Kids Farm Volunteer Naturalist
Part-time, unpaid volunteer position | September – November
Oxbow is a 25-acre organic farm, education center, and native plant nursery located on a 100-acre wilderness preserve in the Snoqualmie Valley, 25 miles east of Seattle. The farm supports a 700-member CSA and supplies over 30 restaurants and independent grocery stores with local, organic produce. Our education center, which has a small working farm and Living Playground, is committed to teaching children about sustainable agriculture and the environment. At Oxbow visitors see firsthand where their food comes from, where salmon spawn, and understand why we need to protect both. The Native Plant Nursery, built in 2013, is a production, research and education facility that oversees our conservation efforts.
Oxbow will host thousands of kids in the spring, summer and fall for our seasonal Farm Adventures. Primarily pre-school and early elementary-aged students visit the farm for 75 or 90-minute hands-on farm tours facilitated by farmer and volunteer instructors. Kids learn about the six plant parts, soil, compost, worms, and ways to connect to nature.
Volunteer naturalists will be responsible for leading tours with up to 14 kids (and their chaperones) around our two-acre Kids’ Farm. When no tours are scheduled, volunteers will assist the OxEd team in a variety of farming tasks around the Kids’ Farm. Only a moderate understanding of food and farms is necessary. There will be a lot of opportunity for learning from our staff.
Additional Opportunity for Volunteer Naturalists
Participate in professional development opportunities, community partnership building, and monthly EE program delivery for our EPA grant-funded Partnering for the Future Project during the 2017-2018 school year.
• 35 + hours of community service
• Develop skills and experience teaching and facilitating outdoor environmental education
• Add to your resume and explore new careers, receive a letter of reference from staff
• Learn basic organic farming techniques
• Connect to other community members with shared interests
• Inspire the next generation to eat healthy foods, enjoy gardening, and value conservation
• Access to fresh, organic produce
• Work as a team with Oxbow staff in a fun and collaborative environment
• Spend time at a beautiful organic farm just outside of the city of Seattle
• This is an unpaid volunteer position
• Exceptionally positive attitude
• Must enjoy working with children and adults
• Comfortable speaking in front of large groups
• Ability to take direction, ask for help when necessary, and accept constructive feedback on work and technique
• Clear, consistent communication
• Ability to: work standing, sitting, bending over or kneeling; lift heavy & awkward objects, preferably up to 50 lbs; perform physical work such as digging or planting; all in inclement weather.
• Prior experience in the area of agriculture, sustainability, food systems, education, or environmental studies preferred
• Ability to pass a background check
• Lead field trip programs for students from pre-school through 5th grade
• Facilitate garden and farm projects with children
• Participating in farming tasks on the Kids’ Farm
• Interact with participants and volunteers in a friendly and enthusiastic manner
• Maintain open communication with Oxbow staff and other volunteers
• Seasonal commitment for our fall programming
• Minimum of 2 farm tours (3 hours) per week
• Tours run 9-2, Monday – Friday. Volunteers can stay for one, two, or three tours, but must be present at our 8:00 morning meeting to be outlined on the day’s activities
• Weekly time commitment and schedule will be discussed with each applicant to meet the needs of the volunteer and Oxbow Farm
• Ability to attend the Volunteer Orientation in mid April (exact date and time TBD).