Docents are volunteers trained to lead interpretive walking tours of the Back Bay Fens, Riverway, Olmsted Park and Jamaica Pond for the general public and special interest groups. Docents also may assist with visitor programming and lead or host activities at the Shattuck Visitor Center or on site in the Emerald Necklace parks. Tours and activities are generally 90 minutes in length.
Volunteers interested in becoming docents attend a multi-week training program to learn about the Emerald Necklace – its history and landscape and the efforts to restore and maintain the parks today.
No experience necessary, just a love of the outdoors and an interest in learning about the parks and sharing your knowledge with others. Whether you are a park user, history buff, gardener, recreational walker or interested in landscape and design, as an Emerald Necklace docent you’ll have the opportunity to enrich the park experience for yourself and others.
- Attend six 90-minute classes as scheduled in April at the Shattuck Visitor Center.
- Attend additional classes (no more than two) to be scheduled in June at the Curley House in Jamaica Plain.
- Complete all homework assignments.
- Complete a class evaluation after each class.
- Attend at least two tours led by Conservancy staff, a mentor docent or Park Ranger.
- Take a guided tour of your choice at an area museum, park, library or historical site to observe and note interpretive techniques. (Note: Free tours are offered at the National Park Service Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site, Boston Public Library, Arnold Arboretum, and State House, among others.)
- Lead a “practice” tour.