Giving back to the community
After retirement, I sought an outlet for giving back to the community in environmental education. Warner Nature Center turned out to be the ideal location for volunteering as a trail guide. From the moment I walked into the Trailside Museum, to three years later, I have experienced nothing but warmth and encouragement from the staff and fellow volunteers. It is a remarkable group of generous and talented people who so enjoy sharing the wonders of nature with visiting school children. Each day as a trail guide gives me the opportunity to excite students about the world they will inherit and hopefully will care for.
It has been a real privilege to see young faces awed by catching aquatic invertebrates, releasing a newly banded bird, walking over a bog, practicing new vocabulary like ‘synovial’, ‘predator’, ‘scat’ or ‘raptor’. And while it seems the nature center is geared for school-age children, it is I, like my fellow volunteers, who go home each day enriched by what we have learned and the satisfaction of giving something very precious to the next generation.
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Naturalist WNC Trail Guide