A Tree ID hike at Oliver's Woods led by volunteer White River Docents

Join our White River Docent Team

Have you ever attended one of CILTI’s guided hikes and thought that you might enjoy leading a hike yourself? Have you been inspired by a guided hike or program that you’ve participated in? You could join our White River Docent team!

We are seeking four more outgoing and enthusiastic volunteers to help engage visitors and share information about Central Indiana’s natural areas. Sound fun? Consider applying for our White River Docent program at Oliver’s Woods.

Docents volunteer their time because they believe in CILTI’s mission and have a passion for nature. They might have a desire to share their knowledge in an area of expertise—be it plant or wildlife photography, birding, native wildflowers, Indy trivia, fishing, or White River lore. Or they might simply be a big fan of CILTI.

They help visitors build connections to nature and Indianapolis, appreciating Oliver Daugherty’s vision of keeping the preserve an undeveloped space.

The purpose of the docent program is to provide visitors to our properties with an exceptional opportunity for engagement. During their shifts, docents will be available to greet visitors, lead guided walks through the property, share stories and fun facts, and answer questions about CILTI and Oliver’s Woods. Docents will also help maintain the beauty and safe accessibility of Oliver’s Woods.

A few things you will do as a docent at Oliver’s Woods:

  • Engage visitors
  • Lead and assist volunteer events
  • Lead and assist programs
  • Pull invasive species, keep trails clear, and collect litter

Applicants should be familiar with Oliver’s Woods, CILTI, and the mission and values held by our nonprofit. Docents will be present at Oliver’s Woods from 10 am to 1 pm on the first Wednesday and third Saturday of the month from April through November.

There will be at least 32 shifts to choose from throughout the year. Each docent is expected to volunteer for a minimum of 3 shifts, with at least one Wednesday shift and one Saturday shift. Learn more about the 2024 White River Docent program here.

Docent training and orientation for selected applicants will be held on Saturday, March 16, 2024.

If you are interested in becoming a White River Docent, or you have any questions about the program, please contact our White River Steward at gvankan@conservingindiana.org before Monday, February 26, 2024.

Many thanks to the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust for making this program possible!

Grace van Kan

White River Steward

Grace grew up roaming the woods, creeks and wetlands around the Chesapeake Bay watershed. From an early trout-raising project to a “gap year” spent restoring coral reefs in Thailand, her interest in aquatic conservation has only grown. Now she cares for several riverine nature preserves as CILTI’s White River Steward.