June 14th, 2024

Nature Centre seeking volunteers for peak season

By Ry Clarke - for the Lethbridge Herald on April 8, 2022.

Herald file photo by Alejandra Puilido-Guzman Ruth Gangur-Powell explains to a group of children how bats eat insects and sleep by hanging upside down during the Big Bird Little Bird program at the Helen Schuler Nature Centre.

Lethbridge’s Helen Schuler Nature Centre is accepting applications for volunteers as the busy season begins. The Nature Centre requires no previous experience, providing training for all volunteers looking to broaden their naturalist side. Volunteers will help with customer service, working in exhibit rooms, and assisting with the Schuler’s living roof.
Curtis Goodman, resource development coordinator for Helen Schuler Nature Centre, said,”The volunteer experience at the Nature Centre is a very social opportunity. Not only in terms of connecting with other volunteers and staff at the Nature Centre, as we learn about the river valley and all of the different components of it, but also interacting with visitors. As the Nature Centre gets into our primetime season, which is spring and summer, we have visitors from all over the world. It’s a great opportunity to be an ambassador for Lethbridge River Valley.”
The Nature Center will be holding information sessions on April 7 at 10:30 a.m., May 10 at 1 p.m., and June 6 at 10:30 a.m. in the Nature Centre’s Community Room. To make the most of volunteering, the Nature Centre recommends a minimum of four to six hours a month during a six month period.
Questions regarding volunteering can be direct to Goodman at curtis.goodman@lethbridge.ca.
“We do an orientation where we explore some of the parts of the Nature Centre you might not have seen, explore some of the resources that we have access to, and really start to meet the team. From there, we pair volunteers up with other volunteers to do shadowing. They’ll spend some time at the Nature Centre with other volunteers and just get a sense of what it is like at the Nature Centre,” said Goodman.
Families with kids around age five and up can partake in family volunteer opportunities and gaining independence for little ones, while giving families a chance to work together.
“If kids have that natural inclination to learning or sharing with others, it can be a perfect opportunity. We have a very interactive space inside of the Nature Centre, as [kids] spend more time there and get more confident, they often will take on more of a leadership role in engaging with visitors,” said Goodman sharing experiences with past volunteers. “We had one young volunteer who was always excited to show off the salamander. People showed up, he was like ‘you have to see the salamander’ and he would drag them over there. I think it’s a great way to get involved. The one challenge with family volunteering is just to make sure that the kids are at that right age level.”
Opening back in 1982 the Nature Centre is operated by the City of Lethbridge with teams of volunteers, staff, and partners working to connect residents in Lethbridge with their local heritage through environment awareness and programming. Open to the public Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Currently its ‘Snakes Alive’ exhibit is on display, highlighting local snake species and teaching audiences about the biology and lifestyle of reptiles in their own backyard.
If you are interested in becoming part of this team, or looking to branch out and find new areas of interest, now is a great time to volunteer with the Nature Centre. For more information on volunteering or the Nature Centre, visit them at https://naturecentre.ca. Volunteers interested in Coulee Cleanup are encourage to register online at Lethbridge.ca/cleanshoreline which will be officially launching on April 22.

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