Thank you for your interest in our FREE Volunteer Naturalist
Training. Our training is a great way to learn hands-on activities
that teach children about nature as well as the science of flora, fauna,
and natural history of the area. Once completed, you will join countless
alumni who are fully qualified to lead nature-based, science field
trips for children.
After your training, we ask that you lead 4-5 nature walks for small groups of elementary and middle school students during the season of your training. You will be working with all of the students in Durango, Ignacio, and Bayfield, as well as many in New Mexico and other surrounding communities.
Walks take place Monday - Friday mornings, each September/October and again in April/May. The walks are at the Durango
Nature Center located twelve miles south of Durango amidst 140 acres along the Florida River (Driving
Here is what some of our recent volunteers say!
"The children will benefit from fun nature games and meaningful discussions
about nature. I volunteered to assist youth knowledge, experience and appreciation
for nature. I benefited from the children s appreciation and the friendly volunteers
and staff of DNS. It is a beautiful land."
"I learned great games, behavior management techniques and lots of
nature facts that made me feel like a pro naturalist. Kids responded well to
the rhythm of DNS hikes."
"If you enjoy being outside and like connecting
with children, volunteer. Our society has turned its back in many ways
from day to day interaction with animals, plants and weather, in exchange
for plastic, glass and technology. These kids are getting this wonderful
exposure. Hopefully some of it will stick."
"If potential volunteers are interested in ecology,
wildlife and plants, they will benefit, as well as introduce young kids
to nature (some of who would ordinarily not get the experience from class
or parents). Personally, I felt it was one of the highlights of my life
experiences (at 69)."
"I've always wanted to teach children about nature
and this program gave me the tangible opportunity to do that, without
having to get a teaching degree!"
"The CDN training gives you a solid background
in local natural history, working with children in a field setting and
managing a group, all in a supportive atmosphere with other motivated
adults who care about nature and kids."