Bowtie Storytellers

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


February 2020: Youth Mentor training (16 – 18 year olds)
In early 2020, six lucky teens will be selected to take part in an intensive training program at the Bowtie, led by Collin O’Mara-Green. This cohort will learn interpretive skills for activities like plant and wildlife identification and fishing. Through their training, they will be eligible to become Certified Interpretive Hosts, a designation bestowed by the National Association for Interpretation.

Once certified, this group of six will act as mentors for younger participants taking part in Phase 2 of the program.

Applications for this portion of the program are now closed.  


March 2020: Junior Interpreter training (8 – 13 year olds)
In spring of 2020, one group of 25 local youths ages 8 – 13 will learn interpretive skills over the course of two weekends in March. These Junior Interpreters will start their first day at the Bowtie, learning new skills with the support of the six Youth Mentors and California State Parks staff. That afternoon, facilitators will guide the Junior Interpreters to reflect on the skill they have just learned.

The following weekend, Junior Interpreters will return to the Bowtie to teach their friends and family their new skill! This fireside event will feature short storytelling presentations from the participants. S’mores will be provided.

Applications for this portion of the program will open soon. 

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.

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