Interested in learning more about the natural world and becoming a volunteer with the Yakima Area Arboretum? The Naturalist Training Program will provide you with the tools needed to share knowledge of the local ecosystem with visitors to the Arboretum and throughout the community.

When

Classes are generally Wednesdays, from 6:30pm to 8:30pm once a month to every other month. Once you apply, you will receive notifications on when the next class will happen.

Where

Yakima Area Arboretum 
1401 Arboretum Drive
Yakima, WA 98901
 

 
Driving Directions 

Contact

Garrett Brenden 
Yakima Area Arboretum 
509-248-7337 
garrett@ahtrees.org 
 

Yakima Area Arboretum Naturalist Program: Year-Round Enrollment 

 

Mission
Arboretum Naturalists are volunteer educators who promote awareness, understanding and respect for the natural world by fostering principles of sustainability, connectivity, and an appreciation for the biodiversity of Central Washington.

Who Should Apply
The Arboretum seeks passionate and committed YAA members to be a part of its volunteer naturalist program.  Naturalists will develop their knowledge of local ecology, hone their observation and identification skills, and learn how to be an effective communicator of their passion for the outdoors.  Participants who successfully complete the initial training course will have the opportunity to assist the Arboretum in community outreach and education.

The ideal candidate:

  • Is a YAA Member or willing to become one
  • Has a long standing passion for the outdoors 
  • Has an interest in developing regional natural history knowledge and in sharing that knowledge with others 
  • Is capable of walking three miles  
  • Is comfortable speaking in front of small groups 
  • Has a sense of humor!

Program Details  
The Arboretum Naturalist Program will provide the education needed for a general understanding in Yakima Valley ecosystems along with the tools needed to share this knowledge with visitors to the Arboretum and throughout the community. Through a series of mini-lectures on ecology of the region and Naturalist-in-Training lessons on environmental education best practices, giving tours, and developing lessons; individuals who complete the course will qualify to become Naturalists with the Arboretum. The course will be conducted by Arboretum staff, community experts, and the Naturalists-in-training participants.  Naturalists-in-training are expected to attend all five sessions, and complete all reading and writing assignments.  

Required:

  • Be an Arboretum Member (or be willing to become one)
  • Attend at least 5 Naturalist Training classes in your first year
  • Assist with naturalist/arboretum booths at Luminaria and Arborfest events

Volunteer Work:

In offering this course, the Arboretum asks for all Naturalists to be YAA members and complete a minimum of 40 hours of volunteer work annually. This volunteer work helps offset the cost of developing and running the Arboretum Naturalist Program.

Volunteer opportunities include:

  • Assisting with field trips to the Arboretum
  • Assisting with Nature Day camp
  • Leading Naturalist Led Walks at the Arboretum
  • Maintaining a garden
  • Volunteering for our annual Pulling of the Greens
  • Assisting with Arbor Festival and Luminaria
  • Volunteering at the annual fundraiser Autumn Bounty
  • Developing and implementing a Citizen Science program on the grounds

Have another idea for volunteering at the Arboretum? Talk with the Education & Outreach Coordinator Garrett Brenden to see if your idea fits with the Arboretum’s needs and mission.

Schedule:

Classes are generally Wednesdays, from 6:30pm to 8:30pm once a month to every other month. Once you apply and are accepted, you will receive notifications on when the next class will happen.