Naturalist training offered

People who are fascinated with nature and eager to share their knowledge and skills with others can enroll in an upcoming course to be certified as a Wisconsin Master Naturalist volunteer.

The program, run by the University of Wisconsin-Extension in cooperation with the Department of Natural Resources and other partners, is an effort to promote awareness, understanding and stewardship of the state’s natural resources.

A volunteer training course will be held at the Sanderling Nature Center in Kohler-Andrae State Park, beginning Saturday, May 7, and ending Saturday, June 18. The course fee is $250 and involves 40 hours of training in natural history, interpretation and conservation stewardship.

Classes will run approximately seven hours each Saturday on May 7, 14, 21 and June 4, 11 and concluding with a five - hour class on June 18.

“The Department of Natural Resources parks program has helped train master naturalist volunteers since September 2013, and DNR representatives have served on the program’s advisory committee since 2009,” said Ben Bergey, Wisconsin state parks program director. “The training helps staff our summer programs with naturalists. This is a partnership we’re happy to help promote.”

Both indoor and outdoor instruction plus at least two field trips are included in the training. Upon completion of training, the naturalist provides volunteer service in one of three areas: education/interpretation, stewardship or citizen science.

Master Naturalists may work in the Wisconsin state park or forest programs or at other participating nature centers. To maintain certification, volunteers must complete 40 hours of service each year, in addition to eight hours of advanced training.

Visit the Wisconsin Master Naturalist Program website www.wimasternaturalist.org and click on the link for “show all” upcoming events for course registration. Registration for the Sheboygan course closes April 18. If you are unable to register online, or for additional information, please contact the WIMN State Office, info@wimasternaturalist.org.


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