Promoting public programs on open space as an encore career

Dear TRENDS Diary -

I love my job. I am the Natural History Program Specialist for Boulder County Parks & Open Space. Being an environmental educator is a great way to connect people to their natural surroundings, and help them realize we are a piece of something much larger. I work with over 100 Volunteer Naturalists to bring topics like geology, wildlife habitat, astronomy, ecosystem health, birds, and plants to people of all ages through interactive programs and hikes. All of our programs are free.

This is my second career. When I was in transition from my first career in public relations, I started volunteering in parks and museums. I got such a high from presenting programs and helping people understand the natural world. My favorite programs are on astronomy. Many people are afraid of astronomy because it seems like such a big and complicated topic. I’ve always been interested in the sky and the universe but I’m not an astronomer. I bring an understanding of the universe to a level where most people can relate. Light pollution is also a big threat, not only to observing the sky, but to the health of wildlife and people. It is a passion for me to help protect the beautiful dark skies we have left.

In the pandemic, I learned how to create videos – something I had never had the desire to do. I found out it was a fun way to be creative. This brought to light that we can continue using some of these methods to reach those who cannot come to a site, or to enhance a visit or field trip.

You can find out more about public programs on our website at www.bouldercounty.org/open-space/activities, or you can arrange a program for a school group, club, or organization by emailing me at dprice@bouldercounty.org.

- Deborah Price, as told to Will Betke-Brunswick