Volunteer Naturalists play a key role in fulfilling Bluff Lake’s mission to “foster environmental education and stewardship at Bluff Lake, a unique urban wildlife refuge” as leaders in our youth science programs.
Volunteers introduce groups of schoolchildren (10-25 students at a time) to the natural world through hands-on exploration in topics including wetland ecology, habitat diversity, urban wildlife, food chains, and life cycles. Students range in age from ECE-5th grade, and primarily attend Denver and Aurora Public Schools. Volunteer Naturalists make science fun and meaningful for kids! Through their enthusiasm and guidance, Naturalists make it possible for each student to be able to see and touch even the smallest find at Bluff Lake.
Field trips are on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings throughout the school year.
At the site, Volunteer Naturalists lead groups of students on nature walks and guide them through program-related activities. Our programs are in the format of stations with groups of students rotating from one station to the next. Volunteer Naturalists typically lead one station for the entirety of the program. Program write-ups and materials are provided.
Naturalists use the program curricula and present it according to established guidelines. Naturalists receive training on the job and in several training workshops offered throughout the year. No experience is necessary.
We prefer that Naturalists work one morning per week throughout the school year on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday mornings from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., however we will work with your schedule.
- Become familiar with the education programs through shadowing staff members and volunteers.
- Familiarize oneself with Bluff Lake’s natural history.
- Upon completion of mentoring, lead school groups, and facilitate student exploration.
- Attend volunteer meetings and continuing education opportunities.
- Maintain good working relationships with BLNC staff and volunteers.
- Pass a CBI background check.
- Excellent interpersonal communication and group presentation skills.
- A cooperative demeanor and the ability to work as part of a team.
- Ability to answer questions in a patient manner.
- Willingness to work outdoors in highly variable elements including hot and cold temperatures, rain, snow and wind.
- Ability to traverse up to a mile of variable terrain.
- Ability to supervise small groups of children.
- Transportation to and from site.
- A commitment to the mission of Bluff Lake Nature Center.
- Real teaching experience in an outdoor setting and getting the chance to inspire future naturalists.
- Free continuing education opportunities and a great resume builder.
- Personal satisfaction and making a difference in the lives of children.
Volunteer Naturalists will work at our site, located at Bluff Lake Nature Center, 3400 Havana Way, Denver, CO 80238.
Once we receive your form, we will contact you to schedule a meeting out at our site so that you can get a better idea of how things work, meet some of our staff, and we can get to know you better.
Thank you for your interest!