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We  advance  career diversity in parks and outdoor programs.


We believe that increasing diversity in park careers is just as important as increasing diversity in park attendance. We offer opportunities that aim to bridge the gap between underrepresented communities and obtaining a career in parks. We also offer resources for volunteers and professionals who want to increase their knowledge, skills, and overall development in this field.

Outdoor Leaders
Outdoor Leaders finding something on the trail


The Outdoor Leaders program gives recent graduates of our programs the opportunity to apply for a part-time position with Community Nature Connection. Outdoor leaders support public interpretive programs such as community campfires and Transit to Trails. Outdoor leaders also have the opportunity to return to the Naturalist Explorers program in a leadership role.

Alumni from Bridge to Park being sworn in as a MRCA Ranger


To be a successful park interpreter and educator, youth of Los Angeles need a clear pathway.  Community Nature Connection’s Bridge to Park Careers program aims to connect youth to career opportunities with park agencies. Bridging the gap between traditional park youth programs and employment, graduates of  this extensive training are eligible to apply for full time park positions, and receive multiple state and national certifications.

Community Naturalist Leader holding a starfish


The Community Naturalist Leadership Program is a professional development program that builds the skills of Community Nature Connection’s Outdoor Leaders. Participants learn how to design, coordinate, and lead outdoor programs and go on to implement these programs in their own communities. This opportunity allows Outdoor Leaders to grow their professional skills and become leadership figures and ambassadors of the outdoors in their communities.


“Programs such as the Community Naturalist Leadership Program help develop young naturalists, like myself, into becoming an ideal leadership figure.”

--Bryan Casarez, Naturalist Explorer Alum, Outdoor Leader, and Community Naturalist



The Volunteer Naturalist Training is a comprehensive multi-day training that uses applied, experiential, field-based activities. This training covers the basics of cultural and field interpretation including tools for working with park visitors and youth, knowledge of our natural and cultural history, flora and fauna of the Santa Monica Mountains, and how to develop and lead a public program. Once trained, volunteer opportunities include leading public and school programs and staffing the Nature Center at Franklin Canyon park.

SPRING 2021 - NEW Volunteer Orientation: February 10-13, 2021

For more information and to register click here!

Volunteer Naturalist
Bridge to Park Careers
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