Residents of Henry, Patrick, and Pittsylvania counties are invited to attend the Virginia Master Naturalist Basic Training.
Residents looking to become involved in maintaining and protecting the region’s natural areas and resources will have a chance to begin this summer at the basic training course starting August 15.
The training course covers topics such as basic ecology, ichthyology, and ornithology. The Southwestern Piedmont Chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalists Program will hold two basic training information presentations at the Virginia Museum of Natural History’s Ice Age Festival on Saturday, Jan. 28.
Residents are welcome to learn more about the Master Naturalists Program and the training course. Festival details will be announced on the museum website.
The Master Naturalist Program is designed to develop a corps of volunteers who provide education, outreach and services to help manage natural resources and natural areas in their communities.
Current participants are involved in a variety of projects, including native gardening, bluebird conservation, water quality monitoring, and local park and river cleanups.
The process for becoming a certified Virginia Master Naturalist typically takes six to 12 months. One starts by completing the 40-hour basic training course. An additional eight hours of advanced training are also required.
An important part of the certification process is the required 40 hours of volunteer service. However, anyone may participate in the training course without choosing to fulfill all the requirements.
The course classroom instruction includes 15 Tuesday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. and five Saturday field trips.
The Virginia Master Naturalist Program is sponsored by the Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Dept. of Conservation and Recreation, Virginia Dept. of Environmental Quality, Virginia Dept. of Forestry, Virginia Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries, Virginia Museum of Natural History, and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science’s Center for Coastal Resources Management.
The program is based in the Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation within the College of Natural Resources and Environment at Virginia Tech.
For more information about the Southwestern Piedmont Chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalist Program, contact Denny Casey, advisor, Museum of Natural History, at (276) 634-4184 or email email@example.com.
For a downloadable application for the 2017 training session, visit http://www.vmnh.net/virginia-masternaturalist-program https://www.facebook.com/SouthwesternPiedmontMasterNaturalists https://twitter.com/SPVMN