Illinois Master Naturalist Program holds information sessions
From press release
The University of Illinois Extension will hold two public information sessions on the Illinois Master Naturalist Program in January. The first session will be held at the University of Illinois Extension-Winnebago County office, 1925 S. Meridian Road, Rockford, from 5-6 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010. The second session will be at the Cherry Valley Public Library, 755 E. State St., Cherry Valley, from 6-7 p.m. Jackie de Batista, Master Naturalist Coordinator, will present the program. Julie Thompson, a 2009 Master Naturalist graduate, will join Jackie and offer her perspective as a course participant. There is no fee to attend.
The Illinois Master Naturalist Program was new to Winnebago County in 2009, graduating 21 Master Naturalist interns in late November, and is designed for adults of any age who desire the opportunity to learn about and positively impact our local environment. Mary Thiesing, a participant in the fall session, observed,
The Master Naturalist class was amazing. We visited Winnebago County Forest Preserves, Park District preserves and other natural areas. One often forgets how many jewels we have here in Winnebago County.
Thiesing and her fellow participants spent nine afternoons and two Saturdays visiting local preserves and learning about our natural environment.
Individual lessons are taught by local instructors, experts in their field, and combine a formal lecture with outdoor, hands-on learning. Participant Anne Meyer remarked,
I loved and learned the most from the hikes with naturalists, despite rain… the program was very inspiring.
Ron Peabody, another Master Naturalist participant, added,
My favorite aspect of the MN program was the great diversity of ecosystems and other nature-related experiences that were packed into the curriculum. It seemed that the 11-week program was over in a heartbeat. To me, this is a shining example of how learning should be experienced!
The Spring 2010 Master Naturalist class starts March 3, 2010. To learn more about the program or register for the free informational sessions, call the University of Illinois Extension-Winnebago County office at (815) 986-4357 or visit our Web site at http://winnebago.extension.uiuc.edu.
From the Jan. 13-19, 2010 issue.
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