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From the Executive Director

Dear Friends,

guided walk programs for children

letter from a child

docent and children discovering the Garden together

One of the most delightful sights in this beautiful Garden is that of groups of young children sharing the wonders of nature. For many of them, this is a very rare treat because they donít normally have access to open space, much less this kind of open space where their imaginations can play and they can experience the welcoming safety of a redwood grove.

The San Francisco Botanical Garden Society has offered guided walk programs for children for more than 35 years with the goal of allowing the young to explore and learn about the natural world. The programs are built around the California state curriculum requirements so that teachers can readily integrate our programming into their classroom needs.

Increasingly, our programs are in great demand, with many more classes applying than we can serve. This is in spite of the fact that the program has been growing steadily in the last several years. This Fall alone, demand was up 25% over last year, meaning that although we booked 150 classes for this Fall and Winter we still had to turn away 200.

The youth education programs depend heavily on volunteers whom we train to be Children's Docents. Without this dedicated volunteer cadre, children simply would not be exposed to the conservation education messages that allow them to fall in love with nature and then learn to protect it.

The next training program for leading guided walks will start in February, and we are eager to have a large group of new recruits to augment our existing highly committed Children's Docents. Each docent, averaging just 2 walks per month, reaches 150 more children during the year. This level of commitment can have a truly positive impact on a sizable number of children.

If you or a friend has ever considered working with children in nature, now may be just the right time to get involved. Our staff and volunteer trainers are excellent, and the camaraderie among the docents and ongoing docent enrichment programs provide for a supportive and engaging atmosphere.

I hope some of you will contact our Volunteer office at (415) 661-1316, ext 312 or and sign up to help introduce children to the natural world.

Very best regards,


Michael McKechnie
Executive Director, San Francisco Botanical Garden Society


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