Looking for a way to help the wild horses on protected lands in Carteret County this summer?
Volunteers are needed for a program called Pony Patrol to help to boost community awareness, protect wild horses and increase visitor compliance regarding wild horse rules and guidelines at Shackleford Banks and the Rachel Carson Reserve in Carteret County.
The program is a three-way collaboration of Cape Lookout National Seashore, the North Carolina Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve, and the Foundation for Shackleford Horses Inc.
Prospective Pony Patrol volunteers will work three to four-hour shifts, walking Rachel Carson Reserve and/or Shackleford Banks and talking with visitors about how to best experience the beauty and natural behavior of the horses.
A pilot version of the program was presented last year on Shackleford Banks. Volunteers conducted 48 patrols and contacted over 2,000 visitors during the program.
Prospective candidates should apply online.
The application period closes Feb. 23. Applicants must apply to both locations if they want to volunteer for Rachel Carson Reserve and Shackleford Banks. Selected candidates will be contacted for an interview in early March.
Shackleford Banks, Cape Lookout National Seashore’s southernmost barrier island, is home to more than 100 wild horses.
The herd at the Rachel Carson Reserve, which is directly across Taylors Creek from downtown Beaufort, numbers around 30. The reserve is one of 10 protected sites managed by the North Carolina Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve, a program of the Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Coastal Management.
Pony Patrol volunteers will receive training in how to communicate effectively with visitors, understand the importance of giving wild horses space to be wild, and how to protect both visitor’s safety and the wild horses’ welfare so that they can answer basic questions about the horses and their natural, barrier-island homes.
Candidates must be at least 18 and be physically able to walk the beach in a dynamic setting, consisting of sandy terrain, extreme sun, heat, humidity, wind, and buggy environments.
Pony Patrol volunteers will be expected to work three- to four-hour shifts, at least three times per month.
Visit the following websites for more information: