One event on January 18, 2020 at 9:00am
One event on February 8, 2020 at 9:00am
One event on February 29, 2020 at 9:00am
Once every two years we offer our complete docent training program to onboard new volunteers to this special program (and for everyone to brush up and share knowledge and techniques). If you love people, plants, answering questions, sharing facts and spending time outdoors at the Wildflower Center, join us! Docents are some of our most specialized volunteers at the Wildflower Center. Read more below to see if this sounds like a good fit for you!
The four-class series will take place on four Saturdays in January and February from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.:
Jan. 11, Jan. 18, Feb. 8 & Feb. 29
Ready to sign up? Please follow both of the following steps:
Our docents are trained volunteers whose primary responsibility is to interpret the Wildflower Center for our visitors. They guide tours, host stations for school groups, give talks, serve at information stations, and answer questions throughout our grounds and gardens. Docents are the ambassadors for the Wildflower Center mission: Inspiring the conservation of native plants.
A minimum of 36 hours of service per year.
Docent training is a two-part learning program that combines around 30 hours of classroom and field study with 26 hours of practical experience.
Part I: Classroom and Field Study
Part I of the training program starts on Saturday, January 11.
Part II: Experiential Learning
Participants will have the opportunity to apply new skills in “real life” settings (e.g., Information Desk, adult and youth tours, special events) and to work along side our experienced docents. The program allows trainees to shadow experienced docents as they perform their duties and then practice and receive feedback. The volunteer services manager will assist in scheduling these sessions, which require approx. 26 hours for completion. Phase II will take place in a flexible format during the week or weekend and must be completed by the end of May.
Phase III: Enrichment
Docent enrichments are offered throughout the year to give volunteers an opportunity to learn more about the natural world around them. Enrichments are typically lectures, nature walks and talks on specialized topics. Docents are strongly encouraged to participate.
All who have completed Part I and Part II of training will be certified as docents during a graduation celebration held in late May.
Anyone with an interest in the natural world and a desire to represent the Wildflower Center is encouraged to participate docent training. We encourage you to invite like-minded friends to take docent training with you! It’s a lot of fun and a great way to spend time with people who enjoy being a part of the Wildflower Center’s programs. There is no expectation that you have previous experience in natural science or education. All you need is a healthy curiosity and a willingness to learn.
Core components of the classroom and field lectures include: Lady Bird Johnson’s Legacy, the Center’s history and mission, ecology of the Central Texas Hill Country, native plants of Texas, Center architecture and landscape architecture; research and programs, interpretive techniques for orienting visitors to the Center, teaching and learning techniques for families, resource skills for assisting visitors on site, and presentation skills.
Continued involvement following training is vitally important to the Center’s docent program. To remain in good standing, graduates are required to volunteer three hours per month (or 36 hour per year) in a docent position and attend three Docent Enrichments per year. Docent Enrichments are programs designed by our education staff for volunteers to further their study of the natural world. Many of our docents volunteer in other departments at the Center in addition to their docent requirements.
To cover the cost of speakers and materials, docent training is $100 for members and $150 for non-members. The non-member’s fee includes a one-year individual membership to the Center.
This program is designed solely for the purpose of preparing volunteers to represent the Center in a docent capacity. If you’re not interested in volunteering as a docent or don’t feel you can complete the entire training, please consider other educational opportunities offered by the Center. Click here to explore other volunteer opportunities.
Please fill out the form at the bottom of this page and either mail a check ($100 for members/ $150 for non-members) to Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Avenue, Austin TX 78739 or pay online here. We will contact you to confirm receipt of your application. Class size is limited and the spaces will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. In the event the class is filled, we will contact you immediately.
If you have questions about docent training, please contact Carrie McDonald, Volunteer Services Manager at 512.232.0102 or by email here.