Seattle Parks Accepting Applications for Volunteer Naturalists

link to environmental learning program at Seattle Parks and RedSeattle Parks and Recreation is accepting applications for our Seattle Volunteer Naturalist program. Up to 50 applicants will be accepted into this unique program that includes 200 hours of instruction on how to be a naturalist and interpret the natural environment of the Pacific Northwest.

The program is entirely free, and those accepted make a one-year commitment. Training includes 10 weeks of classes and outdoor instruction in which new volunteer students are taught how to create naturalist programming and learn about the natural and cultural history of the Puget Sound area.

The goal of the program is to enhance, promote and foster appreciation of nature and to connect the public with Seattle parklands through education.

Students will have access to an excellent natural history library, develop and hone communication, public speaking and group management techniques, and promote conservation and stewardship of natural resources.

“The people who enter this program have a chance to share fun, fellowship and community with others who enjoy nature and appreciate parks,” said professional Seattle Parks and Recreation Naturalist Penny Rose, who oversees the program.

Students who complete the training are then asked to commit to at least one year of volunteering, including teaching 12 programs or 12 two-hour Discovery Stations in public parks. These must be completed within a 12-month period, and include leading either school groups or members of the public. Continuing education is offered throughout each year of volunteer service.

Successful applicants will enjoy working with children and the public, have the physical ability to lead group walks over rough terrain, feel comfortable working outdoors and can transport themselves to Environmental Learning Center hubs at Discovery Park, Carkeek Park and Camp Long and other parklands throughout the City.

Applications for the Seattle Volunteer Naturalist program are due on Friday, February 8, 2013.

For more information, and for a complete application packet, please visit Parks’ website or contact Penny Rose at penny.rose@seattle.gov.

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