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Become a Volunteer

We need your help! There are many opportunities for you as an Open Space Volunteer. What's your specialty?

Please note age requirements and desirable skills as marked.

* Must be at least 18 years of age.
^ Previous experience working with the public, youth, and involving nature/environment is desirable but not required. The District provides all necessary training and ongoing enrichment opportunities.
 
*^

Nature Center Host- [Submit Interest Form]

A Nature Center Host staffs the David C. Daniels Nature Center (open weekends April to mid-November) located at Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve.

Duties
  • Greet visitors and orient them to the District and preserves.
  • Provide environmental and natural history information.
  • Conduct hands-on discoveries (pond ecology, wildlife viewing, etc.)
Training
  • A two-session training is required, consisting of an evening orientation and ½ day Saturday/Sunday, and is offered once or twice per year.
    Fall 2013 training is complete.
    Please look for the next training to be held in summer 2014.
 
*^

Outdoor Activity Docent- [Submit Interest Form]

Outdoor Activity Docents introduce preserve users to the natural and cultural history, and ecology of the mid-peninsula region and Santa Cruz Mountains.

Duties
  • Design and lead (or assist with) activities on preserves such as hikes, mountain bike excursions, and horseback rides.
  • Using interpretive techniques and an understanding of ecology, natural resource management, and local history, encourage appreciation and stewardship of open space and wildland habitat areas.
Training
  • A 10-week (one evening and one Saturday per week) training and orientation program is required. The training is offered every even numbered year. The 2014 training class is FULL.
 
*^

Outdoor Education Leader- [Submit Interest Form] - please refer to below listed training dates


An Outdoor Education Leader works as part of a team with small groups of 3rd-5th graders on a field trip (offered to schools on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the spring and fall of each year) to the Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve and the David C. Daniels Nature Center.

Duties
  • Using the District's unique "Spaces & Species" curriculum, teach children about the natural world, providing opportunities for experiential learning (including a one mile easy-to-moderate hike) while fostering a fun atmosphere for discovery and exploration.
Training
  • A 6-session weekday training is generally offered twice per year as interest is generated.
    Fall 2013 training is complete. Please look for the next training to be held sometime in summer-fall 2014
    .
 

Preserve Partner- [Submit Interest Form] [calendar] [video gallery]

Be on the front lines and get involved in restoring and maintaining District trails and preserves. Each year the District hosts over 65 fun, educational, and productive outdoor service projects. You can sign up for as many of these projects as you like by contacting the District’s Volunteer Program Manager.

Duties
  • Habitat restoration (removal of invasive, non-native vegetation, planting native vegetation, installing erosion control materials, etc.)
  • Trail restoration
  • Fence construction and repairs
  • Other important resource management activities
Training
  • No experience necessary
  • District staff members provide all tools and onsite training and instructions.
 
*

Trail Patrol Volunteer- [Submit Interest Form]

Our 2014 Class is now full, and we are accepting interest forms for our program waiting list.

Hike, ride your bike, saddle up your horse, and hit the trail. Trail Patrol Volunteers provide a valuable resource to visitors to our open space preserves.

Duties
  • Talk with visitors about trail safety and etiquette
  • Provide general information to visitors
  • Monitor trail conditions
Training
  • A weekday training followed by two Saturday trainings
  • During informative training sessions, you will learn how to handle emergencies and identify potential trail hazards. We ask for a commitment of at least once a month for one year.
 

Need More Information? For further information about Outdoor Activity Docent, Outdoor Education Leader, or Nature Center Host opportunities, please email docent@openspace.org.

For more information about Preserve Partners or Trail Patrol, email volunteer@openspace.org or call (650) 691-1200.

  Additional Information

Volunteer with Open Space

Outdoor Service Projects Calendar

Volunteer Handbook

Sign Up Now!

 


Curious kids at the Nature Center
Photo by P.Dentinger

Docent-led hike
Photo by D.Vehkter

Docent-led ride
Photo by C. Kortman


Guided school group
Photo by S. Gale


Native seed planting


Fence construction


Trail patrol


Video Gallery