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Volunteering at the Kalamazoo Nature Center

SAVE THE DATE:  Volunteer Appreciation Party 
Wednesday, September 12, 5 pm

We need hundreds of volunteers and several interns every year to continue providing high quality opportunities for our members and visitors to learn more about and engage with nature. Volunteer positions and internships at KNC are intended to be mutually beneficial: we further our mission of connecting people with nature and enjoy the benefits of your hard work and positive energy, and you receive education and experiences in a professional, natural setting, working closely with our world-class staff.

There are a few simple steps to take to become a volunteer. Start by filling out the Volunteer Registration and tell us about your skills and interests. Then, check our website and our volunteer newsletter regularly to identify a volunteer opportunity that is right for you.

Learn more about Volunteer Policies and Benefits, Youth Volunteers, and Group Volunteers.

Please review this list of current volunteer and internship openings to find the right task for you. We hope to hear from you!  Questions? Contact Kevin Wordelman, Director of People and Culture, at kwordelman@naturecenter.org or (269) 381-1574 ext. 25.

Volunteers at Earth Day

Are you a current volunteer?  Log in to your
Volunteer Profile

Interested in an internship with KNC?  Fill out an
Internship Application

New! View our Volunteer Newsletter archives here!
Volunteer Newsletters

Volunteer Opportunties
Become a KNC Connector!

Our mission is to inspire people to care for the environment by providing experiences that connect them to the natural world. This is now the job of the KNC Connector! Connectors will circulate the Visitor’s Center on Saturdays and Sundays to welcome visitors, interpret exhibits, and connect visitors with KNC programs. Connectors must be polite and approachable and should be familiar with KNC grounds, animals, plants, trails, etc. but don't worry - training is provided! We are asking Connectors to commit to serving at least one 3-hour shift per month. There are 3 different shifts available: Saturdays (10 a.m. - 1 p.m. or 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.) and Sundays (1 p.m. - 4 p.m.). To become a KNC Connector or for more information on the position, email Kevin today!

Citizen Science

Become a citizen scientist!  Join our team of dedicated citizen scientists by first filling out a volunteer application with your skills, interests, and weekly availability so we can match you with a project that is the best fit for you.
For more information on citizen science and current opportunities, check out our website here.

Historic Tour Guide Volunteer

Overview:      The Historical Tour Guides will assist the Farm Director with homestead interpretation, care and can assist in gardens if they would like. Historic tour guides will interact with the public on the weekends and share knowledge with them about the 1800s time period and the DeLano Homestead and the family it is named for.

Schedule:      Saturdays 10 am – 4 pm; Sundays 1 pm – 4 pm from June – September

Mission Statement: The Kalamazoo Nature Center is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to inspire people to care for the environment by providing experiences that lead them to understand their connection to the natural world.

The Kalamazoo Nature Center is an equal opportunity organization that will not discriminate in its programs or hiring practices on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, veteran status, height, weight, sexual orientation or gender identity, marital status, or political affiliation.

To Apply:

Contact DeLano Farm Director Cortney Collia at ccollia@naturecenter.org or (269) 381-1574.

Farm Animal Educator Volunteer

Overview: The Farmyard Education volunteer will assist in the set up and interpretation for our Wednesday Morning Farm program

Schedule:      Wednesday Mornings 9am - 12pm from June – August

Mission Statement: The Kalamazoo Nature Center is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to inspire people to care for the environment by providing experiences that lead them to understand their connection to the natural world.

Duties:

  • Follow customer care standards: safety, courtesy, accuracy, and cleanliness
  • Share knowledge with public about farm animals and DeLano history
  • Assist in maintaining good customer service throughout the organization
  • Assist with animals when needed
  • Duties otherwise assigned by supervisor

 

The Kalamazoo Nature Center is an equal opportunity organization that will not discriminate in its programs or hiring practices on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, veteran status, height, weight, sexual orientation or gender identity, marital status, or political affiliation.

To Apply:

Send a cover letter, resume and names and phone numbers of three references to Cortney Collia at ccollia@naturecenter.org or at Kalamazoo Nature Center, 7000 N. Westnedge Ave., Kalamazoo, MI  49009-6309

The deadline to submit applications is March 1, 2018

Farm Field Volunteer

Overview:      The Farm Field Volunteer will work with the Farm Field Attendant to implement and maintain the farm field plan. They will report to the Farm Field Attendant and assist them with all assigned duties.

