Published: Jul 02, 2013 8:06 AM EDT
Updated: Jul 02, 2013 10:26 AM EDT

NAPLES, Fla. - Conservancy of Southwest Florida needs summer volunteers at its newly renovated 21-acre nature center located off of Goodlette-Frank Road just south of the Naples Zoo.

A minimum commitment of only four hours per week is requested. Conservancy offers free training to volunteers in a variety of positions including guest services, docents/nature interpreters, boat captains, dock masters, nature store sales, wildlife rehabilitation, horticulture, and furniture and more resale store sales.

“Volunteers are vital to supporting the day-to-day operations and programs of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida and helping us to raise awareness of the importance of protecting the water, land, and wildlife in the region,” said Conservancy of Southwest Florida President and CEO Andrew McElwaine.

“The summer is a great time for students, teachers and those interested in enhancing their knowledge about nature and issues facing Southwest Florida to share their time and talents at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida.”

“These volunteer positions offer great opportunities to take what you learn back to the classroom in the fall – both for teachers and students,” summarizes Volunteer and Intern Manger JoAnn Johansen.

Volunteers must be 16 years of age or older, and at least 18 years old for the boat program.

For more information or to apply online, visit http://www.conservancy.org/summervolunteer to submit an application. Applicants will be contacted and invited to attend a future volunteer orientation program.

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida began in 1964 when community leaders came together to defeat a proposed “Road to Nowhere” and spearheaded the acquisition and protection of Rookery Bay.

The Conservancy is a not-for-profit grassroots organization focused on the critical environmental issues of the Southwest Florida region with a mission to protect the region’s water, land and wildlife. This is accomplished through the combined efforts of environmental education, science, policy, and wildlife rehabilitation. The von Arx Wildlife Hospital treats in excess of 3,000 injured, sick and orphaned animals each year and releases about half of them back into their native habitats.

Conservancy of Southwest Florida and Nature Center is located in Naples, Fla. at 1450 Merrihue Dr., off Goodlette-Frank Road at 14th Avenue North. The new Nature Center entrance, Smith Preserve Way, is now open and is located just south of Naples Zoo off Goodlette-Frank Road.

For information about the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, call 239-262-0304 or visit www.conservancy.org.