Open 361 Days a Year: Admissions 10:00am – 3:30pm; park closes at 4:30pm

Teen Programs

The WNC Nature Center offers two different opportunities for teens to volunteer and gain experience working with animals, interacting with visitors, and learning about the wildlife of the Southern Appalachians.

The Young Naturalist program is a large, long-standing teen program that runs through the summer, and the Young Curator program is a smaller, advanced program offered each fall and spring.

Program activities are subject to change based on public health guidelines.

Interested in doing your senior project here at the Nature Center?

Young Naturalists

Make friends, make memories, and make a difference.

Summer Program
for youth ages 13-17 years old

Connect & Learn

Learn and educate others about the native plants and animals of the South Appalachians while developing your personal connection to nature through field excursions, guest speakers, and your own projects.

Earn Service Hours

Complete projects and attend workdays to earn service hours for school, college applications, and gain experience for job applications. Returning volunteers can apply for leadership positions.

Support Wildlife

Build nesting boxes, create animal enrichment, conduct citizen science, and more to support the animals living at the Nature Center, our wild neighbors, and the habitats they live in.

QUESTIONS?
Alayna Schmidt, Teen Program Coordinator
aschmidt@ashevillenc.gov

Please read the following criteria carefully to find out if you are eligible for this program before filling out and submitting the application.

Qualifications to become a Young Naturalist for 2021:

  • Be between 13 and 17 years of age on June 15, 2021.
  • Submit a completed application and a completed Parent Liability Release Form by May 1, 2021 at 4:30 pm.
  • Be excited to try new things and embrace the unknown.
  • Be willing to follow the rules of the Nature Center and this program.
  • Have an enthusiastic attitude and plan to have fun!

How to become a Young Naturalist:

1. Download the Information Letter:

2. Fill out your application: 2021 Applications for Young Naturalists will be available in the spring. 

3. Email completed forms to aschmidt@ashevillenc.gov or mail them to
Teen Program Coordinator
WNC Nature Center
75 Gashes Creek Road
Asheville, NC 28805

Young Curators

Experience the many roles needed to run a Nature Center.

Fall / Spring Program
for youth ages 14-18 years old

Education & Events

Work as a team to plan and coordinate a special event. Develop activities and lead programs that facilitate learning about the native plants and animals of the Southern Appalachians.

Animal Care

Make deer diets, clean otter enrichment items, sweep up goat poop… Working with animals means getting your hands dirty! Experience the life of an animal keeper completing assignments that support animal care.

Special Projects

Many other roles are critical to operations at the Nature Center, including Exhibits, Horticulture, Fundraising, and Outreach. Opportunities vary season.

QUESTIONS?
Alayna Schmidt, Teen Program Coordinator
aschmidt@ashevillenc.gov

The Young Curators program is cancelled for Spring 2021. 

Please read the following criteria carefully to find out if you are eligible for this program before filling out and submitting the application.

Qualifications to become a Young Curator:

  • Be between 14 and 18 years of age on the first day of the semester you are applying for.
  • Be available Saturdays from 12pm to 4pm (generally) to attend at least 10 of the 13 weekends of semester service 
  • Pay close attention to detail and follow directions
  • Work independently on assigned tasks
  • Be willing to handle and care for reptiles, amphibians, and barn animals
  • Demonstrate passion and willingness to learn about the animals living here at the Nature Center
  • Must enjoy speaking to the public and engaging passing visitors

Previous experience in the Young Naturalist program is preferred, but applicants who are new to the Nature Center are eligible to apply.  Applicants will be evaluated by their application, letters of recommendation, and previous volunteer experience, if applicable.  Due to the size of the program, only a small portion of applicants can be accepted each semester.  

How to become a Young Curator:


1. Fill out the Young Curator Application for the semester you are applying for.  The Young Curator program is cancelled for Spring 2021.

  • Applicants who have not previously participated in the Young Naturalist program must submit two letters of recommendation along with their application.

2. Email completed forms to aschmidt@ashevillenc.gov or mail them to
Teen Program Coordinator
WNC Nature Center
75 Gashes Creek Road
Asheville, NC 28805