Bowtie Storytellers

March 2019 – April 2020
The Bowtie Project

Bowtie Storytellers is an annual nature interpretation program for Los Angeles-area youth. We aim to develop a new generation of advocates and stewards who will help shape the future of Los Angeles’s urban parks.

This intensive training program is facilitated by interpretation consultant Collin O’Mara-Green and Lindsey Lee Eichenberger, Clockshop’s Education & Public Programs Director. Using a hybrid of classroom learning and fieldwork, Bowtie Storytellers leads a cohort of students ages 16–18 through a series of sessions that cover a variety of interpretive skills. The curriculum covers general interpretation and facilitation tools, but is tailored to address issues that are relevant to Los Angeles’s urban landscape and to highlight issues that are unique to the Bowtie. During these sessions, students learn plant and wildlife identification, comprehensive river history, and activities that weave together arts and the environment. This program also provides them with the tools necessary to facilitate group collaboration and produce a public event.

Upon completing their training, students take a group exam to become Certified Interpretive Hosts, a nationally recognized certification bestowed by the National Association for Interpretation. In addition to receiving this certification, each student is compensated for their time. Their months of hard work culminate in a free, community campfire event that is organized and produced by the Storytellers themselves!

Collin O’Mara-Green
has a long history of conveying complex concepts in understandable ways for all ages in museums, parks, businesses, and schools. Currently his engaging “Stargazing with Discovery@Sea” program, developed for Princess Cruise Lines, teaches staff aboard 17 vessels how to identify night sky constellations for the benefit of cruise passengers. While leading the MRCA’s Bridge to Park Careers youth leadership program, Collin guided a group of young adults, who were novices to park occupations, to learn the necessary skills to become nature interpreters over four months of training. Some three years later, more than half of the program participants are fully employed with in local parks and governmental organizations around Los Angeles.

Lindsey Lee Eichenberger is a writer, educator, and zine-maker. She has led multiple zine workshops and given lectures about the power of self-publishing, working with students as young as preschool to teachers in professional development trainings. She has developed curricula, produced multiple youth programs, and is currently an MA candidate at Cal State LA. Lindsey lives in Los Angeles, where she is from.

Bowtie Storytellers is generously supported by the California State Parks Foundation, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, and the Wilhelm Family Foundation.