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VOLUNTEER

Volunteer

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with The Escondido Creek Conservancy. As a not-for-profit organization, we rely on volunteers to help us accomplish our mission, keeping our effectiveness high and our costs low. Whether you want to help us take care of our protected lands, raise money to save more land, or educate communities about the importance of land conservation, there are many opportunities to make a difference right here in the Escondido Watershed, depending on your interest. Read on to learn more about getting involved!

Internships

The Escondido Creek Conservancy provides hands-on learning programs for students learning to gain work or school experience. The Conservancy can utilize whatever skills you bring to the table whether it’s outreach, photography, graphic design, GIS, or education and can customize internships based on your interests. Below are some of our most successful internship programs.

To apply or for more information email Nathan Serrato: nathan@escondidocreek.org.

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WATER QUALITY INTERNSHIP:

This one year internship allows students to participate in monthly water testings with our water quality team. The cycle starts in the Fall and ends in the summer. Site visits are typically held every second Friday of the month from 8-11:30 am and may require a few additional hours for research and uploading data. This is an unpaid internship; we are happy to write a glowing letter of recommendation for successful interns, and can verify volunteer credit if needed.To apply or for more information email Nathan Serrato: nathan@escondidocreek.org.

“TECC has provided me an opportunity to learn and grow as their water quality intern. I was able to apply the knowledge that I have learned from school into some hands-on experience which was very valuable to me. Interacting with staff and volunteers was also great.”- Issac Vallejo, Water Quality Intern

 

MARKETING INTERNSHIP:

This internship allows students to develop marketing and communication strategies through social media, print media, and volunteers/member communication. The marketing internship is separated into three different cycles: fall, spring, and summer. Scheduling is flexible but interns should be prepared to commit to 8-12 hours a week any time during the hours of 8:00 am – 4:00 pm This is an unpaid internship; we are happy to write a glowing letter of recommendation for successful interns, and can verify volunteer credit if needed.To apply or for more information email Nathan Serrato: nathan@escondidocreek.org.

“My marketing internship at The Escondido Creek Conservancy was very beneficial to me. I really enjoyed doing the work and I learned so much from this experience. Through doing marketing and PR, I now feel so ready to successfully pursue my career.”- Mirna Awad, Marketing Intern

 

ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION INTERNSHIP:

This internship allows students to participate in creating and implementing outdoor education curriculum. The environmental education internship is separated into three different cycles: fall, spring, and summer. Scheduling is flexible but most field trips are held weekday mornings from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm. Interns should be prepared to commit to 8-12 hours a week. This is an unpaid internship; we are happy to write a glowing letter of recommendation for successful interns, and can verify volunteer credit if needed. To apply or for more information email Simon Breen: simon@escondidocreek.org.

“During my time at TECC, I learned how to use my love of nature to educate and empower others through outdoor education. The staff members led by example through excellent teaching abilities, organization, teamwork, and communication skills. Without this experience I wouldn’t be equipped with many of the skills I have today, which has allowed me to secure a full time job in an industry I love.” – Ana Lutz, Environmental Education Intern

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Docents

Docents are stationed at the Reserve’s one-of-a-kind Interpretive Center.  They provide assistance with the Center’s enriching activities, tours of the building, and general park information to visitors.  They also have the option to participate in our fun-filled school field trips programs, leading groups of children through a rotation of environmental education stations.

Becoming a docent is easy!  Click here to apply, and return the completed application in person at the Elfin Forest Interpretive Center (8833 Harmony Grove Road, Escondido), or online to Ranger Jeff Anderson at:  janderson@olivenhain.com

Just make sure you meet the minimum requirements and qualifications before applying:

  • must be at least 18 years old or volunteer with an parent/guardian
  • must submit to a background check
  • must possess a valid California Driver’s license
  • ability to work effectively and cooperatively with docents, Reserve staff, and a diverse public
  • ability to work independently
  • ability to operate a telephone
  • good verbal communication skills

Trail Patrol/Land Stewards

Trail Patrol volunteers help maintain the trail system at the Reserve, provide information to trail users, and serve as ambassadors of our natural lands.

To become a volunteer you have to:

  • be at least 18 years old
  • submit to a background check
  • possess a valid California Driver’s license
  • complete a 3 hour training course
  • contribute a one-time $40 Trail Patrol application fee (of which $20 is a refundable deposit)
  • become First Aid and CPR certified
  • sign up for at least one 3-hour shift per month
  • be able to withstand outdoor conditions and tolerate temperature fluctuations
  • be able to interact with the public, staff, and volunteers with professionalism

Click here to apply. Please return the completed application and $40 in person to Simon Breen at The Escondido Creek Conservancy office, located at 104 W. Grand Ave, Escondido 92025. Checks should be made payable to the Olivenhain Municipal Water District.

For further questions about the program, please contact the volunteer coordinator, Nathan Serrato: nathan@escondidocreek.org

Outdoor Education Volunteers

The Escondido Creek Conservancy provides field trips for students at the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve, and on Conservancy properties. Our fun, science-based outdoor education programs are designed to encourage curiosity, help kids understand the natural world, and develop an appreciation for nature. Field trips are typically held on weekdays between 9:00 am and 12:00 pm.

Volunteers have always been integral to our success. Over the years the programs have been growing in popularity, from just a few hundred students in the first year, to thousands in recent years. Our goal is to eventually provide positive outdoor experiences for every school in the Escondido Creek watershed. But to achieve this goal and meet our rising demand, we need volunteers more than ever. Please join us in giving children the gift of nature.

To become a volunteer you have to:

  • must be at least 18 years old or volunteer with an parent/guardian
  • must submit to a background check
  • must possess a valid California Driver’s license
  • ability to work effectively and cooperatively with docents, Reserve staff, and a diverse public
  • good verbal communication skills

Contact Education Manager, Simon Breen, if you would like more details or if you would like to volunteer: simon@escondidocreek.org.

Water Quality Team

Over the years, numerous agencies and special interest groups have conducted water quality testing on various sections of Escondido Creek. Although these tests have provided useful information, they have not always been conducted regularly at the same locations. Beginning in September, 2011, the Conservancy began conducting routine water quality monitoring at four sites along the Escondido Creek. The purpose of the Water Quality Monitoring Program is to establish a baseline that will be used to evaluate the condition and overall health of Escondido Creek on an ongoing basis, as well as to identify short- and long-term trends.

Water quality parameters that are monitored by the Conservancy’s Water Quality Monitoring Program include the following:

  • Alkalinity – how well the water can neutralize acidic pollution
  • Ammonia – a component of fertilizer that serves as a nutrient for plant growth, but can also be toxic
  • Dissolved Oxygen – oxygen that has been dissolved into the water and is necessary for aquatic organisms to breathe
  • Nitrate – a nutrient for plant growth that may cause excessive algae growth when present in higher than normal quantities
  • Nitrite – an extremely toxic nitrogen compound
  • pH – a measure of the acidity of the water
  • Phosphate – a nutrient for plant growth that may cause excessive algae growth when present in higher than normal quantities
  • Temperature – an important determinant of whether or not certain organisms can survive in the creek

Many of these water quality parameters have improved since monitoring began, but there is still much more work to be done. The natural creek (as opposed to the concrete flood control channel in downtown Escondido) acts as a biofilter, removing pollutants from the creek as it progresses toward the ocean. One of the Conservancy’s long-term goals is to re-naturalize this concrete channel in order to provide greater benefits to both people and wildlife.

If you are interested in volunteering to help with water quality testing or if you want to learn more about our Water Quality Monitoring Program, please contact Nathan Serrato: nathan@escondidocreek.org