Get Involved

Volunteer Naturalists for the Saturday Programs

We welcome volunteers to learn to lead or help at our Heron Watch Saturday programs. Volunteers learn to use spotting scopes and receive training. Please complete the application and return by February 28. Heron Watch begins in mid-April each year.

Volunteer Naturalists for the School Program

San Francisco Nature Education's overarching goal is to create tomorrow’s environmental stewards and leaders by inspiring a life-long love of nature. Our program connects children with conservation and the natural world.

We are looking for volunteers to support us in achieving our mission. We are looking for people who enjoy teaching children, being outdoors and who want to learn more about local birds and the natural history of Golden Gate Park.volunteer leading children on field trip

Volunteer Naturalists:

  • Lead San Francisco Kindergarten - 5th Graders in classroom visits and/or field trips
  • Lead hands-on nature walks for groups of about six children (all groups have chaperones)
  • Learn about San Francisco birds and the natural world of Golden Gate Park with expert naturalists
  • Special enrichment activities throughout the year including birding by ear and field trips
  • Encourage future environmental stewards
  • Are great role models for dozens of children!

We ask that volunteers commit to at least two mornings a month.

volunteer leading children in classroom activity

Volunteer Training Program

We provide training to our school program volunteer naturalists:

Overview (2 hours)

  • Mission
  • History of SFNE
  • Natural History of Golden Gate Park
  • Local birds of Golden Gate Park, slide show and field journal
  • Classroom visits

Field Trip to SFBG (2 hours)

  • Discussion: techniques for leading field trips for 3rd graders

Field Trip to Stow Lake (2 hours)

  • Discussion: techniques for leading field trips for 3rd graders.

Shadow a group on a field trip (2 hours)

Feedback on Our Program

“The program aligns with the science standards for 3rd grade and also helps the children improve their writing and literacy skills. The program has been a fun way for children to learn about nature right in the community while meeting these standards.” – Kathy D’Or Reid, 3rd grade teacher, Sunnyside Elementary School.

 “I have just completed my 33rd year as a teacher in San Francisco’s public schools. I’ve been on hundreds of field trips and yours is the most organized and meaningful field trip that I have ever had my class participate in.” – Kathy Lund, 3rd grade teacher, Jose Ortega Elementary School.

“I would like to learn what birds do in each season. I really liked seeing the birds on the field trips. I liked seeing them with the binoculars and my eyes.” – Student, Sunnyside Elem. School.

Additional Requirements

Each volunteer must submit to a fingerprint test provided free by the SFUSD.

Please send email to volunteer@sfnature.org. We will send application. An interview will be conducted on a Saturday upon receipt.