Grateful for time spent with Volunteers

Grateful for time spent with Volunteers

So lovely to spend time with our wonderful volunteers at the Nature Centre yesterday. And a big thanks to Island Poultry for their donation of delicious sausages.

If you didn’t make it out and want to know about our volunteer opportunities coming up check out:

Volunteer

And a few spots left in our salt marsh restoration project August 30th 9-12pm. Email info@cowichanestuary.ca to sign up.

Nature Interpreter/Centre Volunteer

Welcome. Experience. Explore. Delight

What: The Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre welcomes thousands of visitors every year. From repeat families, to travelers from afar, all are welcomed into the space to explore their curiosity and questions of the estuary and its inhabitants.

Who: Open to youth (16+) and adults (a child or grandchild is welcome to accompany) who have a love for nature, and a desire to share. No nature interpretation experience necessary, just a desire to learn and share.

We offer two roles in the nature centre:

  1. Nature Centre Interpreter: Opens and closes the nature centre (Cash/debit transactions, sets up float, Opens/closes building)
  2. Secondary Nature Interpreter: Welcomes visitors to the space, can guide nature walks, set up bird tower, run activities as wanted/needed

Length of volunteer shift: 2 hours + 10 mins for open/close (Nature Centre Interpreter role only). Shifts are split from 12-2 & 2-4

Volunteer commitment: The nature centre is open from 12-4 Thursday – Sunday  and every holiday Monday. We ask that volunteers sign up as a:

  • Regular volunteer – committing to a regular shift (once a week, biweekly, or once a month)
  • Or Flex volunteer – filling in gaps as regular volunteers are away

Booking shifts: Shifts are schedule at least one month in advance (often times every couple months).

Interested: email info@cowichanestuary.ca or call 250.597.2288

 

Restoration Volunteer – Ages 10 +

Renew. Give. Deepen. Share

What: The estuary is a gift and its health is a vital piece of our ecosystem. Every year we work with partnering organizations on restoration projects of the estuary and riparian zones up stream

Who: We are looking for youth (Age 10+) and adults who enjoy getting their hands dirty, love community projects and co-creating a lasting impact. Note this volunteer opportunity is open to school groups

Length of volunteer shift: 2.5 hours (Restoration projects include a 15 minute intro/education, 2 hour restoration work, and 15 minute wrap up and reflection)

Volunteer commitment: Restoration projects occur year round, and most often in the spring or fall but sometimes in the summer.

Booking shifts: Restoration projects are are scheduled at least three weeks in advance. Volunteers can sign up for as few or as many shifts as they like.

Interested: email info@cowichanestuary.ca or call 250.597.2288

 

School Program Volunteer

Educate. Play. Explore. Share

What: Every year we hosts hundreds of school children at the Nature Centre, and in Hecate Park, guiding them to explore the shore to sea. Our 1.5 hour programs are lead by our amazing Educators, and supporting by our School Program Volunteers.

Who: We are looking for adults with a delight in the outdoors, an interest in sharing nature, and a love for supporting kids/youth learn.

Length of volunteer shift: 2 hours (program runs 1.5 hours, volunteers arrive 15 minutes early and 15 minutes post to help with set up/clean up

Volunteer commitment: School program season runs from September – November and March – June. We ask that volunteers sign up for a fall or spring season.

Booking shifts: Shifts are schedule at least one week in advance (often times one month). Volunteers can sign up for as few or as many shifts as they like.

Interested: email info@cowichanestuary.ca or call 250.597.2288

 

 

Youth Permaculture Volunteer Opportunity! Starts this August

Participate in a Permaculture Water Audit, of a local garden/hobby farm.
Interested in permaculture, or learning how to conserve water? We need YOUTH volunteers to join local Permaculture leaders Jason Greenwood, and Sierra Robinson, on a 2 hour water audit of local gardens/hobby farms.
When:

  • August 10th, 9:30, 11:30,or 2:00pm,
  • August 16th 4:00pm
  • August 19th 4:00pm
  • August 26th, 4:00 pm or 6:30 pm
What: We are looking for a note taker & a photographer
Transportation: Requires own transportation to the sites (if going to multiple audits in a day, we can arrange travel between audits)

Volunteer commitment: 2 hours (can come to more than one)

Volunteer Open House BBQ!

Volunteer Open House BBQ!

This August 21st we are having an Open House BBQ for past, present and potential Volunteers. 

Ever considered helping guide students as they explore the shorelines, hand out binoculars to community members so they can watch Osprey nesting, participate in watershed restoration projects? Well, this August might be your chance to learn more about how to get started.

Invite is by RSVP, if you are interested in joining us for a Volunteer BBQ and learning about volunteering at the Nature Centre, email info@cowichanestuary.ca for details. 

