Volunteer Katie Arey giving a demonstration.
Courtesy of GBNERR
The Great Bay Discovery Center relies on its volunteers to help implement the Estuary Exploration School Programs and summer Ambassador Programs, staff the Exhibit Room, work on events, and keep the grounds and gardens looking great. Volunteers range in age from teens to folks in their 80's and come with varied backgrounds and interests.
- Educator Volunteers:
- School Programs: Volunteers lead groups of school children to various stops inside the buildings and on the grounds. At each stop, the educator facilitates activities and lessons on cultural history (fall) and natural history (spring). All school programs are mornings only.
- BayWalks Programs (formerly Ambassador Programs): Volunteers assist in leading summer programs shorter in length than the spring and fall field trip programs, but which follow a similar format of the school programs' structured activities.
- There is one day of required training, as well as shadowing the program two or three times before taking a group out on one's own. There is no set number of programs a volunteer must lead; volunteers choose and sign up for days and times that are convenient with their existing schedules. For more information on the programs and lessons, visit the Education and Outreach page.
- Exhibit Room Volunteers: Inside the Great Bay Discovery Center, visitors are treated to interpretive exhibits about the Great Bay Estuary and the amazing creatures that call it home. Children can get their hands wet in an estuarine touch tank as they learn about lobsters, horseshoe crabs, mud snails and more! Interactive displays about salt marsh farming, salmon migration, plankton, tides and research on the Bay, allow children and adults alike to learn about the Estuary.
The Exhibit Room volunteers meet and greet these visitors, monitor the touch tank, answer the phone, take care of the small store, and help the staff open and close the building. New volunteers are paired with more experienced volunteers or staff to learn about the Exhibit Room. There is a brief training offered as well to orient new volunteers with the exhibits and touch tank and to inform them of answers to frequently asked questions.
- Grounds Volunteers: Grounds volunteers assist in maintaining the grounds of the Discovery Center. There are several specific gardens located on the grounds, including: edible "pizza" garden, moonshade garden, annuals garden around the flagpole, butterfly garden, and xeriscape or water-less garden. These volunteers would help with weeding, trimming, and watering, and would be notified of various planting work parties at the Center or at nearby projects.
- If you're interested in volunteering doing groundswork or other outdoor projects, please check out the volunteer opportunities at the new Community Wildlife Garden in Stratham! Volunteers are needed as "Work Day Wonders" and "Wild Side Gardeners" to help create a beautiful local retreat for community members to enjoy. This garden will also serve as an educational site, featuring some "green" landscaping practices that benefit wildlife.
- Special Projects & Work Days: Special projects and work days include things such as planting projects, invasive special removal, staining a viewing platform, fixing up wood planks on our boardwalk trail, data entry, and much more! We rely on small and large groups to help out with these one-time projects. If you are interested, please contact Melissa to be added to a 'Special Projects' contact list! Below are some current special projects needs:
- A/V and workshop helper-Helps with preventative maintenance on A/V equipment, set up and clean up the equipment for work shops, and troubleshoot equipment problems. Some training is provided, but we are looking for someone with experience with A/V equipment. The time commitment is only about 4-5 hours per month, sometimes less, and we generally have the workshop schedule about one month in advance. This is an on-going, year round need.
- Carpentry Help-We are in need of someone to design and build shelves in our A/V room and put up soundproofing material in our Special Collections room. We have the sound proofing material, but need someone who is handy to decide the best way and the best hardware to use to put up the material. We do not have any of the supplies for the shelving, but it is a great opportunity for someone to design the shelves. We would purchase all needed material once the designs were completed-we simply need someone who is creative and handy to help us design and install these features!
The Center honors its volunteers with a recognition dinner in the fall, a summer cookout with kayak trip, and small gifts of our appreciation. All our programs and events, including most workshops, are open to our volunteers.
For more information about becoming a volunteer, please contact Melissa Brogle at 603-778-0015 or firstname.lastname@example.org.