Bowtie Storytellers

Bowtie Storytellers is an annual nature interpretation program for LA-area youth. We aim to develop a new generation of advocates and stewards who will help shape the future of LA’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’ 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 a large group 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, produced and run by the Storytellers themselves!

Bowtie Storytellers happens once a year and sessions begin in February. If you’re interested in learning more about Bowtie Storytellers or being a part of the next cohort, please contact Lindsey at lindsey [at] clockshop.org.

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 4 months of training. Some 3 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.

This program was supported, in part, by the California State Parks Foundation, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, and the Wilhelm Family Foundation.