Sponsors – Volunteers – Interns
The new Howard Christensen Nature Center (Operated by Lily’s) is always looking for enthusiastic individuals who enjoy volunteering to help at the nature center.
Get community service hours to meet high school or college requirements, build your resume, work with our friendly naturalists, teach kids about nature, help maintain the trails—whatever your interests, we have a “project” for you.
Call Cindy at 616-675-3158, or send her an email firstname.lastname@example.org
Current volunteer needs:
- We have a HUGE need for someone to simply install about 36 signs, post-hole dig and place these already made signs into the ground.
- Help with mopping, sweeping, dusting, window-washing. Janitorial services in general (about 5 days a week)
- Cleaning of animal homes Indoors and Outdoors
- Make Bird Houses – we also have birdhouses that need repairing and put back up - birdhouses, bats, ducks, etc.
- Construction Projects
- Gardening Projects – 2013 We are planting a second garden!
- Relining trails with large logs – this task is ongoing
- Trimming limbs from trail ways
- Lopping branches
- Painting – outside (benches, picnic tables, bridges, etc)
- Boardwalk fixing
- Fallen tree clean up
- Updating signage
- Help clear out invasive species – kill poison ivy (15% of the population is immune to it – I’m not one of those that are that lucky (85% get the rash)
- Clean up of tree trimmings
- Bring in logs for the winter – need a chainsaw operated – we could save a lot of money by heating with our lovely fireplace.
- Build a mailbox post out of log: Put into ground, with a mailbox.
- Build a playground for children out of recycled materials (old tires, etc) – wood craving of animals that are children friendly (snake walk, small four legged animals, turtle cravings to play on, and more)
- Garden weeding, and help us plant our Spring Garden for 2013. We will be growing sunflowers, carrots, cabbage, pumpkins, and other tasty foods for our animals to enjoy year around.
- Clean out of our cascading fountain
- Bench painting - bridge painting
- Trash pickup along Red Pine Drive as HCNC is the sponsor of a two mile stretch
- Camper fire-pit clean out
- Garden plowing, clearing of land and bringing good dirt to a particular spot for our upcoming garden
- Drain gutters need cleaning
- Rock cleaning as we have birdseed build up from the winter of feeding our birds in front of the building where rocks are that help drainage from the roof
- Invasive species removal
- Planting our garden
- Creating a playscape for children (we are putting in a playground made only of natural materials – like a log train – various animals made from logs only, etc.
- Feed our new goats (coming in May 2013)
- People with computer skills – Microsoft Programs
|Valley Ridge Community Foundation|
|Gerald Van Weirman||Alma C. Van Den Hout|
Connor Schaffer – Chandler Woods
|Daniel W. Crofoot|
|Tim & Nancy Vannest|
|Ken De Young|
|Anonymous||Ranger Steven J Mueller|
Jillaine Ericksen (Inspire Photography)
|Thomas Noreen & Family|
Fred Brown & Family
Summer Teacher Naturalists in Training:
14 and older (Seniors please apply): Looking for a way to spend some of summer vacation 2013 or spend extra time giving back to your community? Consider
spending it with energetic children while they explore nature up close and personal! Howard Christensen Nature Center has an opportunity for you to become
a Summer Teacher/Naturalists/Interpretive Instructor in Training, spend time with everyday nature center responsibilities and learn appropriate ways to work with children ages 3 – 10. We will provide training!
Our aim in supporting young people is to help them develop as future leaders in our community and in the environmental field in general.
Individuals may become involved at Howard Christensen Nature Center as regular volunteers. This type of volunteer work might include gardening and plant maintenance, animal care, working with visiting school groups, and general office work. Special training is required for some of these duties, and volunteer shifts will be scheduled beforehand.
We rely upon volunteers to help enact small- and large-scale community events.
Volunteers for these events might help with set up; clean up, running activities, checking in visitors, passing out fliers, and other duties as required. We will contact Special Events volunteers on an as-needed basis.
Group Volunteer Service Days
Howard Christensen Nature Center is a great place to plan a group volunteer service day for your work organization, faith congregation, youth group, school, or family! If you are interested in scheduling a volunteer service day for your group, please call Cindy at 616-675-3158 or email email@example.com. For volunteer Work Day Form for Groups
click here >>>> Volunteer Day request form for Groups <<<<<click here
Program Supplies Needed
From paper clips to computers, the following items would be greatly appreciated and put to work right away! The majority of our funds goes to our child development and environmental programs, leaving little for administration and supplies.
- knee pads for gardening
- reusable plates
- washable cloth napkins
- storage shed
- green cleaning supplies
- paper (both virgin white copy paper, colored paper, scrap paper – we’ll print on the back – and also art prints paper)
- duct tape
- double-sided carpet tape
- hand drill with reverse function (either with or without cord)
- outside bricks or pavers to create barrier around buildings to discourage burrowing squirrels
- gift cards to local:
- grocery stores
- hardware stores
- office supply stores
- high quality raffle and silent auction items (Value $20+)
- unique nature orientated trinkets for Nature Shop – Art items encouraged
- critter cams for bird houses, bat house and pond area
- bird houses (for different species)
- bird seed
- native plants to our local region
- snow shovels
If you can’t drive out to the nature center to drop-off your in-kind donation, items no larger than a couple large garbage bags can be dropped off Monday-Friday from 9AM-4PM
The Howard Christensen Nature Center (HCNC) offers internships
The HCNC is located approximately 30 minutes north of Grand Rapids. The Center is a 135-acre woodland preserve, with trails, pond, gardens, and indoor animal exhibits (outdoor animal exhibits in the Spring of 2013).
Roles of the intern are in the following fields
(1) Teach nature and animal programs to school field-trips (HCNC provides training)
(2) Assist in the care and maintenance of the Center’s animals and their facilities and to present animals to the visiting public.
(3) Grant Writing
(4) Trail Maintenance
(5) Updating of Environmental displays (current with School MI Core Curriculum)
(6) Help with visitors questions and showing of the exhibits (educational understanding)
(7) Create Brochures – marketing materials
(8) Create Signage
The primary participants in our educational programs and our School Field Trips and Animal Exhibits visits are children between the ages of 2 to 14. We provide training for the teaching of our educational programs and the care of our animals.
- Driver’s license
- 18 years of age or older
- Experience with children and/or animals
- A genuine liking and interest in the environment, children, and animals
- College major in a related field (e.g., natural sciences, pre-vet, education, etc.)
At this time there is no compensation, all internships are on a volunteer bases, however this can be discussed for an actual paid position after a period of 3 months of volunteering.
Work Days and Hours
9 AM – 4 PM Monday through Friday and Saturday & Sunday 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Mail, email or fax a resume, cover letter, and three relevant references we can contact to.
PO Box 42
Kent City, MI 49330
Fax (616) 675-4123