Volunteering and Internships
Help Nearby Nature share the wonders of nature nearby!
Volunteers are an incredibly important part of Nearby Nature's staff. They come from all walks of life and include everyone from elementary school students to elders. Volunteers donate 5,000-6,000 hours of their time and talents to our programs every year! Volunteers lead nature walks, assist with classroom visits, staff booths, and help with daycamps. They build garden beds, pull ivy, paint murals, and plant trees. They stuff envelopes, post flyers, take pictures, do litter patrol, and help with fundraisers. Sometimes volunteers even dress up like frogs or dragonflies! Fun! (Check out what volunteers have helped with recently under Recent Volunteers and Cheers for Extra Special Volunteers. Check out the amazing things our volunteers go on to do in life at Where Are They Now?)
Volunteering with Nearby Nature is a great way to invest in your community, meet fascinating people, and learn about local natural areas. Nearby Nature offers a wide variety of educational and restoration programs that rely on volunteers like you.
Some of our volunteers serve as interns. Interns choose a specific Nearby Nature project to focus on, and dedicate a significant amount of time to their work. Interns are needed throughout the year, but particularly in the spring and fall for our School Nature Walks Program and in the summer for our Summer Daycamps Program. For some internships, a small stipend is available. For more information about current internships and application deadlines, click on Volunteer and Internship Forms and Questionnaires.
-- Monica Oritz, Former Volunteer
Current Volunteer Programs
Below is a list of our current programs. Call us at 541-687-9699 or email email@example.com for more information or questions about specific opportunities. See our Calendar in September and March to find out when we will hold our next New Volunteer Orientation. You can also see our Programs section to learn more about specific projects and our events Calendar to find out about upcoming opportunities. Download and fill our Volunteer Questionnaire to let us know what interests you most. We look forward to meeting you soon!
Alton Baker Park School Nature Walks Program (Training Provided)
Share nature with children! On weekday mornings in the spring and fall, volunteer guides lead nature discovery activities, tell stories, and play games while taking small groups of K-6th graders on school nature walks through the Whilamut Natural Area of Alton Baker Park. No experience is necessary; training covers everything from natural history to storytelling to teaching techniques. Guides commit to leading one walk per week (two-three hours) for one season at a time. Training happens in March-April and September. See our Calendar for the date of our next orientation (in March or September) and click here for spring and fall guide training calendars.
Summer Daycamps (Training Provided)
Work with kids in local parks. Every summer, Nearby Nature runs a series of week-long outdoor daycamps in local parks. At each camp, an adult volunteer and a youth outdoor leader (12-18 years old) help our paid instructors with games, outdoor science, crafts, music, and more. Volunteers commit to helping with at least one week-long camp per summer, for three-four hours per day. Call for more information about current volunteer staffing needs. See our Calendar for summer daycamp volunteer training dates. Youth volunteers can also download our Outdoor Leader application.
Kinder Critters (Training Provided)
Take part in education with a dramatic touch! These enthusiastic volunteer naturalists visit pre-school through 2nd grade classrooms and birthday parties dressed as wild creatures from nearby meadows, ponds, and forests. Each costumed Kinder Critter does a short educational presentation, tells stories, and leads a game or craft. If you have a dramatic flare or a desire to know what it is like to be a frog, turtle, bat, or butterfly (or a variety of other critters!), then this is the opportunity for you. Non-costumed volunteers are also needed to assist with Kinder Critter programs.
Classroom Naturalist Programs (Training Provided)
Share the wonders of nature with children at their schools. Help staff bring natural fun to school through nature games, science exploration, craft activities, and storytelling for small groups of elementary students. Classroom naturalist program volunteers commit to helping for a one-two hours once or twice a week for varying periods of time. Contact us for locations and current volunteer staffing needs.
Nature Quests (No Training Required)
Help create family fun in the park for all ages. Volunteers orchestrate crafts, dress up as Kinder Critters, serve snacks, and help with trail activities at these fun once-a-month family adventures in Alton Baker Park. See our Calendar for the dates of upcoming Nature Quests.
No School Days (Training Provided)
Spend a day in the park with kids! Volunteers help staff with crafts, science projects, hikes, and more. No School Day programs take place on 4J school district no school days. We meet at our Yurt in Alton Baker Park but spend most of our time outdoors. See our Calendar for upcoming No School Day programs.
Network Charter School (Training Provided as Needed)
Interested in working with older kids? Volunteers with appropriate skills are occasionally needed to assist with our Network Charter School classes for middle and high school students. Topics range from fly fishing to eco-literature to environmental biology. Let us know if you are interested in learning more.
Special Events (No Training Required)
Share Nearby Nature with the community! Celebrate night creatures at our Haunted Hike in October, assist at our Earth Day booth in the spring or our Eugene Celebration booth in the fall, or help us create fun in the sun at a community summer festival. Nearby Nature hosts as well as participates in special events throughout the year where volunteers of all ages help with crafts, information sharing, and activities. See our Calendar for upcoming events and volunteer opportunities.
Learnscape Development and Programs (Training Provided as Needed)
Help us turn our landscape into a Learnscape! Work on sheet mulching, planting gardens, weeding, native plant propagation, pruning, and artwork. Build a bike shed, maintain tools, mow grass, and build raised beds. Help with sustainable living workshops for adults. If any of these projects sound like your calling, contact us at 541-687-9699 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. See the Calendar for scheduled Learnscape work parties and workshops.
Restoration Celebrations (No Training Required)
Get hands-on, feet-wet involved in caring for local natural areas. Nearby Nature hosts Restoration Celebration work parties in Alton Baker Park at least once a month. Participants in these outdoor gatherings work on invasive plant removal and native plant restoration, erosion control, trail maintenance, and litter patrol. Folks of all ages, as well as groups, are invited to participate. See our Calendar for the dates of upcoming work parties. Call 541-687-9699 or email email@example.com to set up a work party for YOUR service group!
Action Walks (No Training Required)
Enjoy learning and litter patrol in Alton Baker Park. Several times a month Nearby Nature volunteers walk through the park to check out what's blooming and chirping AND to remove litter. Action Walks start at the Alton Baker Park Host Residence. This project is not recommended for young children. See the Calendar for current times and dates.
Office Assistance (Training Provided as Needed)
See a non-profit from the inside. Running all of these great programs requires lots of work behind the scenes. Volunteers are always needed to assist with the important work of putting together mailings, answering phones, posting flyers, mending equipment, fundraising, photographing/videotaping events, and other office projects. Interested folks should call for more information.
Board Members (No Training Required)
Are you a naturalist without a niche? A fundraiser without a pitch? An organizer without a list? A lawyer without a cause? Then you should be a Nearby Nature Board member! Call 541-687-9699 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about this opportunity to make a difference in our community.
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