The Coastal Prairie Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalist (TMN) program will offer a new Spring Class which runs from February 22 through May 7. The program offers residents of Fort Bend, Waller and Wharton Counties the opportunity to join a corps of volunteers dedicated to the beneficial management of the natural resources and wildlife of our region. The TMN Program is sponsored by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.
“There are amazing benefits to joining the Texas Master Naturalist program,” said Class Director Shannon Westveer. “You get training from leading experts and professionals, fun field trips and a comprehensive textbook. You’ll meet amazing people who share your passion for the great outdoors and find friends and mentors to help you pursue your areas of interest. Most importantly, you will help share your knowledge with others because nature desperately needs our help.”
Naturalist students attend classes taught by recognized experts and participate in field trips to a variety of habitats and ecosystems. Classes will be held Tuesday mornings and some Saturdays. Participants attend at least 40 hours of initial training and can work with the Class Director to arrange for makeup classes if needed. The registration fee is $125 per person.
Class members will have the opportunity to enhance their knowledge of local ecology, native plants and wildlife, rangeland management, citizen science and more. Certification requires that students complete 40 hours of initial training, 40 hours of community service (up to a year to complete) and eight hours of advanced training.
Graduates of the program may volunteer for projects around Fort Bend, Waller and Wharton Counties including Katy Prairie Conservancy, Brazos Bend State Park, Cullinan Park, the Fort Bend County Fair, Seabourne Nature Fest, local school educational programs, and the Chapter’s signature project: Seabourne Creek Nature Park in Rosenberg. To achieve certification, Texas Master Naturalists can choose from dozens of service opportunities based on their interests such as prairie restoration, native gardening, assisting with bird hikes, trail management, educating youth and much more.
Registration is available online beginning January 10, but class size is limited and will fill up quickly. Details are available at www.coastalprairie.org and questions can be directed to Class Director Shannon Westveer at email@example.com.