Volunteer as a Terwilliger Nature Guide
Being a Terwilliger Nature Guide is one of the most engaging and fulfilling volunteer experiences in the Bay Area!
WildCare Terwilliger Nature Guides lead nature discovery walks for school children, and receive specialized training on local wildlife, plant identification and outdoor teaching methods.
Nature Guide Training will be provided by experienced and enthusiastic naturalists. Our multifaceted training will teach you how to help children open their eyes to the wonderful world of wildlife. A background in science is not necessary — we will teach you everything you need to know to help elementary school-aged-children connect with nature in a fun and engaging way.
Get inspired! Watch one of our Terwilliger Nature Guides engage her students by exploring the holes woodpeckers make in trees!
Nature Guide training sessions will familiarize trainees with WildCare’s hike locations and the plants and animals you may find on trail.
Topics will include fascinating facts about local plants and animals, Coast Miwok culture, as well as basic redwood forest, grassland and oak woodland ecology. Just bring your interest and enthusiasm for sharing nature with children and we will guide you through the rest! Click for the training schedule.
In addition to gaining great satisfaction from successfully stimulating a child's interest in nature and the environment, you will:
- meet other nature lovers and cultivate new friendships
- expand your knowledge of local wildlife
- experience personal and professional growth
- participate in continued learning
- be invited to special WildCare events
- must be 18 or older
- must complete all required training sessions
- must be able to commit to lead nature hikes three times per month on weekday mornings for one year while schools are in session (September - June). All hikes take place on weekday mornings during the school year and will be scheduled in advance.
- must be amenable to regular email communication
- must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19
All those interested will need to complete the Nature Guide Volunteer Application Questionnaire, located here.
Candidates that are a good match for the program will be invited to attend an Orientation in order to learn more.
Trainees selected after Orientation will need to attend Nature Guide Training - Click here for a PDF of the training schedule.
The 2022 Orientation dates for Terwilliger Nature Guides are scheduled for late January and early February.
Terwilliger Nature Guide Training sessions are held once a year. The orientation is free.
Those selected to participate in Nature Guide Training will be asked to pay a $50 fee which offsets the cost of the training sessions, live scan background check, training manual, official Terwilliger Nature Guide vest, and teaching tools for the trail. WildCare membership is included with the fee.
Scholarships are available, so please don't let the fee discourage you from applying.
Nature Guide Training takes place on four Saturdays and one Wednesday evening from mid-February through March. Three observation dates to watch our veteran Nature Guides in action teaching children on trail will also be scheduled on weekdays as part of the training.
Being a Nature Guide is a great opportunity to share your joy, knowledge and enthusiasm for nature with children!