COLUMBIA, Mo. — The Boone’s Lick Chapter of the Missouri Master Naturalist program is offering a training class beginning Mar. 4. Classes will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday’s from Mar. 4 to May 13 at Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area (CA) office, 6700 West Route K, Columbia.
Individuals interested in learning more about the program should attend an orientation from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Feb. 4 at the Eagle Bluffs CA office. Participants are expected to attend all evening training sessions and three Saturday field trip sessions. Participants must register by Feb. 11 and the enrollment fee is $95.
“The intent of the Master Naturalists program is to better connect people to the environment and nature,” said MDC Volunteer & Interpretive Program Coordinator Syd Hime. “There are a lot of people with an interest in nature who are looking for opportunities to develop their skills as a naturalist. We provide that through a community-based natural resource education and volunteer program.”
Master Naturalists are given special training regarding nature in the region where chapters are based. Members help out at MDC public events, conduct education demonstrations, take field trips and hold social events tied to a shared love of nature. To become a certified Master Naturalist, participants must complete an initial training course, eight hours of advanced training, and contribute 40 hours of natural resource-related volunteer service through a local chapter.
The Master Naturalist program is a partnership between the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), University of Missouri Extension and the volunteers who serve in the program.