Click here for a printable Nature Guide Application Form
In spring and fall of each year, Mount Pisgah Arboretum offers a free training program for volunteers interested in becoming nature guides for elementary school children in our community. The goal of this program is to make the students’ classroom science education come alive out on the trails and reconnect them to the natural world.
Morning Tours (9:30-11:30am): On weekday mornings, our trained team of guides lead hands-on, interpretive walks for K-5 grade students, exploring the resident plants and animals of our Willamette Valley ecosystems. Our guides are enthusiastic about sharing nature with children and use creative techniques to stimulate the students’ interest, encourage appreciation, and develop respect for the environment. Topics covered for each grade level assist teachers in meeting the Oregon State Science Standards for each grade level.
Nature Guide Training Sessions: Guide training begins every year in mid-March and mid-September. Training sessions are free and cover natural history, basic plant and animal ID, storytelling, environmental education games and activities, teaching technique,s and group management on the trails. Guides are provided with a comprehensive training manual and Arboretum Guidebook.
Training sessions are held on both weekdays and weekends to allow for flexibility. (Make-up sessions may be scheduled when necessary.)
- Shadowing Tours: All new guides have an opportunity to shadow tours with experienced guides several times during the first weeks of the program.
Arboretum walks scheduled for the general public are free for nature guides and nature guide trainees! These walks are excellent opportunities to increase your knowledge of the natural history of the area.
Nature guides are asked to lead a minimum of one morning tour or activity session per week during the school program (mid-April through mid-June in spring, and late September through early November in fall).
The Arboretum Nature Guide Program is a fantastic opportunity for college students! Whether seeking job experience in environmental education or just looking for a fun opportunity working outdoors with children, students develop new knowledge and skills that include: plant and animal ID, interpreting the environment, teaching young children, public speaking, and managing groups of students.
College credit is available through the UO Career Center, UO Service Learning Program and the UO Environmental Studies, Biology, Education, and Planning and Public Policy Management Departments, and the Lane Community College Cooperative Education Program. For more information on internships, please call our Education Manager Fran Rosenthal at (541) 747-1504.
Current Internships Available:
1) Lead small groups of 5th grade students on a 2-hour, interactive tours at the Arboretum, teaching them about the native plants of the Southern Willamette Valley and their many uses. Students use a treasure map and follow clues to discover answers to mystery questions. This treasure-hunting hike was developed last year by the UO Environmental Leadership Program.
2) Lead an afternoon session of environmental education activities for 4th grade students, focused on our watery world. Teach students to work on a stream model, create a mural of water creatures, and play an invasive species game.
For more information contact the Arboretum’s Education Manager, Fran Rosenthal. 541-747-1504, email@example.com
Questions? Contact the Arboretum Education Office at (541) 747-1504, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Directions to Training Locations
Mount Pisgah Arboretum: 34901 Frank Parrish Rd. Eugene. Meet at the Visitor Center. Follow 30th Avenue east, over the I-5 freeway. Follow the brown and white signs to the park.
Wayne Morse Family Farm: 595 Crest Drive, Eugene. Take Willamette south to 32nd St. Bare to the right and go up Crest Drive. Morse Ranch 1/2 mile further on the right.
Alton Baker Park Host Residence: From Alton Baker Park main entrance . . . follow the road east, through the park, past the Cuthbert Amphitheater. The Park Host Residence & Yurt are on the right just past the community gardens. Park in the gravel lot by the gardens.