Year 11 | 10 December 2019 | TO ENTER | TO REGISTER

Become a naturalist in Indiana

Do you think of yourself as a naturalist at heart? If so consider joining the Naturalist at Heart program at the Falls of the Ohio State Park. This exciting program was created to combine education and volunteering. Interested applicants are interviewed to establish mutual goals. Volunteer interests are matched with the needs of the park and its visitors.

Now in its ninth year, new participants may attend the program orientation either January 18 (1:00 – 2:00 pm) or 21 from (9:30 – 10:30) a.m. Those unable to attend on either date can schedule an individual orientation. Participants will be offered free classes relating to the natural and cultural history of the Falls of the Ohio. Lessons cover geology, biology, archaeology, history, interpretation, and more. Certification as a Naturalist at Heart is reached after 40 hours of lessons and 50 hours of volunteer time at the park.

Most of the classes are open to the public and typically last two to three hours. Level I classes are offered twice – Wednesdays at 1:00 p.m. and Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. Speakers include park staff and invited experts. Except as noted, the public may attend these classes with paid admission. The class schedule is as follows.

Level I (Introductory classes)
About the Falls, January 25 & 28 (Current volunteers only)
Introduction to Interpretation, February 1 & 4 (Current volunteers only)
Geology of the Falls, February 11 & 15
Prehistory at the Falls, February 22 & 25
Birds at the Falls, Mar. 3 & 7
Recognizing Fossils, March 10 & 14
Life in the Ohio River, March 21 & 24
History at the Falls, March 31 & April 4
Introduction to Charlestown State Park, April 7 & 11 (Current volunteers only)
Spring Wildflowers, Apr. 25 & 28
Tree Identification, May 19 & 23

For our volunteers who have completed Level 1 certification, we offer Level 2 certification. The Level 2 classes provide more in-depth topics. They are open to the public; the schedule is posted on the volunteer page of the Falls of the Ohio website at If you would like to participate in this educational opportunity or have additional questions, contact the Falls of the Ohio State Park at 812-280-9970.

by S. C.
31 december 2011, Food & Fun > Nature