Environmental Education Volunteers

Become an Environmental Learning Unit volunteer and help teach Seattleites about the plants, the animals and the parks in our communities.

As a park volunteer, you develop your skills in customer service, public speaking, working with and teaching youth, guiding tours or park hikes for families, and much more. In addition, we are looking for volunteers to help us behind the scenes with prop development and other related office tasks. Please scroll down to the volunteer positions that speak to you.

Please note that all park volunteers must agree to a Washington State Patrol background check. Download the background check form, fill it out, and return it to Penny Rose at the Discovery Park Environmental Learning Center.

Volunteer Open House Events

Learn more about all of these positions and meet current volunteers and staff at one of our Volunteer Open House events:

Date: August 3
Time: 6:30-8:30pm  
Camp Long Environmental Learning Center, 5200 35th Ave SW, 98126
Discovery Park Environmental Learning Center, 3801 Discovery Park Blvd, 98199

We are currently seeking volunteers for the following programs:

Seattle Urban Nature Guides

Seattle Urban Nature Guide

Fall applications are available now! Applications due August 4; training begins August 17. Apply to be a Seattle Urban Nature Guide through our volunteer portal.

Seattle Urban Nature Guides enhance, promote and foster appreciation of nature by connecting families and students with their Seattle parklands, and providing educational opportunities for all.
As a Seattle Urban Nature Guide, you will:

  • Learn valuable job skills including communication, public speaking, teamwork, and teaching techniques.
  • Receive training on Pacific Northwest flora and fauna, habitats and environmental education techniques for diverse audiences.
  • Lead hands on learning experiences in a variety of settings from playgrounds to beaches.

Download the full position description

Training Schedule

Fall training is on Thursdays AND/OR Saturdays August 17 – September 16.

Locations: Various places in Seattle, including Discovery Park and Camp Long

Service Days & Hours: Choose to volunteer Tuesday - Friday, and/or weekends. Programs and events are an average of 2 hours.


Penny Rose
Seattle Urban Nature Guides
Phone: (206) 386-4250
Email: Penny.Rose@seattle.gov

Ambassador Program

Bird specimens and learning materials

Recruiting for visitor center ambassadors now. Apply for this position online.

Ambassadors receive one day of training in public speaking skills and then staff information tables on the weekends. In the winter, folks we’ll be trained to staff tables in the Discovery Park Visitor Center and give out general information about Discovery Park. For the spring, ambassadors will be trained to give out information concerning Puget Sound beaches and wildlife at tables located at Discovery Park beaches. Finally, in the fall, ambassadors will be trained on forest inhabitants and staff tables at various trailheads in Discovery Park.  

As an ambassador you will:

  • Learn and practice public speaking and public engagement skills.
  • Have the opportunity to nurture and develop life-long relationships between the public and parks.
  • Learn some basic natural history and have access to resources to advance your knowledge, if desired.

Training Schedule

  • Forest ambassador orientation and training: August, 12, 2017 9am-5pm

Location: Discovery Park Environmental Learning Center, 3801 Discovery Park Blvd. Seattle, WA. 98199

Service Days and Hours: Saturdays and Sundays, Noon – 4p.m.


Anne Bentley
(206) 386-9110

Salmon Stewards

Check back in August to find out fall training dates and to register as a volunteer

Learn about the Chum salmon run in Carkeek park! Volunteers are trained on the life cycle and natural history of the fall Chum Salmon run in Carkeek park and then use this knowledge to educate the public as they come to explore.  Gain skills in interpretation, public speaking, biology and natural history of the Pacific Northwest salmon.  As a volunteer in this program you attend one day of training to then are asked to volunteer on five Saturdays or Sundays between early November and mid-December while the salmon are returning to the park.

Junior Naturalist Program

Recruitment for 2017 is complete.

A summer volunteer program for ages 13-16. Created in 1998 to meet the need for quality programming for teens at Discovery Park. Junior Naturalists assist with the Summer Nature Day Camp program, volunteering for an entire week at a time.  

Junior Naturalists:

  • have a desire to work and interact with young children
  • are motivated to become a role model
  • learn leadership skills
  • have an interest in the natural environment

Typical responsibilities:

  • assisting with group management
  • leading songs, games, and activities
  • gathering materials and supplies
  • helping clean-up
  • learning new things about nature
  • helping out with the end of the week festivities 


Several hours of mandatory training prior to volunteering.


Junior Naturalists are asked to be able to commit to a minimum of volunteering at least two full weeks during the summer.

Office Assistant

Apply for this position online

Provide support for various environmental education projects. Training provided. An office assistant will work on:

  • Prop development
  • Library management tasks
  • File management tasks
  • Other projects as assigned

Location: Discovery Park Environmental Learning Center, 3801 Discovery Park Blvd., Seattle, WA. 98199

Service Days and Hours: Flexible


Anne Bentley
(206) 386-9110

Database Entry

Apply for this position online

Provide data entry for bird sightings records. Experience with databases a plus, training provided in AviSys and eBird. 

Location: Discovery Park Environmental Learning Center, 3801 Discovery Park Blvd., Seattle, WA. 98199

Service Days and Hours: Flexible


Penny Rose
(206) 386-4250