People volunteer at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center in many ways.
- Animal Care Assistants—provide basic care for resident animals including snakes, turtles, and raptors.
- Clerical Assistants—enter data, file, assist with correspondence and more.
- Docents—lead tours, assist with school programs, and other educational events.
- Fund-raising Assistants—help implement various fundraising activities including mailings and events.
- Habitat Restoration/Landscape Assistants—battle thistle, hemlock, and other invasive, non-native plants as needed. Sometimes plant or transplant native plant species too.
- Trail Walkers—act as hosts and trail educators, keeping an eye on the trails and assisting visitors as needed.
- Receptionists—answer phones and greet guests, answering questions about the preserve and the museum.
- Special Events Assistants—help plan, prepare for, and implement special events—both educational events and fundraisers.
The qualifications, minimum ages, and training required vary with the job.
A library is available to volunteers use to increase their knowledge. To volunteer, contact the Volunteer Coordinator, Jamie Washington, by email at JamieW@SacNatureCenter.net or by phone at (916) 489-4918.
As an example, below is information on what is needed to become an animal care assistant.
Animal Care Assistant
The Nature Center has a small collection of wild animals, adult and young, some of whom have been injured and require special handling. Scientific understanding is not as important as consistent, reliable efforts.
Clean animal cages; feed and exercise animals; assist with animals during visitor hours; maintain animal care records.
On-site training and five hours per month for a minimum of six months.
• Must be at least 14 years of age
• Sincere interest in animals and wildlife: no unreasonable fear of snakes or insects
• Interest in learning more about natural history
• Dependable--being on time is very important
• Detail oriented and able to work independently
• Volunteers 18 years old and older must be free from any arrest or conviction of any felony or misdemeanor offense involving violence, sexual or physical abuse of any adult or child, or any felony narcotic offense.
• Adult volunteers are required to submit a set of fingerprints before their first day of work in order for us to obtain related criminal records. The Volunteer Coordinator will provide information on how to meet this requirement.
Training and Preparation:
Volunteers are given an orientation to the Nature Center history and philosophy. Initial training is then given by the animal caretaker and volunteer animal care assistants.
Volunteers are encouraged to meet with the Volunteer Coordinator or their supervisors whenever necessary to discuss various scenarios that may occur. Periodic evaluations will be used to help improve the volunteer’s performance and to determine if the needs of the Center are being met.