The following is a press release from the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center:
Local youth organizations in Ukiah, Hopland and Redwood Valley are teaming up on Wednesday, Nov. 1, to offer opportunities for interested community members to participate. Volunteers are needed to help guide youths on field trips and nature walks for environmental education.
The UC Hopland Research and Extension Center (HREC), Redwood Valley Outdoor Education Project (RVOEP) will share details of their volunteer opportunities, the requirements to participate and dates on which volunteers are needed over the academic year.
“Volunteering with youth is a great way to support our young people and their futures, but also takes time, patience and commitment,” said Hannah Bird, HREC community educator. “We hope this event will allow interested volunteers to understand just what is required to support our environmental education programs, the kinds of skills, time commitment and the registration process – which includes fingerprinting and background checks for youth safety.”
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, school field trips were canceled, leading to a natural decline in volunteerism in these areas. RVOEP and HREC now welcome over 3,000 students visiting for field trips annually.
Volunteers support site staff in delivery of environmental education programs, guiding groups on nature walks and through programs such as being a nature detective, identifying the most diverse bird habitat, learning fire science and experiencing lambing time.
“Despite having well-developed and refined outdoor programs, we still rely heavily on volunteers. If we lack volunteers, the quality of our environmental education programs is diminished,” commented Erich Sommer, RVOEP outdoor education specialist.
Many of the volunteer opportunities with HREC and RVOEP are during the day in the work week. The organizations involved hope that by collaborating for this recruitment event, prospective volunteers will find the perfect volunteer opportunity that fits their interests and schedules.
Participants are requested to register online for the event at https://bit.ly/volunteerhrec.
The volunteer event will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 1, at Shippey Hall, Hopland Research and Extension Center, 4070 University Road, Hopland. A simple free lunch will be provided.