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9:42 PM Sat, Sept. 22nd

Highlands Center calls on volunteers

The Highlands Center for Natural History is launching a pilot season of their new Naturalist Certification Program. This program is 12 weeks long with one class per week, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., dedicated to educating, exciting, and motivating 10-15 volunteer naturalists per year.

The goal of this program is to prepare a group of volunteer naturalists who may interpret and share stories in nature with adults, families and youth in our community, and inspire curiosity for the natural world.

Participants will be required to complete the 12-week program and volunteer a minimum of 40 hours per year as a Highlands Center Volunteer Naturalist. These naturalists will lead discovery hikes, facilitate programs within the Highlands Center, augment education and program staff at the center's related events and programs, increase public awareness and appreciation of the highlands natural systems, and assist staff in developing youth, adult and family programs.

The program fee is $250. Participants must become members of the Highlands Center for Natural History. This fee includes all field trips (to Desert Botanical Gardens, Verde River and more), classes, guest speakers, a Highlands Center T-shirt, and name badge (upon completion of program).

There is a limited amount of scholarships available this season thanks to a grant from the Yavapai County Community Foundation. Scholarships and eligibility will be determined during an informal interview process.

Applications are available at www.highlandscenter.org or at the Highlands Center for Natural History site on Walker Road. Please fill out and return completed applications to the Highlands Center by Feb. 26.