Schedule:      10 hours per week preferred, March 12 - October 5

Mission Statement: The Kalamazoo Nature Center is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to inspire people to care for the environment by providing experiences that lead them to understand their connection to the natural world.

Opportunities for Growth and Development:

  • Follow customer care standards: safety, courtesy, accuracy, and cleanliness
  • Organize, develop and maintain farm equipment
  • Learn about maintaining good customer service throughout the organization
  • Run a variety of farm equipment
  • Plant cultivation
  • Maintain crop/water usage records
  • Daily watering, weeding, harvesting, etc. of all crops
  • Learn to teach public programs, camp programs and to work with children
  • Assist with the creation of the following years field plan
  • Assist with the opening and closing of a seasonal farm
  • Experience working in fields/gardens
  • Experience in plant cultivation
  • Experience using farm equipment
  • Ability to work with a team and individually
  • Competency in oral and written communications
  • Working with a diverse group of people
  • Ability to work outdoors in all weather
  • Commitment to the KNC mission
  • Ability to maintain a flexible work schedule on occasion

The Kalamazoo Nature Center is an equal opportunity organization that will not discriminate in its programs or hiring practices on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, veteran status, height, weight, sexual orientation or gender identity, marital status, or political affiliation.

To Apply:

Send a cover letter, resume and names and phone numbers of three references to Cortney Collia at ccollia@naturecenter.org or at Kalamazoo Nature Center, 7000 N. Westnedge Ave., Kalamazoo, MI  49009-6309

The deadline to submit applications is March 1, 2018

Hands-on Land Conservation

Stewardship crew at workJoin KNC’s Stewardship Field Director and others in actively managing the important natural areas and features on our KNC property. Land conservation volunteers perform various aspects of ecological management under the guidance and supervision of KNC’s well-qualified and experienced staff. No prior experience or training necessary. If you are passionate about land conservation and wish to engage with restoration work on KNC property this is the position for you! 

This position does require moderate outdoor activity. Your involvement will improve habitats for such species as the threatened eastern massasauga rattlesnake. Contact Paul Mayer, pmayer@naturecenter.org or for more information, or fill out the volunteer registration.

Volunteer Prescribed Fire Crew

Fire Crew at WorkFire is a natural element of many ecosystems in Michigan, including forests, wetlands, and prairies. Prescribed fire, in place of natural wildfires, helps maintain balance by controlling invasive plant populations and promoting the growth of natives. KNC land managers use prescribed fire as a tool to help accomplish the restoration goals of our management areas. In order to safely and effectively implement fire in the field, KNC relies upon the aid of volunteer crew members. If you are interested in volunteering on the crew, contact Coleman Wilson by email at cwilson@naturecenter.org.

Learn more about the Volunteer Crew Requirements here.

www.firecouncil.org contains more information about trainings, education, and the mission of prescribed fire in Michigan. 

Farm Educator Volunteer

Overview: DeLano Farm Education volunteers will assist with 1.5 - 2 hour school programs about Michigan’s History in our 1858 homestead, replica cabin, indigenous village replica; as well as help with farm education programs. They will be able to choose which dates and programs they are available for and sign up as needed. They will be required to attend seasonal program trainings so that they are up to date on all current programs being offered on the DeLano Property.

Schedule:    Flexible

February – June; September – December

Mission Statement: The Kalamazoo Nature Center is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to inspire people to care for the environment by providing experiences that lead them to understand their connection to the natural world.

Duties and Opportunities:

  • Follow customer care standards: safety, courtesy, accuracy, and cleanliness
  • Learn School Programs
  • Teach Michigan history and farm programs to k-8 school children
  • Assist in maintaining good customer service throughout the organization
  • Assist with care of DeLano Homestead
  • Learn to build and maintain fires in the cabin and homestead
  • Attend seasonal program training days
  • Duties otherwise assigned by supervisor

The Kalamazoo Nature Center is an equal opportunity organization that will not discriminate in its programs or hiring practices on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, veteran status, height, weight, sexual orientation or gender identity, marital status, or political affiliation.

To Apply:

Contact DeLano Farm Director Cortney Collia at ccollia@naturecenter.org or (269) 381-1574.

