.

Am I suited to this volunteer job?

If you enjoy physical work and achieving goals with a team, this is great position for you. Do you have skills to offer? We’d love to hear from you. While we appreciate folks with the skills mentioned above, there are many simple tasks from shovelling to holding a ladder that help us get work done at MARS.

What is the committment?

Most of our work parties happen on the weekends. We are grateful for any help you can give. 

MARS Habitat Stewardship Volunteer

What do habitat stewards do?

This team is responsible for establishing and monitoring native plant gardens, the wetland, and wild areas around the MARS property to create and extend habitat for our wild neighbours. We make it beautiful for people, too.

Am I suited to this volunteer job?

If you like to garden, are interested in knowing more about native trees, shrubs, flowers, and grasses, and how they benefit pollinators and birds, you’ll enjoy working with this enthusiastic group of volunteers. The work varies from light planting, weeding, and watering to heavier digging and wheelbarrow work. You can do jobs that suit you.

What is the commitment?

Semi-regular work parties that you can drop in and out of.


Ambassador Bird Handler

What does a bird handler do?

Bird handlers work directly with our ambassador birds and represent MARS’ conservation mission to the public. With a bird on the glove, they educate the community about bird anatomy, raptor behavior and habitats, and explain threats to their survival. They greet the public at the visitor centre on our open days, attend community events, and visit classrooms in the Comox Valley and Campbell River. Handlers are part of the animal care team, cleaning enclosures and feeding ambassador birds. Training takes time and patience for both the bird and the handler.

Am I suited to this volunteer job?

This is a high-commitment volunteer job; for this reason it is open to volunteers who have already been engaged as a MARS volunteer in another capacity for at least 6 months. If you are ready to make a long-term commitment to training, animal care, and public presentations, are confident speaking to people of all ages, and have a flexible schedule, we would welcome you to the MARS bird handler team.

What is the commitment?

20 to 30 hours/month for training, animal care, visitor centre shifts, and public outreach. Our visitor centre is open Friday to Sunday.

MARS volunteers who would like to be considered for bird handler training, please contact

Photo by James MacKenzie


MARS Visitor Centre Guild

2-3What do guild members do?

The Visitor Experience Guild ensures that the facility is in tip-top shape for the many guests who visit MARS weekly. Activities include:

  • Cleaning and assessing taxidermy (training provided)
  • Dusting and sanitizing displays and gift shop shelves etc.
  • Assisting with seasonal decorations and themes
  • Cleaning windows, floors, and shelves as needed
  • Advising staff when repairs or replacement are required

Am I suited to this volunteer job?

If you like to work and chat with a friend, this is a great position for you. Not comfortable working directly with wildlife, handling cash, or presenting to groups of people, but want to contribute in a casual way? This might be the perfect way for you to contribute to MARS. This is also an excellent role for youth 15 and older looking to fill volunteer credits for school.

What is the commitment?

One or two days a month for 3-4 hours between Friday and Sunday.


Join the team.

If you have some time to give or expertise to share, MARS might be the perfect place for you.

The first step is letting us know you are interested.  

MARS membership  — annual membership fee $10 for seniors/students, $15 for individuals, and $25 for families
Able to provide proof of full COVID vaccination
Willing to submit to Criminal Record Check for some positions



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Thank you! A member of the MARS team will get back to you to follow up.
We look forward to welcoming you to the MARS Wildlife Rescue family!