Local youth organizations in Ukiah, Hopland and Redwood Valley are teaming up on Wednesday, October 26 to offer interested members of the community the opportunity to participate. Volunteers are needed to help guide young people on field trips and nature walks for environmental education.
The UC Hopland Research and Extension Center (HREC), the Redwood Valley Outdoor Education Project (RVOEP), and the UC 4-H Youth Development Program will share details of their volunteer opportunities, participation and when volunteers are needed during the school year. .
“Youth volunteering is a great way to support our young people and their future, but it also takes time, patience and commitment,” said Hannah Bird, Community Educator at HREC. “We hope this event will allow interested volunteers to understand exactly what is needed to support our environmental education programs, the types of skills, the time involved and the registration process – which includes fingerprinting and background checks for youth safety.”
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, school trips were canceled, leading to a natural decline in volunteering in these areas. RVOEP and HREC now welcome students to their sites, with over 3,000 students visiting each year for field trips.
Volunteers help site staff deliver environmental education programs, guide groups on nature walks and through programs such as nature sleuthing, identifying the most diverse bird habitat, learning fire science and lambing experience.
“Despite 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 volunteer opportunities with HREC and RVOEP occur during the day of the work week, but the UC 4-H Youth Development Program also offers adult support opportunities on weekends and evenings. The organizations involved hope that by collaborating with this recruitment event, potential volunteers will find the perfect volunteer opportunity that fits their interests and schedule.
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, October 26 at Shippey Hall, Hopland Research and Extension Center, 4070 University Road, Hopland. A simple complimentary lunch will be provided.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Hannah at (707) 744-1424, ext. 105.