Volunteer Position – Nature Interpreter – Now inviting new volunteers

The Nature Centre is a heart beat in the Estuary, with a flow of students, visitors, and soon to be camp attendees, all exploring the magic of  hands on exploration of life from the estuary. The vitality of the centre is upheld by our volunteers, individuals with a love for nature, a curiosity to learn and a delight in sharing discoveries with visitors. Its a pretty perfect place to spend two hours a week or a month, and a great way to connect with nature and community.

With the busy summer ahead we are now inviting new volunteers to join our community. And we welcome individuals and pairs of volunteers – couples, friends, grandparents/grandchild.

To begin your exploration of volunteering at the nature centre call 250.597.2288 or fill out our  contact form

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“For three years my granddaughter and I were volunteers for two hours on Sunday afternoons at the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre.  We did this from when she was 10 until she was 13. These were wonderful times for both of us, meeting people when the centre was busy and working together or just hanging out and talking during the quiet times.  For her, it was an opportunity to show off her amazing abilities with technology while developing excellent customer service, child management, and retail sales skills. Together, we learned a great deal from researching answers to visitors’ questions.  She describes it as our quality time together.” J. Scull. Volunteer at the Nature Centre

 

Volunteer Position – Nature Interpreter – Now inviting new volunteers

The Nature Centre is a heart beat in the Estuary, with a flow of students, visitors, and soon to be camp attendees, all exploring the magic of  hands on exploration of life from the estuary. The vitality of the centre is upheld by our volunteers, individuals with a love for nature, a curiosity to learn and a delight in sharing discoveries with visitors. Its a pretty perfect place to spend two hours a week or a month, and a great way to connect with nature and community.

With the busy summer ahead we are now inviting new volunteers to join our community. And we welcome individuals and pairs of volunteers – couples, friends, grandparents/grandchild.

To begin your exploration of volunteering at the nature centre call 250.597.2288 or fill out our  contact form

————————————————————————————–

“For three years my granddaughter and I were volunteers for two hours on Sunday afternoons at the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre.  We did this from when she was 10 until she was 13. These were wonderful times for both of us, meeting people when the centre was busy and working together or just hanging out and talking during the quiet times.  For her, it was an opportunity to show off her amazing abilities with technology while developing excellent customer service, child management, and retail sales skills. Together, we learned a great deal from researching answers to visitors’ questions.  She describes it as our quality time together.” J. Scull. Volunteer at the Nature Centre

 

Ken & Donna: 2018 Volunteers of the Year

Coordinator Haley Guest presents Ken and Donna with their 2018 “Volunteers of the Year” certificates

We’d like to introduce Donna Zipse and Ken Bendle, our 2018 “Volunteers of the Year”. Donna and Ken moved to Cowichan Bay from the Prairies just over a year ago and immediately fell in love with the estuary and the Cowichan Bay community.

Long-time volunteer Kerrie Talbot recalls their first day volunteering last year: “It was winter and it was snowing – I mean really snowing. I was ready to put up a ‘Closed’ sign at the Nature Centre when Ken and Donna showed up with smiles on. Like the good prairie folk they are, they jumped right in and shoveled the deck and stairs so that we could stay open safely.”

Donna and Ken are now regular volunteer interpreters at the Centre. They have also become godparents and protectors to all the critters and in our aquarium and touch tanks, researching their needs, making sure they are well fed and keeping an eye on the predator-prey balance in our little indoor ecosystem. During the three and a half day power outage in December they were a core part of the team keeping the critters fed and devising ways to keep their waters oxygenated without power!  On top of all that, they more than their share of keeping the place clean and tidy. Thank-you Ken and Donna!

Genevieve Singleton

Volunteers are the backbone of the Nature Centre – and this month we’re shining the spotlight on the amazing Genevieve Singleton!

Genevieve grew up in Colwood and Oak Bay, moved away after marrying local landscape ecologist Dave Polster, and has lived in Calgary, Vancouver and Revelstoke until settling in the Cowichan Valley 29 years ago.

Genevieve’s deep calling to share her love of nature with people makes the Nature Centre a ‘natural’ place to find herself. She and Dave were founding donors of the Centre and have been engaged in many ways since it opened.

Among her various commitments to nature education and stewardship in the Valley and beyond, Genevieve still finds time to do nature programs with summer camps, introduce evening programs, and train Centre volunteers. Starting out with BC Parks, she has forty years of experience as a Nature Interpreter, getting to work all over BC! For the past 29 years she has taken thousands of children outdoors in the Cowichan Valley area.

“I especially enjoy the Great Blue Herons. I am learning so much from them. My favourite memory is my son, Nathan and his wife Bom, having their wedding pictures taken in the rain near the Estuary Nature Centre!”

 

We are so grateful for you and all you do. Thank you Genevieve for your commitment, energy, wisdom, and support!!

If you are interested in joining the volunteer ‘family’ at the Nature Centre, contact us here or email us.

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