Become a Naturalist
What is a Naturalist?
Naturalists are ambassadors for Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve and our regional natural environment. At the Preserve, Naturalists inform our visitors about the rich diversity of native plants that support native fauna and the unique qualities of the Preserve’s site. They lead tours, teach classes, assist with curatorial needs, and participate in special events. They help in the Native Plant Nursery and during the special native plant sales. Opportunities abound for Naturalists to share their knowledge at the Preserve - and throughout the region. Ultimately, they are invaluable and lead us all to an understanding of our natural world.
How to Become a Naturalist
The Preserve offers a series of classes over a 14-month period that provides participants with the foundation for becoming a Naturalist. Classes consist of core topics on natural and cultural history, geology, botany, and native fauna (including birds), and our signature seasonal series, Knowing Native Plants. Once participants complete the classes, we request that they provide a minimum of 20 hours of volunteer service to the Preserve. Additional learning is available with our Lunch and Learn programs, where more specific topics are covered. Other opportunities to supplement learning are available through a wide array of classes, lectures, and workshops.
The naturalist training application process is currently closed and there will be no new Naturalist training in 2020. Applications are NOT being accepted at this time.
Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve’s Naturalists lead or assist with a wide range of activities that spark our visitors’ interest. They share their knowledge of native plants by leading public and private tours, leading programs, or being available as a resource to our visitors.
Sharing a common bond of intense curiosity about the plant world, our Volunteer Naturalists bring their unique talents and interests to the education programs offered at the Preserve. Whether your special interest is gardening, botany, pollinators, birds, ecology, or all of these topics, there are Naturalists at the Preserve who share your passion.
Naturalists lead our 2 pm interpretive tours and other educational programs. In addition to educational programming, Naturalists participate in various curatorial activities at the Preserve, which include plant inventories, plant surveys, and propagation. They also help during special plant sales and in the Twinleaf Book & Gift Shop.
Participants are required to attend all classes to be fully vetted as a Volunteer Naturalist. We realize that last minute situations arise that cannot be avoided. If you must miss a class we will work with you so that you can attend that class the following year. No more than three classes can be missed/made up.