Volunteer for the mystic!


Individual Volunteers

Join thousands of other community members working to improve the local environment! Participate in a one-time event of make a regular commitment by joining a committee or monitoring program.

water trees

Have a group of 5-15 people? Help us keep new trees alive in Somerville! Sign up below to schedule a date for your group.

river and park cleanups

Whether you're cleaning up trash, removing water chestnut from a canoe, or pulling the invasive Bittersweet vine from parks, our one-time events help us make the watershed more beautiful and resilient. Check out our one-time on our calendar

river herring monitoring 

Each spring over 150 volunteers help us count herring in-person at the Mystic Lakes Dam and at Horn Pond. Take 10 minutes a week to help us monitor these important species. You can also help us count online with our underwater webcam! Learn more.

water quality monitoring

Trained citizen scientists help collect water quality samples each month. Attend a training to get involved.

outreach and education 

Volunteers help educate the public about MyRWA and Mystic news, recreation opportunities and the Mystic River ecosystem. Help out at community events or support the Herring Run and Paddle! Read more.

policy committee 

If you're interested in reducing plastic in the environment, advocating for climate resiliency efforts, saving conservation space and more, the policy committee may be for you.  Members draft letters to endorse or oppose legislation or in response to environmental permits and development proposals, testify at public hearings, etc. Read more.

Sign up to receive emails about volunteer opportunities:

Corporate Volunteers

Since 2010 we have worked with corporations and local businesses to offer fun and rewarding community service opportunities along the Mystic River. Our efforts began by tackling water chestnut, an aquatic invasive weed, and have since expanded to include Oriental bittersweet removal in waterfront parks. Project partners include Biogen Idec, MathWorks, Immunogen, Agero, Google, BNY Mellon, Takeda Pharmaceuticals and many more.



Team Building Opportunity

A four hour event with groups of up to 100 has a tremendous, visible effect.



Make a difference

Remove invasive plants from our parks and rives to improve the environment.



Boost employee morale

Provide a fun and rewarding day for your employees.


Work with us to schedule a volunteer event for your team of 10 to 100. Events run approximately 3 hours and include an orientation, time on the river/in the park, clean up, and lunch. Water chestnut volunteers rotate through both canoe and land-based roles. We recommend reserving 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., however we can accommodate a variety of schedules, weekdays and weekends. All locations are accessible by car and most by public transit. All supplies are provided.

Groups can choose to organize one of two events:

  • Park Improvements - Volunteers pull land-based invasive plants and contribute to other improvement activities in Macdonald Park in Medford. Projects run May-September.

  • Water Chestnut Removal - volunteers get in canoes and hand-pull these aquatic weeds in various locations in Medford, Somerville or Arlington. Projects run July-September.

Volunteers from Perkin Elmer helped remove water chestnuts in 2018.

Volunteers from Perkin Elmer helped remove water chestnuts in 2018.


We ask that corporate and for-profit groups make a donation to MyRWA to support our volunteer program. Fees are based on event size:

  • 2-25 person event $1,500

  • 26-50 person event $2,500

  • 51-75 person event $4,000

  • 76-100 person event $5,000

This fully tax-deductible donation helps to cover the costs of planning and executing our volunteer events (staff time, rentals, material removal and permitting) as well as sustaining the overall program. We are grateful for the work of our corporate volunteer groups. Thank you!


For more information and to schedule your event contact volunteer@mysticriver.org or (781) 316-3438.