Join DougCo Banner Photo

Get Involved: Open Space & Natural Resources - Naturalists

Naturalists Get Involved Photo



If you enjoy exploring and sharing the natural wonders of Douglas County with others, consider becoming a Volunteer Naturalist with Douglas County Open Space and Natural Resources. Volunteer Naturalists interpret the natural history of Douglas County and share their knowledge and experience with participants of all ages.  They may also develop and present interpretive programs, becoming Volunteer Naturalist Guides or Assistant Naturalist guides.   

Naturalist Guide Responsibilities  

  • To enlighten the public about local natural resources such as plants, animals, and geology, and the interconnections with the land at trail sites, on hikes, at display booths, and in presentations. 

  • Help others understand the issues that involve natural resources and their interactions with people and the forces of nature.  Instill the sense of stewardship through conservation to help protect sensitive natural resources.  

  • Assist in gathering resources that can be used for interpretive and educational programs and displays. 

  • Lead interpretive nature hikes, present public natural history programs, and provide hands on environmental field experiences for all ages in Douglas County.   


  • We encourage people with a passion for nature, some knowledge of local natural history, and a strong desire to learn more and share their passion with others. 

  • Must complete required trainings for Douglas County Open Space Naturalists 

  • Must be at least 18 years of age. 

  • Desire and ability to work in the outdoors is required for the Naturalist Guides.  

  • Complete First Aid and CPR Certification and a background check with Douglas County.  


  • Indoor and outdoor trainings at various sites may be held from late March through May.  

  • A variety of naturalist interpreters, physical and biological scientists and Douglas County Open Space staff members will contribute a wealth of interesting knowledge and connections to the natural world and the Douglas County Open Space and NR program.   

  • Get to know the Open Space properties, resources, helpful contacts, trails, wildlife, geology, plant life, local ecology, and history of the land.       

Volunteer Benefits:
  • Opportunity to meet and work with people with similar interests. 

  • Opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and share natural findings with others.   

  • Receive training to understand the needs of our native plants and animals and management practices that will help their species prosper within local landforms and climate.    

  • Opportunities to participate in continued learning. 

Outdoors - Hiking, Natural Resources - Geology, Educational - Arts & Culture, Educational - Cultural History, Natural Resources - Botany, Communications - Presentations and Interpretation, Maintenance - Gardening
Gardening/Agriculture, Public Contact /Hosting, Wildlife Conservation, Public Speaking/Presentations, Local Historic and Natural History, Habitat Restoration, Botany, Environmental Ed/Interpretation, Geology

Ready to get involved?

Apply online to become a volunteer.

Questions? Contact Jackie Sanderson
(303) 663-7652