Audubon Offering Trail Guide Training Wednesday Mornings in April

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Trail Guide volunteers are essential to the educational programming at Audubon Community Nature Center.

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Audubon Community Nature Center

How will Audubon Community Nature Center’s five-member education staff provide an outdoor experience for as many as 4,500 schoolchildren this spring?

They will have the help of volunteers who have a passionate enthusiasm for sharing nature with children.

Trail guide volunteers are essential to the education programming at Audubon. Most often they lead hour and a half Discovery Walks with PreK-5th grade students visiting on a field trip.

Serving as a Trail Guide volunteer at Audubon is a rewarding opportunity that you are invited to experience.

On the four Wednesday mornings in April, Audubon’s education staff will teach volunteers how to inspire curiosity about the natural world through age-appropriate activities outdoors. These four sessions will also cover how to work with different ages of children, tips and tricks to keep them on task, fun things to do outside, rainy day plans, and local natural history. Information and skills learned are also useful in other volunteer positions at Audubon.

The 9 a.m. to noon trainings on Wednesdays, April 3, 10, 17 and 24, 2019, is required for new Trail Guide volunteers and appropriate for returning ones. It provides the skills to lead small groups of elementary students on Audubon’s trails to achieve the mission of a Discovery Walk: to inspire and nurture curiosity about the natural world.

The training sessions take place both indoors and out, so plan to come dressed for the weather conditions.

Experience with children is helpful, but natural history knowledge is not necessary. For answers to questions or concerns, call Margaret Foley, naturalist and volunteer coordinator, at (716) 569-2345 or mfoley@auduboncnc.org. You can also attend the New Trail Guide Orientation on Wednesday, March 27, 10-11:30 a.m.

Reservations for the training are required by Monday, April 1, 2019, and can be made by calling (716) 569-2345 during business hours or online by going to auduboncnc.org/programs and clicking on “Current Schedule.”

Audubon received a significant award from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation’s Patrie-Leamon Fund that supports Chautauqua County School Programs. The grant helps cover the gap between what the schools can afford to pay and the actual cost of doing the programs, including classroom, schoolyard, neighborhood nature walks and Discovery Walks at the Nature Center.

Audubon education programs are funded with support from the Carnahan Jackson Foundation, Jessie Smith Darrah Fund, Holmberg Foundation, Hultquist Foundation, and Lenna Foundation.

To learn more about Audubon field trips and how to schedule them, call (716) 569-2345 or click on “Schools” at auduboncnc.org/ScheduleAProgram.

Audubon Community Nature Center is located at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown, N.Y., and Warren, Pa. The three-story Nature Center building contains interactive displays, a collection of live animals, and the Blue Heron Gift Shop.

Building hours are Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Sundays 1-4 p.m. The 600-acre wetland preserve — with more than five miles of trails for hiking, snowshoeing and cross country skiing, and Liberty, the non-releasable Bald Eagle — can be visited from dawn until dusk daily.

To learn more about Audubon and its many programs, call (716) 569-2345 during business hours or visit auduboncnc.org.