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Texas Master Naturalists seeking new volunteers

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The Texas Master Naturalists program was created to develop a corps of well-informed volunteers to provide education, outreach, and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within their communities.

Many communities and organizations rely on such citizen volunteers for implementing youth education programs; for operating parks, nature centers, and natural areas; and for providing leadership in local natural resource conservation efforts. In fact, a short supply of dedicated and well-informed volunteers is often cited as a limiting factor for community-based conservation efforts.  

The local chapter here which serves Denton, Cooke and Wise counties is the Elm Fork Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalists. They are currently recruiting for their newest training class which begins in September. This is a 60-hour training course on the region’s natural features and the impact that people have on nature. The course includes presentations by biologists, geologists, naturalists, and others from local, state, and federal agencies and universities.

To become a certified Master Naturalist, you must complete a minimum of 40 hours of volunteer service and 8 hours of advanced training during the first 12 months following the completion of the course (to be completed before your course’s graduation anniversary date).  The course costs $ 150 and applications are due on August 16. To find out more information, attend the 2013 Master Naturalist Trainee Class Roundup on August 15, 2013, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Denton County Texas A&M AgriLife Extension office at the Joseph A. Carroll Building 401 W. Hickory Street Denton, Texas 76201-9026.

Roundup is an opportunity to talk to current Master Naturalists and ask questions. Come for refreshments, learn more about this volunteer program and view exhibits displaying many of the ongoing community Elm Fork Chapter projects. The application, course curriculum and more information can be found at www.efcmn.org or by calling 940.349.2883.

Another upcoming educational opportunity is “Science With Attitude” or SWAt, a free four-day workshop geared towards third grade teachers to learn how to incorporate nature and horticulture into their curriculum.
Special emphasis is placed on the Junior Master Gardener curriculum, which is STAARS correlated.

The class will be held August 6-9, 2013, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30p.m. at Olive Stephens Elementary and is open to all grade level teachers. Space is limited and you must pre-register, for more information or to register please contact Susan Kilpatrick (s_kilpatrick@verizon.net) or 940.241-3097. Participants may wish to purchase the training materials: Junior Master Gardener Leader Guide and Student Handbook, Literature in the Garden, Wildlife Gardener and Sharing Nature With Children II.  To learn more about the Junior Master Gardener program visit http://jmgkids.us/.

 

Janet Laminack, Denton County Extension Agent –Horticulture/Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, 940-349-2883, jelaminack@ag.tamu.edu

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