Help Wanted

Sally Manzara Interpretive Nature Center

The Sally Manzara Interpretive Nature Center is a place of Peace and Respect where people of all ages can learn about the unique natural history and ongoing ecology of Sunfish Lake Park. The nature center currently offers programs such as Family Nature Exploration events, Nature Storybook trail, Adult Education Programs, Senior programs, Tai Chi, and volunteer community events such as tree planting and invasives management activities serving all ages and abilities.

Internship Opportunities

We sponsor Internship Positions for the Summer to work on ecosystem studies, both have been filled for Summer 2023. The candidates ideally have some formal education, or extensive experience, in a biology or environmental science field, and be enthusiastic about going out into the forest, prairie,  or wetlands to see who lives there.  For more information, contact Tony at

Volunteer Opportunities

Reception desk / help with cleaning or clerical tasks

If you have an open morning or afternoon, and enjoy talking with friendly people and offering them a cup of coffee, answering questions, and possibly helping with tasks, you could be a receptionist volunteer – 

Training and volunteer background checks are provided..

Program development or delivery

The Friends of Lake Elmo’s Sunfish Lake Park, the non-profit corporation that runs the Sally Manzara Interpretive Nature Center, has operated the nature center for almost five years now, and what a roller coaster ride. We were doing very well with activities and visitor levels until COVID hit, and since re-opening, things have taken off again. It has truly become a place of Peace and Respect where people of the community can teach or learn about nature. There are more opportunities for participation than the current group of participants can handle! 

We envision further programming being available in the future, for pre-school/early grades and Junior Trail Guides for older kids, Citizen Science for Adults 16-106, keeping the indoor and outdoor play areas interesting to returning tots, leading guided trail walks, setting up a lecture series on topics within our Mission Statement, and writing a series of guidebooks to the three separate ecological areas in Sunfish Lake Park – Prairie, Forest, and Wetlands. 

If any of these activities are in line with your interests and you would like to learn more about them, please contact us and we will set up a time for further discussion of your specific interests and ideas, email
  • help with the development of trail guide information
  • lead the development of an educational activity
  • lead the development of a scientific study plan
  • Community Liaison
  • Liaison with District 834 Primary and Secondary educators
  • Liaison with Senior Citizens groups and senior housing locations
  • Tour guides – for indoor exhibits and trail walks
  • Specialty Program developers
  • High School Service Hour opportunities
  • Eagle Scout or Gold Award Projects 
  • Scouting activities (all age levels)
  • plant plots of the economically important crops of Lake Elmo
  • 4H activity possibilities

We appreciate your ideas! Being a small non-profit, we rely on our volunteers to do most of our work. If you have an idea and you or someone you know is interested in leading the project, please contact us. Our programming is planned months in advance and our fundraising plans start many months before the event. If you would like to gather and organize the information for a project, but not lead it, we can keep the idea open in case we find someone interested in carrying it out. Thank you!

Teen Service Hour Opportunities

For Teen Service Hour Opportunities, please email if you are interested.

Teen Service Permission Slip

Minnesota Master Naturalist Hours

The Sally Manzara Interpretive Nature Center is now registered as a sponsor for Minnesota Master Naturalist hours – Thank You so much for all you do!