Summer 2016

Summer Intern

Position Description:

The nature center is looking for a college intern for the summer of  2016.  The primary role of a Fern Hollow college intern is to assist the education staff in the preparation, planning and delivery of summer camps and other environmental education programming.  Intern must be comfortable with managing small groups of children on their own. In many cases, intern will be in charge of managing younger counselors and volunteers.

Interns will also assist with the everyday maintenance and care of the facilities which includes the FHNC outdoor classroom & nature play area and native gardens.  Interns may be asked to provide clerical and office assistance at various times.  Fern Hollow will provide on-site training.  Interns may also be asked to participate in any number of specialty projects dealing with wildlife conservation, water quality analysis, etc…


  • Intern will work approximately 200 hours from late-May until mid-August 2016 (approx 12-13 weeks)
  • Intern will receive a stipend of $750 .00 at conclusion of work period.
  • Hours worked per week will depend on nature center programming schedule.
  • Interns can use their hours towards acquisition of credit at any college or university as applicable. 
  • Interns will work directly with children ranging in age from 3 to 11 years old. 
  • must be 18 years or older and possess a valid driver’s license
  • must possess basic computer skills
  • must be dependable, reliable and prompt
  • must have a strong love for the outdoors, children and nature
  • must maintain a clean and professional appearance at all times
  • must be available to work some weekends and possibly weeknights
  • must be willing to obtain the following clearances to work with children


-         Act  34 (Pennsylvania State Criminal History Record Child)

-         Act 151 (Abuse History Clearance)

-         FBI Fingerprint Clearance

To Apply:  (Application materials must be received by March 15th 2016)

Please send cover letter, resume and one letter of recommendation to:

Fern Hollow Nature Center

c/o Summer College Intern Position

PO Box 8 - Sewickley PA 15143

Application materials can also be emailed to:

Summer Intern Sewickley Heights Boro Park

Location: Sewickley Heights Borough Park, Allegheny County, PA

Duration and Compensation: 120 hours, including two weeks unpaid vacation, over a period of 14 weeks, beginning on or around Monday May 11. Work will be 10 hours per week at $11/hour.


Sewickley Heights Borough Park is a 1200 acre public park set in the hills of northern Allegheny County. Diverse user groups enjoy trails through mature upland forest, successional “old field” forest, across oak dominated ridges and down to the Little Sewickley Creek floodplain.

Expectations and Duties:

The Park is seeking an enthusiastic, ambitious intern for the 2016 summer season. The internship will span a maximum of 14 weeks, beginning on or around Monday May 11 and ending Friday Aug 14, depending on the candidates’ school schedule. The intern will work primarily with the Park forester with opportunities to participate in activities connected with Fern Hollow Nature Center, also in Sewickley Heights. The qualified candidate will have interest in and/or knowledge of (but not limited to): forest ecology and management, natural resource management, wildlife habitat, forest insect pests and disease, recreation management, trail maintenance and repair, and vegetation management. We prefer a candidate enrolled in a natural resources/environmental education program, but will consider other qualified candidates. Candidate must be able to navigate rough terrain and handle heavy items.

Work duties are diverse and will include/but not be limited to: forest inventory, routine trail monitoring and clearing, wildlife habitat improvement and forest productivity projects, scouting for forest pests and disease, scouting and treating invasive species, ornamental tree care, assessing and removing hazard trees, monitoring previously treated forest trees (Ash treatment for EAB), interacting with park users, field management, etc. Work will include both independent and directed work, so the candidate should be comfortable with both.

The internship will be physically and mentally engaging as forestland offers a breadth of opportunity to learn and enjoy. There will be countless prospects to gather knowledge and improve skills in the field. Please consider Sewickley Heights Borough Park when planning your internship for this upcoming field season.


Please send resume and brief letter of interest to:

Nate Briggs

Forester, Sewickley Heights Borough Park

238 Country Club Ln.

Sewickley, PA 15143

Volunteer Opportunities

Apiary Volunteers 

Help wanted to care for 20,000 - 50,000 hard working women and assorted males in our Apiary at Fern Hollow. No experience is necessary as we'll teach you all you'll need to know about beekeeping. 

Typically we open the hives approximately every ten to fourteen days to inspect the bees, feed them, and help them survive. These visits last 1 to 1 1/2 hours, usually in the morning or afternoon, and are very weather dependent. You'll be expected to don a bee suit, help us open the hives, and handle frames of honey and brood. 

We want a list of volunteers, and will call or text each of you until we find a volunteer who is available on the day and time we are planning a visit. 

Please send your contact information or questions to Norm Diebold,

Nature Guides 

The Nature Guides at Fern Hollow is an organization of volunteers who work with elementary school children in the Sewickley area.  It was founded with the intention of teaching children to look at and appreciate the natural world around them.   Volunteers are recruited and trained by Fern Hollow staff and other guides.  To become a Nature Guide, you only need to be willing to give some of your time to teaching children about the world of nature. Training sessions and orientations are held during the season to acquaint guides with the materials and the curriculum plan.

The walk season covers six to eight weeks each fall and spring. Children are taken into the field to study topics such as seasonal changes, plants, birds, insects, creek habitat and even maple sugaring.  Walks take place at Walker Park, Morrow-Pontefract Park (by the Giant Eagle), Sewickley Heights Borough Park and Fern Hollow Nature Center. PowerPoint or video presentations are given in the schools prior to the walk to give the children some background in the subject to be  covered.  

No previous experience is required – we will teach you everything you need to know.  During your training as a volunteer Nature Guide you will:

• Attend an orientation where we will introduce you to the programs.

• Receive background material on the nature walks of your choice and have the opportunity to review the video or PowerPoint presentations that precede each walk.

• Shadow experienced Nature Guides as they lead children on one of our nature walks. 

• Learn teaching techniques and gain practical experience in leading small groups of 7 to 9 children.  

Once you have completed training, we ask that you lead at least 2 walks per season. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to work with children while becoming more familiar with the natural history of our community.  

Event Volunteers

Fern Hollow is always looking for individuals who are interested in helping us run our various programs and events throughout the year.  Event volunteers are a critical part of our fundraising events such as the Fall Music Festival, the Maple Sugaring Celebration and Pancake Breakfast and the Sewickley Heights Treasure Sale.  They also assist us with informal programming throughout the year as needed.  To become an Event Volunteer at Fern Hollow, just send us your email address.  Any time we have an upcoming event that we need assistance with, we send an email to all our Event Volunteers.  There is no training required and no minimum time commitment.  If you are looking for a way to support environmental education in our community, become an Event Volunteer at Fern Hollow Nature Center!

Hollow Helpers 

The Hollow Helpers are a group of teens who are excited about the natural world.  Hollow Helpers volunteer at Fern Hollow for activities such as informal programs, events, summer camps and general work around the nature center.  Our Hollow Helpers have the opportunity to develop their talents in many ways such as creating displays in the nature center, leading activities and crafts at summer camp or planting native trees around our grounds.  It's a fun way to help your community, the environment and fulfill your school volunteer requirements.