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.
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!
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.