Become a PA Mater Naturalist

Sachiyo and Donna planting a habitat garden at Schuykill Environmental Center
Sachiyo and Donna planting a habitat garden at Schuylkill Environmental Center

Can you name the most numerous tree species here in the Delaware Valley? Can you name your watershed? Do you want to learn about the local ecosystems?

If you were like me you had many little snippets of information floating in your head. You knew the habitat types that existed or used to exist where your house stands or could name several species of birds on sight.

But, these little bits were not in a cohesive whole. Going through the Pennsylvania Master Naturalist training pulled everything together for me.

Unless there is a book written about where you live, a structured, organized ecosystem curriculum is rare. Particularly, one geared toward adults.

The Pennsylvania Master Naturalist Program is seeking new applicants for the 2012 training program.

This year-round program has three components:

  1. the initial volunteer training course
  2. volunteer service hours
  3. advanced training classes
After the intense initial training, trainees go out into their communities to volunteer and lead projects and programs. The Pennsylvania program actively recruits adults from various backgrounds to reach all communities, particularly the underserved.

Even if you are not in Pennsylvania, you can seek out  a program in your area. Area environmental centers, parks and refuges often know of programs. Or search for a master naturalist program in your state.

If you are interested in the Pennsylvania program, see the Pennsylvania Institute of Environmental Education website.
For the 2012 Volunteer Training Course individuals have 3 Regional Options:

SPRING 2012 (application deadline: February 17, 2012)

  •     Philadelphia County: Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, Philadelphia, PA

FALL & WINTER 2012 (application deadline: May 28, 2012)

  • Bucks County: Silver Lake Nature Center, Bristol, PA
  • Chester County: Bucktoe Creek Preserve, Kennett Square, PA

Ask a master naturalist if the intensive training enhanced their understanding and they will probably say yes. Why not say yes to becoming a master naturalist.

We're Listening