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Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve Interpretive Naturalist Training Program (2024)

Saturday, January 20 10:00 am
Saturday, January 20 12:00 pm



The fee for the program is a deposit. It will be reimbursed following two successful seasons as a BIN.

Class Schedule:

  • Basic Botany (February 24, 2024)
  • Introduction to Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve (March 16, 2024)
  • Native Plant Nursery and the Visitor Center Gardens (April 6, 2024)
  • Sharing Whats Native and Interpretative Skills (May 11, 2024)
  • Native Plants Through the Seasons (June 29, 2024)
  • The Collections of BHWP (July 20, 2024)

DURATION: 1.5 – 2 hours

The BHWP Interpretive Naturalist (BIN) Training Program:

Volunteers have been central to Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve since its inception. A BHWP Interpretive Naturalist is an individual passionate about native plants and the natural world. They undergo an intensive training program and use their knowledge to give back to the BHWP community. The Naturalist Training Program began in 2006 and sought to inspire the appreciation and understanding of native plants in the natural world as well as the landscape. It is our hope to continue and broaden this program to include a variety of opportunities for volunteers to share the experience and knowledge they gained with the general public. This new, dynamic program consists of 3 major components: initial training course, volunteer service hours, and continuing education.


  • To develop a group of well-trained and informed individuals who will serve as educational resources on native plants and the ecosystems they support.

Program Goals:

  1. To provide the Preserve with a group of trained and knowledgeable volunteers who are available to offer tours, on and off-site programs, and advocate for the Preserve to help advance its mission. At the end of the training, naturalists will have a working knowledge of Preserve, the local ecosystems, and the relationship between native plants and a healthy planet.
    1. Our goal is for some volunteers to continue their training and advance to BHWP Interpretive Naturalist (BIN). These volunteers will have the opportunity to shadow, be mentored by and co-lead walks with seasoned BIN. They must also complete volunteer service hours and participate in continuing education programs.
  2. Increase the appreciation and use of native plants in the landscape.
  3. Further the reputation of BHWP as the premier source of native plant knowledge in the Mid-Atlantic.

Who Should Consider the BIN Program:

  • Must be 18 years old or older
  • Enthusiastic interest in the environment and learning about the importance of native plants
  • Have a background or strong interest in natural history
  • Be enthusiastic about natural resource education, conservation and stewardship
  • Good communication skills; ability to interact with people of all ages and backgrounds in a friendly and courteous manner
  • Have a willingness to learn and a desire to share knowledge with others
  • Have a desire to contribute volunteer service toward the conservation of natural resources and natural areas within your community
  • Reliability, punctuality, and flexibility with schedules and last-minute changes

Application Process:

  • Complete Program Application
  • Review and Sign Volunteer Agreement
  • Review and Sign Photo Release
    • Complete appropriate background checks and fingerprinting

BHWP Interpretive Naturalist Benefits:

  • Free Individual Membership for one year
  • Special 40% discount on KNP registration (20% off all other Education Programming)
  • Access to BIN only walk opportunities (Wonder Walks)
  • Access to KNP Recorded Library

BHWP Interpretive Naturalist Responsibilities:

  • Commit to two years of volunteer service post-training
  • Lead at least 12 tours each year.
  • Research current seasonal highlights to share on tours and for personal growth and development.
  • Arrive 30 minutes before tours to check in with Preserve staff/volunteers regarding any last-minute updates that may affect the walk.
  • Provide timely notification of any change in your schedule and availability.
  • Complete the Continuing education training.
  • Attend plant walks and occasional special training about new gardens and programs.

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