James Farm Docent Program

December 2024

The James Farm Docents serve as the ambassadors of the Center at the James Farm Ecological Preserve (Preserve). Helping to immerse an estimated 30,000 annual visitors of the Preserve in beautiful beaches, primordial forests, and sun-drenched salt marshes. Whether stationed at information tables, observation platforms, or walking the trails, Docents greet visitors, answer questions, and share resources with the public during the peak visitation season (May-August). Docents also share the history and mission of the James family’s farm.

The Preserve is a 150-acre property on the Indian River Bay, owned by Sussex County and managed by the Center. Its diverse habitats, including maritime forest, salt marsh, and meadows, and a variety of outdoor recreation areas (e.g., over 3 miles of trails, 3 wildlife viewing stations, a boardwalk beach crossing) attract many members of our Inland Bays community and temporary visitors as well.


What being a Docent is all about

The James Farm Docent Program plays a key role in helping to encourage visitors of the Preserve to immerse themselves in its beautiful habitats. Stationed at information tables, Docents will greet visitors, answer questions, and offer resources to the public. Docents will also share the history and mission of the James family’s farm.

Docents strive to:

  • Encourage visitors to engage with the habitats, wildlife, and Bays at the Preserve.
  • Raise public awareness of the unique partnership between Sussex County and the Center.
  • Share the history and mission of the James family Farm and Preserve.
  • Raise donor funds for Preserve maintenance and Master Plan.
  • Explain the purpose and changes due to the James Farm Master Plan.
  • Promote visitor engagement with the Bays and the Center.

They also record interactions with visitors which provide valuable information that is used to help meet the Center’s annual outreach and education goals and plan future efforts.

Get Involved

Interested in helping out with the Docent Program? Contact the Center’s Project Manager, Nivette Pérez-Pérez, at volunteer@inlandbays.org and join the James Farm Docent Program mailing list.

As the season approaches, additional information will be sent to all potential volunteers regarding assignments, scheduling, and other important details.

All volunteers must fill out the Center’s Volunteer Waiver, which can be submitted to the Center’s Project Manager, Nivette Pérez-Pérez, at volunteer@inlandbays.org.

If you would like more information about other volunteer opportunities, fill out the Center’s Volunteer Application. Another way to support the Center’s mission is by donating HERE!