Asters and other Mystery Flora Along the Way

Two botany workshops offered by the Kalamazoo Nature Center this August

Option 1: August 15, 2018 - A workshop for beginners and non-professionals

Option 2: August 16, 2018 - An advanced workshop for professionals with a botanical knowledge

Workshop fees: $25 per workshop for KNC members  |  $30 for non-members
LEARN MORE & REGISTER HERE

These two 100% field-based workshops will travel around Kalamazoo and will help you:
- build your plant terminology to speak botanesque
- learn handy ID characters to recognize plants in the field
- gain experience in using keys when nothing else works
- hear on the spot primers on ecological topics that affect plant communities
- see cool natural areas

Please contact Ashley Cole-Wick at awick@naturecenter.org with any questions.  

Michigan Conservation Stewards Program

Registration is open for the Michigan Conservation Stewards Program! 

The Michigan Conservation Stewards Program is a leadership training program in which volunteers gain the expertise necessary to help restore and sustain healthy ecosystems throughout Michigan.

Field-based, classroom, and online sessions offer hands on learning opportunities focused on ecological foundations, natural resources decision-making, forests, grasslands, wetlands, lakes, and streams.

Professional level instruction is provided on how to make land management choices our local lands by Michigan State University Extension (MSUE), Michigan Natural Features Inventory, and Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Program Details: The Kalamazoo Program will be held concurrently with Oakland and St. Clair Counties.  For further information: website:www.msue.msu.edu/csp

Kalamazoo program registration link: https://events.anr.msu.edu/cspkzoo2018/

2018 Kalamazoo Schedule: 

7 evening sessions, Mondays, 6 pm - 9 pm:

2 field sessions, Saturdays, 9 am -4 pm:

 Monday September 10: Orientation/Natural Heritage

Monday, September 17: Ecology 101

Saturday, September 22: Terrestrial /Forestry Field Day

Monday, September 24: Forest & Forest Ecosystems

Monday, October 1: Terrestrial Ecosystems – Grasslands

Monday, October 8: Aquatic Ecosystems - Streams& Wetlands

Saturday, October 13: Aquatic Field Day

Monday, October 15: Invasive Species & Climate Change

Monday, October 22: Capstone Project Presentations/Graduation

email: klotzmis@msu.edu or akornoelje@naturecenter.org

Internship Opportunities
Sustainable Events Intern

Summary of Position: 

The Sustainable Events intern will assist in KNC’s continued effort towards zero waste management system; develop educational material and guidelines; train KNC staff and guests and identify waste reduction opportunities for all KNC events; recruit and train volunteers to assist with waste reduction efforts.  For more information and application instructions, view the entire internship opportunity here.

Communications Internship

​The Communications Internship is an unpaid volunteer position. The intern will assist with a wide range of projects within the Development Department including researching and drafting media releases, posting KNC programs and events to media calendars, photo editing, planning, development, and maintenance of a social media calendar, track analytics, and additional projects as assigned by supervisor.  For more information and application instructions, view the entire intern description here.

Outdoor Education/Nature Facilitation Intern

KNC aims to connect people in our area to the natural world. Opportunities for interns include youth, family and adult programming in school or community group programs, facilitation, adventure, camp, farm, historical or casual visitor interactions.  For details, contact Kevin Wordelman via email or at (269) 381-1574 ext. 25.

Volunteer Management Internship

The Volunteer Management Internship is unpaid, but will help prepare the right candidate for a career in public administration, volunteer management and/or human resources. The Intern will assist the Director of People & Culture with implementation of a cutting edge “service enterprise” model, work directly with staff, volunteers and other interns to promote volunteer management best practices and develop strategies for continuous evaluation and improvement of volunteer administration at KNC. For more information and application instructions, view the entire internship description here.

Farm Management Internship

Overview: The Farm Management Intern will directly assist the DeLano Farms Director in all aspects of her job: Conducting training, teaching public and school programs, creating curriculum, and learning about land conservation, agriculture and animal care. The Intern will also experience new program development, budgeting and record-keeping principles related to farm management. This position is extremely unique and requires a very flexible person who is able to drive a tractor and plan a festival. If you are self-driven and wish to learn about many different aspects of educational farming please contact us!

Schedule: 15-20+ hours per week, occasional evenings and weekends March – October (Flexible for the right candidate)

For more information and application instructions, view the entire internship position here.

Farm Field Internship

Overview: The Farm Field Intern will work with the Farm Field Attendant to implement and maintain the farm field plan. They will report to the Farm Field Attendant and assist them with all assigned duties.

Schedule: 10-20 hours per week preferred March 12 - October 5 

For more information and application instructions, view the entire internship description here.