Have you ever wondered what it looks like when a child gets to see a 100 year old tree for the first time? What about the thrill of helping a student discover the role of a watershed? Do you yearn to finally catch a glimpse of an owl while 10 sets of eyes excitedly follow your finger in the hopes of finding them too? Are you a lifelong learner with a passion for spreading your knowledge, authentically welcoming diverse students, and committing to personal growth? If so, you might be a Nature Educator! Without you, thousands of students each year would miss out on the opportunity to experience the forest firsthand through educational hikes, activities, and community learning experiences.
Once again, Friends of Tryon Creek is offering a FREE comprehensive nature educator training to be held on Tuesdays from February 12th (half day) through March 5th at the Tryon Creek Nature Center (11321 SW Terwilliger Blvd, Portland, OR) from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM. This training is designed to give you the tools you need to be a flexible and culturally responsive leader and educator in a variety of outdoor settings, with the intention of recruiting enthusiastic and passionate people to become a part of our family of naturalists, educators, leaders, and learners!
Since 1970, Friends of Tryon Creek (FOTC), in partnership with Oregon State Parks, has worked to nurture relationships with nature and connect people to Tryon Creek State Natural Area, Oregon’s only urban state natural area. Friends of Tryon Creek is committed to acknowledging social justice, identity, and power structures in past and present settings through diverse perspectives. For us, this means all programs employ an equity framework, incorporating diversity trainings and workshops throughout our extended community, including board, staff and volunteer base. We seek to support our whole community in their effort to reclaim, reconnect and build relationships with the natural world. Our commitment is built and sustained through authentic partnerships with communities of color, culturally-specific organizations, and other historically under-represented groups.
Our field trip program serves approximately 4,200 Kindergarten through 5th grade students each year, plus roughly 200 teachers and 700 volunteer chaperones from all across the Portland-Metro area. Friends of Tryon Creek recognizes the diversity of races, cultures, backgrounds, and experiences of our whole community must be represented in our volunteer base in order to welcome and inspire all visitors, so we strongly encourage people of color as well as folks who are LBGTQ, multilingual, first-generation, or from other traditionally marginalized communities to join us in our efforts to reclaim, reconnect, and build authentic relationships with nature.
That being said, we welcome all ages, backgrounds, and experience levels, asking only that you are ready to support us in our journey towards equitable opportunities for all, that you can pass a background check, and (ideally) are available to volunteer at least once a month (weekday mornings) during the field trip season, which runs throughout the school year, October through early June.
Register for our training today to join a robust community of like-minded volunteers who enjoy a variety of skill-building and social events throughout the year, building relationships that last a lifetime. We look forward to being a part of your journey as a vital connection between kids and the natural world, and thank you for your interest in this important mission!
Pre-registration is required – please contact FOTC Field Trip Coordinator Erin Cathcart: 503.636.4398 (ext. 105) or firstname.lastname@example.org.