Rancho trail
Volunteer

Interpretation is about providing an enjoyable nature experience and a positive memory. A comfortable and fun environment encourages people to make connections between their lives and the natural world. Visitors learn through conversations, activities, stories, and close observation of their surroundings. The goal is to leave them with a sense of nature’s value and significance rather than filling them up with facts.

The OSA program explores a wide range of topics related to the open space areas of Santa Clara County. Hikes and activities are designed to appeal to people of different ages, backgrounds and levels of outdoor experience.

Volunteers have the opportunity to serve as interpretive docents or aides and lead or help with hikes, activities and outreach events.

Interpretive Aides

Helping at events, day camps, hikes and other OSA activities can be a one-time volunteer job or an ongoing commitment. Aides will have the chance to receive training in the materials and activities used to engage the interest and curiosity of young visitors.

Docents

Interpretive training photo
Interpretive training

Being a docent is a chance to share your personal interest in nature or the cultural history of the south bay area and have a good time doing it. Docents can learn how to present OSA programs on topics such as early Ohlone Indians or mountain lions. And they can work under the direction of the Interpreter to develop an appropriate nature program on a favorite subject of their own. All docents need is an interest in the outdoors and a desire to help others learn.

Besides learning about the different subjects relevant to open space preservation, docents will receive training in such interpretive skills as how to work with groups, create interesting programs and use hands-on materials. Docents-in-training will also have the opportunity to partner with experienced docents and interpreters in front of “live” audiences in order to polish their skills.

For more information, call Interpreter Teri Rogoway at 408-224-7476 or send an email to trogoway@openspaceauthority.org.