What compels someone to become a docent for the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District – to volunteer to plan, research, and lead others on a nature walk, hike, ride, or other outdoor activity in one of the District’s amazing preserves? These elements do: a strong desire to share a love of nature with others, a commitment to lifelong learning on a variety of environmental topics, an enjoyment of the outdoors, and a willingness to get to know and understand a landscape – both natural features and human history.
The District has a proposal for you.
Consider training to become an Outdoor Activity Docent. Interested individuals complete an application and interview process, and then participate in a 14-week training course – April through June plus. The course is offered every other year and each class has 20 - to 24- docent trainees. There are lecture sessions on Thursday evenings, and all-day field sessions on Saturdays. The course content includes ecology, mammalogy, geology, Ohlone culture, biotic communities, birds, flower form and function, herpetology, interpretive techniques, District guidelines and procedures, safety, and more. The course is taught by the District’s Docent Program Manager in conjunction with outside instructors who are experts in a variety of fields.
Once your training is complete you and your docent cohort propose and provide activities on preserves that are organized around engaging topics and themes. Docent-led activities create a framework for enriched experiences of nature, mutual enjoyment, and a deeper understanding of conservation values – plus there is the adventure of discovering new places and making new friends.
Take the plunge!
We invite you to visit the volunteer page on the District website to find out more and send us your “RSVP” (interest form) for the spring training.