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 natural history of the area. Once completed, you will join countless alumni who are fully qualified to lead snowshoe, science field trips for children.
After your training, we ask that you lead 3-5 nature walks for small groups of elementary students during the season of your training. These snowshoe hikes are designed for school children in grades 3-8 and their teachers who participate in the Surviving & Thriving
in Winter (STW) program each year.
Walks take place mornings in February. Walks take place at the Chris Park/Haviland Lake Recreation Area north of Durango.
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!"
"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."