Master Naturalist information sessions offered

July 16, 2014

By U of I Extension

What is a Master Naturalist? Can I join if I’m interested in nature but don’t know a lot about it? Will I have to pass a test?

These questions, and more, are fielded on a regular basis at University of Illinois Extension. Extension organizes and hosts the increasingly popular Illinois Master Naturalist Program, a volunteer training program that provides adults with a unique opportunity to learn more about nature while connecting them to fulfilling volunteer projects around the region. The next Master Naturalist training begins the first week of September and will showcase both Stephenson and Winnebago counties.

U of I Extension Program Coordinator Jackie de Batista will hold two information sessions to answer the public’s questions, address fears and concerns about becoming a “Master,” and motivate interested adults to join the program.

University of Illinois Extension brought the Master Naturalist Program to Winnebago County in 2009,” de Batista said. “Since then, over 90 people have participated in the training and have together completed over 11,000 volunteer hours in service of our local natural areas and environmental education efforts. When you think about the positive impact these individuals have made, it’s quite remarkable!”

To learn more about the Master Naturalist Program, plan to attend an information session. The first session will be at the U of I Extension Winnebago County office in Rockford Thursday, July 24, and the second session will be at the U of I Extension Stephenson County office in Freeport Thursday, Aug. 7. Both programs will be from 3 to 4 p.m. There is no cost to attend, but pre-registration is requested because space is limited.

For more information and to register, visit http://web.extension.illinois.edu/jsw or call (815) 986-4357.

From the July 16-22, 2014, issue

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