Environmental Education Volunteering

Be a Seattle Urban Nature Guide, Junior Naturalist, or Salmon Steward

Become an Environmental Learning Unit volunteer and help teach Seattleites about the plants, the animals and the parks in our communities.

As a park volunteer, you develop your skills in customer service, public speaking, working with and teaching youth, guiding tours or park hikes for families, and much more. In addition, we are looking for volunteers to help us behind the scenes with prop development and other related office tasks. Please scroll down to the volunteer positions that speak to you.

Please note that all park volunteers must agree to a Washington State Patrol background check. 

Please note that due to COVID-19 we are not accepting any new volunteers until further notice. 

Seattle Urban Nature Guides

Seattle Urban Nature Guide

Due to the Covid19 public health emergency, we are postponing the spring training for the Seattle Urban Nature Guide Volunteer Program until further notice. 

We apologize for the inconvenience.  As soon as we are able the training will be rescheduled. Applications will continue to be accepted until further notice.

Seattle Urban Nature Guides enhance, promote and foster appreciation of nature by connecting families and students with their Seattle parklands, and providing educational opportunities for all.

As a Seattle Urban Nature Guide, you will:

  • Learn valuable job skills including communication, public speaking, teamwork, and teaching techniques.
  • Receive training on Pacific Northwest flora and fauna, habitats and environmental education techniques for diverse audiences.
  • Lead hands on learning experiences in a variety of settings from playgrounds to beaches.

Note: We are accepting applications for Seattle Urban Nature Guides who are available during the week and are interested in guiding school students.  Please fill out the application here. We are not accepting applications for weekend or public guides at this time. 

For additional information regarding this volunteer opportunity, please read this Job Description.

Penny Rose
Public Education Program Specialist
(206) 386-4250

Office Assistant

Provide support for various environmental education projects. Training provided. An office assistant will work on: 

  • Prop development
  • Database data entry
  • Library management tasks
  • File management tasks 
  • Other projects as assigned 

Location: Discovery Park Environmental Learning Center, 3801 Discovery Park Blvd., Seattle, WA. 98199Service Days and Hours: Flexible  

Penny Rose
(206) 386-4250

Database Entry

Provide data entry for bird sightings records using eBird.  

Location: Discovery Park Environmental Learning Center, 3801 Discovery Park Blvd., Seattle, WA. 98199Service Days and Hours: Flexible

Penny Rose
(206) 386-4250

Junior Naturalist Program

A summer volunteer program for ages 13-16, Junior Naturalists was created in 1998 to meet the need for quality programming for teens at Discovery Park. Junior Naturalists assist with the Summer Nature Day Camp program, volunteering for week-long camps.  

APPLICATION DEADLINE (Please note that this information will be updated should we be able to operate our camp programs safely for summer 2021.  Application information below is for previous year's and is not up to date, but gives an idea of our application process.)

To apply for the 2020 summer season, please read through the informational letter and complete and submit the application form. If you have additional questions or if you would like an application mailed to you, please e-mail trixie.magsarili@seattle.gov with the potential Junior Naturalist's name, mailing address and age.

Junior Naturalists:

  • have a desire to work and interact with young children
  • are motivated to become a role model
  • learn leadership skills
  • have an interest in the natural environment

Typical responsibilities:

  • assisting with group management
  • leading songs, games, and activities
  • gathering materials and supplies
  • helping clean-up
  • learning new things about nature
  • helping out with the end of the week festivities 

Several hours of mandatory training prior to volunteering.

Junior Naturalists are asked to be able to commit to a minimum of volunteering at least two full weeks during the summer.

Salmon Stewards

For the health and safety of our volunteers and general public due to the Covid-19 public health emergency, the fall 2020 Salmon Stewards program has been cancelled. Thank you for your understanding. You can follow the Carkeek Park Salmon Stewards Facebook page for periodic updates. You can also explore King County's interactive 2020 Salmon Seeson map here.