Wisconsin Master Naturalist Program seeks volunteers

Registration now open for 2017 Volunteer Training Courses

Contact: Becky Sapper, (715) 685-2652 or becky.sapper@ces.uwex.edu

The Wisconsin Master Naturalist Program is dedicated to promoting awareness, understanding, and stewardship of Wisconsin’s natural resources through an ever-growing network of master naturalist volunteers. Now in its fifth year, the program is opening registration for the 2017 volunteer training courses across Wisconsin.

The Master Naturalist Volunteer Training Course is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts, including birders, gardeners, hunters, urban explorers, or anyone interested in being a steward of Wisconsin’s natural beauty. One participant stated, “I have a deeper understanding of Wisconsin’s geology, ecology and ecosystems. I can see why having quality volunteers is critical to Wisconsin’s ecological and environmental support systems.”

The 40-hour course includes instruction in the natural history of Wisconsin; training to volunteer in interpretation, land stewardship, and citizen science; field trips, and a capstone project. The volunteer training course is the first step in becoming a Wisconsin Master Naturalist volunteer. Maintaining certification entails completing 40 hours of service and 8 hours of advanced training in Wisconsin per year.

“I am left excited about the possibility of contributing to the program for many years to come through my volunteer efforts. This class was one of the best things I have ever done. It will stay with me for the rest of my life,” says a recent graduate of the program.

According to Becky Sapper, Director of the Wisconsin Master Naturalist Program: “Master Naturalist volunteers are having a great impact on our state. Since 2013, they have volunteered more than 34,548 hours. This represents $752,455 in value to the state of Wisconsin. We now have Master Naturalist volunteers throughout 75 percent of Wisconsin counties.”

Sapper encourages people to join the more than 500 Master Naturalist volunteers making a difference in their communities. More information on course schedules and locations can be found here. Register soon as courses fill up quickly!

Volunteer Training Courses currently proposed:

  • Upham Woods, Wisconsin Dells begins March 20, 2017
  • Wehr Nature Center, Franklin begins March 27, 2017
  • Friends of Hartman Creek State Park I, Waupaca begins April 22, 2017
  • The Prairie Enthusiasts, Blue Mounds begins May 13, 2017
  • Northern Wisconsin – Ashland/Cable area begins June 5, 2017
  • Beaver Creek Reserve, Fall Creek begins June 5, 2017
  • Friends of Urban Nature (northeast Madison) begins July 8, 2017
  • Friends of Hartman Creek State Park II, Waupaca begins August 14, 2017
  • North Lakeland Discovery Center, Manitowish Waters begins August 21, 2017
  • Hunt Hill Audubon Sanctuary, Sarona begins August 27, 2017

To begin your Wisconsin Master Naturalist training, visit our website to find a course near you.

Learn more about the Wisconsin Master Naturalist program or follow us on Facebook.

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