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Help children experience nature by volunteering at Four Mile Ranch

Audubon Colorado is seeking volunteers for its Four Mile Ranch Environmental Education program.

To learn more about this volunteer opportunity, you can attend one of three informational sessions hosted by Audubon Colorado this summer. A short presentation and slideshow will describe a day’s work at Four Mile Ranch and the requirements for becoming a Volunteer Educator.

Four Mile Ranch Environmental Education brings nature into the classroom and students into nature, providing critical science education and outdoor learning opportunities for our local youth. Field programs take place in Pagosa Springs at the Hershey Four Mile Ranch, where students participate in a combination of hands-on group activities and individual explorations led by trained volunteer educators. Classroom sessions led by Audubon Colorado staff provide students with background in science concepts and prepare them for spending a day outdoors.

Volunteer educators are the key to the success of this program. These dedicated community members give young people the opportunity to explore their local environment and learn science directly from the natural world in a way that is not possible inside a school building. Volunteer educators expand their own knowledge and experience while helping the future leaders of our community build their knowledge and understanding of the natural world.

Volunteer educators lead small groups of elementary school children on nature walks during school days in September and October. No previous teaching experience is required — just a love of children and the outdoors. Free training and materials include an activities manual, adult-level natural history education, group management and child development information, program site orientation and outdoor safety protocols.

Audubon Colorado celebrates the fifth season of Four Mile Ranch Environmental Education this year. From 325 students in its first season, the program has grown to serve more than 600 local youth each year, including every student at Pagosa Springs Elementary School, as well as students from Dulce Elementary School.

Informational sessions will be held in the East Tile Room at the Ross Aragon Community Center on Tuesday, July 12 (6:30-7:30 p.m.), Wednesday, July 27 (6:30-7:30 p.m.) and Thursday, Aug. 11, (7-8 p.m.).

For more information, contact Audubon Colorado’s Southwest Regional Director Becky Gillette at 883-3066 or rgillette@audubon.org.

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