Nature Center seeks volunteers

Times Observer photo by Katie Miktuk A volunteer with the Audubon Community Nature Center spends time taking care of Monarch Butterflies. The ACNC is currently looking to fill volunteer animal feeder positions and animal care cleaning positions, and hoping to train animal feeders as soon as possible.

The Audubon Community Nature Center (ACNC) wants you!

It is currently looking to fill volunteer animal feeder positions and animal care cleaning positions, and hoping to train animal feeders as soon as possible.

Part of ACNC’s mission is to help connect people with nature while always respecting animals as “inherently valuable.” It also uses animals as a way to inspire visitors to establish a connection with the world around them.

ACNC turns to their volunteers as a vital roll in being able to offer live animals as an added experience.

Animal feeders will be responsible for providing the proper care and nutrition to the animals that live in the Nature Center. They are expected to commit to helping care for the live animals between 2-1/2 and 4 hours per week for an ongoing six-month period.

Feeding and caring for the live animals accounts for 80 percent of an animal feeders responsibilities. These activities include preparing and offering food to the reptiles and amphibians such as cutting up fruits and vegetables, defrosting frozen mice and handling crickets, worms and other insects; keeping track of what food is offered and eaten by each individual; making sure tanks have proper water levels; handling the live animals safely and with care; and additional care as needed.

Another 10 percent of responsibilities is cleaning, including clean and replace water filters; clean and fill water dishes; clean and replace bedding as needed; wash any supplies used and put them in proper locations; keep animal care room organized; disinfect surfaces; and take out the trash as needed.

The last 10 percent of responsibilities is documentation and interacting with visitors.

Documentation duties include document what food is offered and eaten by each individual; record any additional care given to the individual; document and report any concerns to the Animal Caretaker; and respond to and leave notes for Animal Caretaker and other volunteers.

Animal care cleaners are responsible for keeping the animals’ habitats in a healthy condition as well as keeping the animal care room organized and tidy. Cleaners are expected to commit to caring for the live animals and their habitat for 4 hours every week or every other week.

Cleaners’ responsibilities will be 90 percent cleaning, including: clean and replace water filters; clean and fill water dishes; scrub tanks and decor; siphon and replace tank water; clean and replace bedding and substrate; wash supplies; return supplies to designated locations; disinfect surfaces; wash and dry soiled laundry; help design animal habitats; keep animal care room organized; and take out the trash as needed.

Doumentation and interacting with visitors accounts for the rest of their responsibilities. Documentation includes: document what tasks were completed during your scheduled time; document additional care provided as well as any concerns and report them to a caretaker; respond to and leave notes for Animal Caretaker.

Both Cleaners and Feeders are responsible for adding to the visitor experience by answering basic questions visitors may have regarding the live animals housed at the Nature Center.

Minimum qualifications for both feeders and cleaners inlcude: at least 16-years old; reliable transportation; able to life 50 pounds; able to stand on a stepladder; comfortable handling reptiles and amphibians; proficient at following instructions; able to problem solve; self-directed but also able to work under others’ instructions; highly dependable; professional and able to take responsibility; and detail-oriented.

It is preferred that those wishing to be feeders and cleaners have experience caring for reptiles, amphibians and insects, but it is not a requirement. They also prefer they have good written and verbal communication skills.

Those wishing to volunteer will be required to take training and orientation sessions totaling between 3-1/2 to 6 hours depending on which position they wish to fill.

Those wishing to apply are asked to email a letter outlining availability, experience working with live animals and why you think you would be a good fit for this volunteer position to Margaret Foley, naturalist and volunteer coordinator, at mfoley@auduboncnc.org or by mail to the ACNC with attention to Margaret Foley.

Serious inquiries only.

Anyone wishing to receive more information can call the ACNC at (716) 569-2345 or visit the website, auduboncnc.org.

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