What do you do?
Paula Megorden

Where do you work and what is your title?
       El Paso County Bear Creek Nature Center. I am the supervisor.
What do you do there and/or what are you responsible for?
       Operate the Nature Center, manage volunteers and coordinate and lead environmental education programs, nature camps and special events.
How long have you been doing this kind of work (total)? How long on the Westside?
       Fifteen years, plus eight summers at a different location; 15 years on the Westside.
What do you like best about it (other than quitting time)?
       Working with people of all ages to enlighten them about the value of our outdoor resources in the county parks and throughout our community really inspires me. The people I work with also inspire me because they are amazing individuals, very team-oriented, positive and committed to their work.
If you could change one thing (other than pay), what would it be?
       One critical need is at least another full-time naturalist interpreter to help with our main areas of focus at the nature centers: environmental education programs, nature camps and special events.
What part of your work did your training/education never prepare you for?
       Working with people from 2 to 92 – you never know what to expect when working with the public. Life experiences, not necessarily from formal training or education, help us gain wisdom and develop tools and techniques to reach out to people of all ages.
What makes working on the Westside special?
       We are away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. The Westside is a community of less traffic congestion (except Highway 24) and more quaint neighborhoods. It seems people are more connected with the outdoors because we are in the middle of the beauty of the foothills.

“What do you do?” is a regular feature in the Westside Pioneer. If you know someone who has an interesting job on the Westside (but doesn’t live here), he/she might be a candidate for this column! If you know someone who might qualify, give us a call at 471-6776.