University of Illinois Extension Master Naturalists provide leadership and educational outreach at local sites. They practice stewardship at projects throughout Madison, Monroe, and St. Clair Counties including Baebler Educational Farm, The Gardens at SIUE, and Watershed Nature Center. Master Naturalists assist with habitat construction, trail maintenance, and invasive plant removal.
“I enjoy the opportunity to work with like-minded people who want to preserve natural areas,” said Bill Klunk, Master Naturalist since 2013. Bill assists at The Gardens at SIUE on a prairie restoration project. He also helps with citizen scientist projects and education outreach to youth and adults. “Master Naturalist training introduced me to many beautiful local sites. I discovered that our area has a large, diverse ecosystem.”
If you are interested in becoming a Master Naturalist volunteer, training will begin on September 3, 2020. The training fee is $250 and includes a copy of the Illinois Master Naturalist manual. Master Naturalist training includes sessions on geology, biology, entomology, ornithology, forests, and prairies. The training will be conducted online through November 12. The class will focus on a different topic each week. Training will be a mix of independent study and group discussions.
For an application, call 618-939-3434 or visit https://extension.illinois.edu/mms/master-naturalists. Registration is due August 24, 2020. Questions about the program may be directed to Sarah Ruth, Horticulture and Natural Resource Program Coordinator at 618-939-3434 or email@example.com.
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