Nature Guides



Wednesday, March 9th, 2016 and Tuesday, March 29th, 2016


Location: Wayne Morse Family Farm, 595 Crest Drive in Eugene

To RSVP or for more details, contact Jenny Laxton, Education Program Coordinator – 541-747-1504 or

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 leads 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 April and September. Training sessions are free and cover natural history, basic plant and animal ID, storytelling, environmental education games and activities, teaching techniques 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 per week during the school program (mid-April through mid-June in spring, and late September through early November in fall).

Student Internships:

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 Program Coordinator Jenny Laxton at (541) 747-1504.

Current Internships Available:

Spring Term 2016 – Outdoor Education Internship (2 – 4 credit internships available)

Get outside. Work with kids. Share your love of the outdoors!

Take a break from campus a few times a week to come lead elementary students on guided tours at Mount Pisgah Arboretum. We’re a small non-profit focused on educating both kids and adults about local ecology. The Arboretum is about 7 miles from campus, located in the beautiful Howard Buford Recreation Area. Spend April learning about the ecology of the Southern Willamette Valley and how best to work with and teach kids in an outdoor setting. Then late April through mid June lead small groups of kids on 2-hour nature walks. Interns can also help with various other projects depending on interest and credit needs: help with our spring Wildflower Festival, participate in work parties and walks, etc.

Apply by: March 29th, send an email and short cover letter to

Must be available: at least 2-weekday mornings 9am-noon

*Carpooling is available


Download a printable calendar with training descriptions of Nature Guide Training for Spring 2016

Questions? Contact the Arboretum Education Office at (541) 747-1504, or

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. Bear 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.