What Is It?
A “unique and treasured education center and nature park,” located in Bellaire’s Russ Pitman Park, which serves as an outdoor classroom for its nature science programming and also offers a nature play area.
Volunteers can be counselors for camps held during the summer and during school breaks, animal care assistants, Discovery Room guides, and special event assistants. The Center welcomes Scout projects and group projects. Please contact the Center for COVID-related updates.
Minimum Age to Volunteer
Nature Discovery Center will provide training. Mandatory training sessions are provided in May and June for all Summer Teen Volunteers.
Middle and High School students are invited to be counselors at camps for 5 – 10 year olds. Week-long camps are held between June and August. Camp counselors assist the teachers and help individual campers with crafts, projects, games, etc. 8:30am to 4pm, Monday to Friday. We ask for a two week commitment, if possible.
ANIMAL CARE ASSISTANTS
Our live animals require daily care, and we have a team of teen assistants who help us make sure they are fed and watered, and that their cages are kept clean and safe. This job often requires the handling of animals themselves, and we need volunteers who are willing to do this without fear. Age 13 and up. Year round.
WEEKEND DISCOVERY ROOM INTERPRETERS
Discovery Room docents greet families as they come in and help them to find the animals and activities that are interesting and age appropriate for their children. Age 13 and up. Year round.
SPECIAL EVENT ACTIVITY GUIDES
Volunteers help guide children and their families in fun and educational activities during our Spring Fling, Family Fun Evening, Pumpkin Patch, and Holiday Market. 2 or 3 hour shifts. Age 13 and up.
SCHOOL BREAK CAMP COUNSELORS
Middle and High School students are invited to be counselors at camps for 5 – 10 year olds. One-day School’s Out Day Camps are held during winter holidays and spring break. Camp counselors assist the teachers and help individual campers with crafts, projects, games, etc. Age 13 and up.
Teens who assist with our Sneak-a-Peek program work with the instructor, an NDC Staff member, to prepare craft and other class materials, help children ages 3.5 – 5 with class activities and and crafts, and help clean up after class is over. Activities will take place both indoors and outdoors.
SUMMER STORY TIME LEADER
Teens lead our Nature Story Time on Wednesdays at 4 PM throughout the summer, reading themed books and assisting preschoolers and their caregivers with simple crafts and/or songs and other activities.
School, club, Scout, and other groups are welcome for park maintenance projects like mulching, raking, and pruning. Groups can also help with special events like the Spring Fling in April and the Pumpkin Patch in October. Please visit the Group Projects page on the Center’s website for more information.
Please visit the volunteer page on the Center’s website for more information.
NATURE DISCOVERY CENTER
Bellaire, Texas 77401
Bellaire, Texas 77401
Examples of past Scout projects
Eagle: Duncan M. (Troop 55) made and installed two new benches for the animal classroom area. (2020)
Eagle: Built a storage unit for the playground to hold educational/play items such as pinecones and bamboo poles.
Silver Award: Audrey and Angela (Troop 62002) constructed a housing unit to attract/support individual pollinators. (2019)
Eagle: Roosh B. (Troop 55) designed, constructed, and hung owl boxes. (2018)
Eagle: Conner A. replaced a bumpy old flagstone trail with a new section of decomposed granite. (2017)
Eagle: Charles D. (Troop 730) and his team built and connected two ADA-accessible trails. (2016)
Eagle: Cameron L. installed a concrete and decomposed granite trail to replace an old flagstone trail. (2016)
Eagle: David D. (Troop 73) and his team removed non-native plants and planted native species. (2016)
Eagle: Wolfy N. added a decomposed granite trail to the east side of the park. (2016)
Eagle: Joseph H. (Troop 55) removed invasive plants. (2015)
Eagle: Benjamin C. (Troop 197) created a mini nature library at the Center. (2015)
Eagle: Miguel C. (Troop 55) removed invasive bamboo and planted native plants. (2014)
Eagle: Jack M. (Troop 55) installed drains and pipes and attached them to the city’s drainage system to reduce flooding. (2014)
Eagle: Tyler O. (Troop 222) built an ADA-compliant trail for people with wheelchairs, strollers, or other mobility issues. (2014)
Eagle: Removed non-native/invasive plant species in a designated area, then created a pollinator garden of native plants.
Eagle: John T. (Troop 505) built a 50-foot granite trail to help the disabled better traverse the park. (2013)
Eagle: Jared J. (Troop 505) removed invasive plants and repopulated the area with native plants. (2013)
Gold Award: Charlotte C. created a backyard animal exhibit for the Center. (2012)
Eagle: Alex V. (Troop 266) removed invasive plants, replaced them with native plants. Roped off the area to protect the new plants and watered them for a month.
Eagle: Connor A. (Troop 55) replaced about 42 feet of an old flagstone path with decomposed granite.
Eagle: Brian G. (Troop 806) built easels, built and painted frames for large painted metal panels, and removed invasive species. (2010)
Eagle: Jonathan P. (Troop 11) built and hung screech owl boxes. (2009)
Eagle: Andy P. (Troop 11) installed plant ID plaques. (2009)
Eagle: Gregory W. (Troop 505) rebuilt a section of nature trail damaged by heavy rains. (2007)