MDC Missouri Master Naturalists awarded for service by St. Charles Co. Parks

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Saint Louis
Published Date

The Confluence Chapter of the Missouri Master Naturalists was recently recognized for exceptional service by the St. Charles County Parks Department. The group was presented with the 2014 Outstanding Volunteer Award at Quail Ridge County Park April 16 by Bettie Yahn-Kramer, Director of St. Charles County Parks. Accepting the award was chapter president Alberta McGilligan.

"This special group of volunteers has been assisting the parks department for many, many years," said Yahn-Kramer. "Passionate about nature, these remarkable men and women have dedicated thousands of volunteer hours over the years to our parks."

She cited services performed by the Confluence Chapter that included educating children through outreach programs, planting gardens, and help restoring native habitats. Yahn-Kramer also noted over the past several years, a "crew" of Confluence Chapter Master Naturalists has been active in a woodland restoration project, including the construction of two vernal pools, woodland thinning, and clearing of an old field to establish a prairie. She added they also were responsive when assisting with prescribed prairie burns, when they were often called into service at short notice as favorable weather conditions came together for a safe burn.

"All of that entails a tremendous amount of physical activity," commented Yahn-Kramer, "but all that hard work doesn't stop them from coming out and working weekly in our parks. These volunteers are truly devoted to the betterment of all the natural areas in all the parks."

The Missouri Master Naturalist program is a partnership of the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and University of Missouri Extension (UME). The program is a community-based natural resource education and volunteer service program for adults. Its mission is to engage Missourians in the stewardship of our state's natural resources through science-based education and volunteer community service.

To earn the Master Naturalist Certification, participants acquire extensive training in a variety of natural resource disciplines from practicing experts. In return, Master Naturalists volunteer their time and talent to support conservation efforts and natural resource education in their local communities.

For more information about the Missouri Master Naturalist Program, visit