Who are Solana Center Docents?
Solana Center's Eco Team docents are specialized volunteers who help Solana Center facilitate programs centered on community education and act as a source of knowledge and guidance for our visitors. Docents convey basic concepts of sustainable living and give community members practical tools and resources for implementing sustainability in their lives.
Docents receive special training to lead tours of our grounds, give guidance to our store visitors, assist instructors at school education events, host educational booths around San Diego County, and act as a sustainability steward in the community and spokesperson for the Solana Center mission.
Docents function as our on-call extensions of Solana Center and respond to our communities' composting and zero waste curriculum needs as they arise. With docent support, our team can expand our reach, sharing sustainable practices with our home-base community in Encinitas and communities beyond.
What are the benefits of becoming a docent?
Training Program Requirements
Previous volunteer experience or workshop attendance within the last year can count in lieu of some requirements with approval of Volunteer Coordinator. It is recommended that you complete your training within a 45 day period if you wish to keep your total commitment in the 5 to 6 month time period.
Training Phase 1
Shadow staff for at least 1 Solana Center store shift
Assist at least 1 Solana Center School Presentation
Assist at least 2 Solana Center Outreach Booths
Assist at least 2 Solana Center Workshops or Webinars
Training Phase 2
Shadow a current docent during a Green Living Tour and attend bi-monthly docent meetings
Optional but recommended: attend Master Composter Course (course fee waived for docents!)
Docents will aim to lead one docent activity a month (or complete 4 to 6 hours a month). Below are a few examples of possible docent-led activities. Please note that these events typically take place at different times throughout the year, and it is not guaranteed all of these opportunities will each be available each month. Alternative engagements can be communicated with the Volunteer Coordinator.
- Docent Tour: Show our visitors what we are all about here at Solana Center, and give a guided tour of our grounds to scheduled groups (tours occur bi-monthly).
- Docent Booth: Help us broaden the reach of our programming! Docent booths go where we cannot, ensuring that everyone has access to our resources on sustainability. Docent booth schedules vary in accordance with outreach event dates (around San Diego County).
- School Event Support: School events teach our communities' children how to properly reduce, reuse, recycle, and rot (compost), through presentation and interactive activities led by a combined team of Solana Center staff members, volunteers, and docents. These events are scheduled at varying frequencies throughout the year
- Co-Lead a Worm Wranglin' Event: This event is a fun way to teach people about vermicomposting while simultaneously caring for our on-site wormery. In co-leading an event, you will support an educator.
- More opportunities to be revealed!
Attend meetings approximately every 2 months (Encinitas). Meetings to be communicated via email.
Commitment of a minimum 4 months (beginning after the training period is complete). Previous volunteer events may apply to your training period. Training is estimated to take anywhere from 2 to 5 months, depending on your availability.
Optional: Development and implementation of one docent-led community-building event for up to 10 people.
- Eagerness to educate our community and spread environmental education
- Foundational knowledge of key environmental concepts
- Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
- Access to personal transportation and willingness to commute potentially lengthy distances within San Diego County
- Must be 18 years or older
- Able to walk, stand for extended periods of time
- Ability to have some flexibility for events. School events and on-site events often take place during the week, and outreach and workshop events typically take place during the weekend.
- After application, we can discuss how often you are able to participate.
- Must be able to follow our Covid-19 policy (below)
- All positions are volunteer, unpaid positions
Now accepting applications.
Selected applicants will be contacted via email to set up a virtual meeting.
Covid Policy Statement
Help Solana Center for Environmental Innovation open safely as we observe California's Department of Public Health guidelines, as well as requirements from our partners and site locations. We welcome and encourage mask-wearing by all to continue protecting our community from Covid-19. Please note that for certain events, we require a mask at all times.
Solana Center Docents will be asked to provide proof of vaccination against Covid-19 or a negative PCR test from the previous 7 days before each in-person event.
The Docent Team
Retired university administrator turned environmental conservationist and activist working to promote sustainability and climate crisis awareness. Volunteer with local environmental nonprofits to help educate the community about how to live a more sustainable life and to support policy change.
Outreach Coordinator Volunteer
Tammy's first exposure to the Solana Center was taking a class to figure out why her compost pile wasn't composting. Two years and many classes (and composting techniques) later, she's now excited to share with people a wide variety of sustainability practices that can be implemented in their own homes.
I first learned of the Solana Center in 2017 when I started learning to garden. I realized that building healthy soil was fundamental to growing food, and I wanted to learn more about what goes on in soil. That led me to attend a few workshops and start volunteering. I soon joined the docent program and got to learn a lot more about the educational elements of the Solana Center and enjoyed talking with visitors about the many backyard sustainability concepts that the Center has set up. Most of my motivation to continue being involved has come from an appreciation for the work that the Center does. I enjoy the people working there, the projects I've been involved in, and educating on personal sustainability!