Volunteer docents enhance the Point Lobos experience of our visitors by helping them:
- to see more, and to understand what they see,
- to decide which trails to walk,
- to gain a greater appreciation for nature
They do this by:
- Answering visitors' questions at the Information Station and at our mobile interpretive ("MINT") van (seen at right at the Bird Island parking area),
- Showing visitors close-ups of marine mammals and birds through spotting scopes (seen below),
- Bringing alive the history of Point Lobos at the Whalers Cabin and Whaling Station Museums,
- Leading guided walks,
- Helping students understand and appreciate the beauty and treasures of nature on guided school walks
- Answering questions on the trails
Docents find these activities, and the friendships they form in the docent group, both enjoyable and rewarding. There are about 180 Point Lobos docents, many of whom have been in the program for over 10 years. They volunteer their time because they want to help the nature-loving visitors enjoy Point Lobos even more. Please do not hesitate to ask them your questions.
Docents are required to meet certain service standards and to attend monthly training sessions to keep current and expand their knowledge. These meetings are held the first Saturday of each month. Training classes for new docents, which offer a unique opportunity to learn about the natural and cultural history of this magic place, are offered at the beginning of each year. In 2013, docents volunteered more than 23,756 hours (equivalent to more than 11 full-time employees) at Point Lobos.
Docents serve as volunteers to California State Parks. Funding for virtually all docent services, including supervision by State Parks and docents' training, meeting spaces, library, audio-visual equipment, binoculars loaned to visitors, telescopes used to show close-up views of animals, and more is provided by the Point Lobos Foundation.
If you have a passion for Point Lobos and are interested in becoming a docent , please contact Melissa Gobell, Docent Program Coordinator for California State Parks at (831) 625-1470 or email Melissa at firstname.lastname@example.org.