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VOLUNTEER WITH US

Interested in volunteering with us?

Please read the following information to get started!

Already a volunteer? Login to the Volunteer Portal for the latest updates!

What is a Volunteer Naturalist?

 Volunteer Naturalists provide guided interpretive nature programs, host our nature center, and facilitate environmental education programs for school field trips both online and in-person at Franklin Canyon Park in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Why

Volunteer?

Volunteers inspire students to love the outdoors and (re)connect with nature, engage with the community through public programming, create virtual content, and support outdoor equity for all and help advance the Community Nature Connection mission statement.

When is the next Volunteer Naturalist Training?

Check out our calendar below for our next Volunteer Training

CNC's Training Institute

offers supplemental training opportunities 

CLICK HERE for more info

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Requirements to become a volunteer

Volunteer candidates must meet basic requirements prior to admittance to the program and gaining active status. Some assignments may require additional training.

BENEFITS

OF VOLUNTEERING WITH CNC

  • Supporting the CNC mission to increase access to the outdoors for communities impacted by racial, socio-economic, and disability injustices.

  • Free America The Beautiful Park Pass after completion of 250 volunteer hours.

  • Quality training and enrichment opportunities that include certificates and certifications offered at a discounted rate or at no cost. 

  • Mentoring and 1:1 support from full-time staff dedicated to our volunteers.

  • Professional development opportunities to enhance your Outdoor/Nature/Environmental resume for future job and academic prospects.

  • Recognition events for your commitment from serving multiple agencies (CNC, NPS, MRCA).

  • Knowledge that your work is actively contributing to future generations of naturalists and stewards.

  • Hands-on experience developing and delivering programs to elementary-aged students and other public audiences. 

  • Handwritten thank-you letters from your trail group!

  • Dedicated time spent to building your own relationship with nature and the outdoors, and the opportunity to share/foster your skills with other people.

VOLUNTEER

TRAINING

After a candidate has successfully completed both the Application and Onboarding processes, they will be considered a CNC Volunteer Naturalist. All new CNC Volunteer Naturalists are then placed on programs to “shadow” and support an experienced Volunteer Naturalist until the new Volunteer Naturalist can independently lead programs. Volunteers are required to commit 8 hours a month to maintain their active Volunteer Naturalist status.

Start Your Volunteer Naturalist Training & Apply Today!

  • Our upcoming New Volunteer Orientation is April 19, 20, 21 (~2.5 hours/day). Volunteer Orientation is facilitated by the WODOC Program Manager, Kelly Bailey Kelly@communitynatureconnection.org

  • Supplemental Volunteer Naturalist training opportunities are offered through the CNC Training Institute. Check out the CNC Training Institute calendar for upcoming events! 

ONBOARDING

PROCESS

  • Complete all required paperwork. 

  • Pass a background check including fingerprinting.

  • Must pass a physical examination including a drug test and a Tuberculosis screening. 

  • Attend all days of the required New Volunteer Naturalist orientation & training.

  • Read the Volunteer Naturalist Manual.

  • Attend supplemental training as required by the Community Nature Connection Volunteer Management team. 

  • Obtain a valid Adult/Child/Infant CPR, First Aid, and AED certification.

APPLICATION

PROCESS

  • Be at least 18 years of age.

  • Submit your Volunteer Application 

  • Attend a Volunteer Naturalist interview.

AGE

REQUIREMENTS

Volunteer applicants must be 18 years of age or older. 

 

FAQ

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Pictured here: Jim Rutkowski 

WHO CAN BE A VOLUNTEER?

Anyone over 18 years of age who passes the background check including fingerprinting, a physical examination including a drug test and a Tuberculosis screening, and completes all required training.

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Pictured here: Michael English 

WHEN DO VOLUNTEER'S VOLUNTEER?

Volunteer programs occur at different times throughout the week: 

 

  • Mornings during the week (School Field Trips)

  • Evenings (Full Moon hikes)

  • Weekends (Public Interpretive Programs)

  • Tuesday - Sunday hosting the nature center 

  • Flexible hours if completing video production and virtual content.

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Pictured here: CNC Naturalist, Sarah-Jane 

WHERE DO THEY VOLUNTEER?

Volunteers provide service in two ways: in person at Franklin Canyon Park in the Santa Monica Mountains (as a guide or as a Nature Center host), and remote volunteering (creating virtual content and/or video production). Our volunteer opportunities are open to everyone.

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Pictured here: Jim Rutkowski 

TIMELINE FOR VOLUNTEER PROCESS

  1. Application Process → Onboarding Process → Volunteer Training → Volunteering!

  2. The timeline for becoming a volunteer is reliant on both the volunteers participation, and the training calendar. Once all requirements are completed, a uniform will be issued, and the volunteer will be ready to start service.

  3. Volunteer application form 

Check out

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Calendar for upcoming training opportunities