Nature Guides



Thursday, August 24, 2017, 6-8pm

Location: Mount Pisgah Arboretum Visitor Center

To RSVP or for more details, contact Jenny Laxton, Education Manager – 541-741-4110 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. Interns must be available at least 2 weekday mornings 9 AM – noon.

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 Jenny Laxton at (541) 741-4110.



Download a printable calendar with training descriptions of Nature Guide Training for Fall 2017 by clicking on this sentence.

Questions? Contact the Arboretum Education Office at (541) 741-4110, 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.