Dam construction update: starting on June 1, LLELA visitors will not be able to cross the outlet works. There will be no access to the Bittern Marsh Trail or east side of the river. Sometime soon (date currently unknown), all access east of the Cicada Pavilion will be prohibited for about 8 weeks. This will include the following areas and trails: Bittern Marsh Trail, kayaking and fishing in the Elm Fork of the Trinity River, all camping areas, and the Redbud Trail. Only the Blackjack, Green Dragon, Cottonwood, and Cicada Trails will be open during that time.




LLELA needs volunteer assistance in almost all areas of operations on an ongoing basis. Please contact the staff listed for the project you are most interested in, below. **Note LLELA does have opportunities for large groups to volunteer. Contact Restoration Manager Richard Freiheit at at or call 214.264.8047 to discuss.

UNT student potting bluestemHabitat Restoration

Every Monday and Wednesday, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m., also monthly Saturday opportunities. Contact Restoration Manager Richard Freiheit at or call 214.264.8047

  • Help in LLELA’s native plant nursery.
  • Assist in workdays to plant prairie grasses, seed wildflowers, or plant wetland plants.
  • Process seeds to prepare them for planting (can be an indoor, seated job).
  • Control invasive exotic plant species.
  • Help cut new trails.
  • Maintain existing trails, including the kayak/canoe trail. 

University of North Texas Students

Environmental Volunteerism Graduation Cord: Recognizes students for their outstanding contribution to environmental sustainability through community volunteerism. The LLELA Track of the EVGC immerses volunteers in hands-on techniques used in ecological restoration. Through this track, students will gain knowledge and an appreciation for what it takes to restore ecological function in disturbed habitats. Students who complete at least 75 volunteer hours at LLELA will earn the EVGC and qualify for the LLELA Restoration Intern Program. Students interested in the internship or volunteering at LLELA must email Richard Freiheit ( For more information about how to complete the EVGC Program, go to the We Mean Green Fund website

LLELA Restoration Internship Program: Open to UNT students who have completed the requirements for the LLELA Track of the Environmental Volunteerism Graduation Cord. This internship experience provides important practice in ecological restoration and wildlife knowledge. The unpaid internship requires 160 hours of work at LLELA which can be completed at a personalized pace. Students have the option of completing the internship over a concentrated summer period or throughout multiple semesters and/or breaks. To request information or apply for the LLELA Restoration Intern Program, contact Richard Freiheit (

River Care Team

Saturdays and Sundays. Contact Park Ranger Rob Smith at or 469.635.5484.

  • Communicate with anglers and other visitors along the Elm Fork at LLELA, discussing river stewardship and proper disposal of trash.
  • Model desirable visitor behavior by picking up trash.
  • Report issues along the river to LLELA staff.

Certain volunteer tasks require additional training which is offered only a few times each year. Please ask to be added to the contact list for training if you are interested in one of these specialized opportunities, below. We will sign you up for the next available training. 

Nest Box Management

Monday-Sunday mornings after training

Contact: Dr. Ken Steigman,

  • Assist in maintaining bluebird boxes, warbler boxes, wood duck boxes, and other nesting boxes.
  • Ongoing commitment.

1870s Homestead

Saturdays (some weekdays), 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Contact: Tiara Chapman,

  • Give tours of LLELA’s log house and homestead area.
  • Once a month open house on the weekend; regular school groups during the week.
  • Musicians are needed to provide music appropriate to the 1870s.
  • Training provided; there is also a training reference guide.

Birding Hikes

Monday-Saturday, times vary

Contact: Tiara Chapman,

  • Share your knowledge of birding with the general public.
  • Lead hikes or assist in leading bird hikes for adults, children, youth groups.

Outdoor Education

Monday-Saturday, times vary

Contact: Tiara Chapman,

  • Lead short nature hikes with students or assist staff with school group labs. 
  • Assist with weekend family events such as Stars on the Prairie, Night Hikes, etc. 
  • Can volunteer on a steady basis (weekly, bi-weekly, once a month, etc.)

Bird Banding

Monday-Saturday, 6 a.m.-12 p.m.

Contact: Dr. Ken Steigman,

  • Assist in banding of birds for research purposes. 
  • Ongoing commitment,  due to extensive training required.