MDC plans Missouri Master Naturalist training in Hannibal
HANNIBAL, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) works to sustain healthy forests, fish, and wildlife. However, MDC relies on citizen science, private landowners, and community engagement to further these efforts which benefit all Missourians. That’s the idea behind Missouri’s Master Naturalist program.
The program develops a corps of well-informed volunteers to provide outreach, education, and service dedicated to natural resources conservation within their local communities.
The Mississippi Hills Master Naturalist Chapter in Hannibal will hold a Master Naturalist training orientation May 2 from 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at the Hannibal-LaGrange University Burt Administration Building. Registration is required before May 2 by calling 573-248-2530.
Attendance at the orientation is required in order to participate in the Missouri Master Naturalist training, which begins June 6. Training classes will take place every Monday from June 6 – Aug. 29 from 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. at Hannibal-LaGrange University. The training also includes three Saturday field sessions.
In addition to attending the orientation, participants must also register for the June 6 – Aug. 29 training by May 7. Class size is limited and early registration is encouraged. Enrollees must be at least 18-years-old and pay a $110 fee. Register for the full training course by visiting https://extension.missouri.edu/events/missouri-master-naturalist-mississippi-hills-chapter-1648049889.
The Missouri Master Naturalist program mixes science with service, engaging Missourians in stewardship of the state’s natural resources through science-based education and volunteer community service. The program is a partnership between MDC and the University of Missouri Extension.
“The intent of the Master Naturalist program is to better connect people to the environment and to nature,” explained MDC Volunteer and Interpretive Programs Coordinator Syd Hime. “There are many people with an interest in nature who are looking for opportunities to develop their skills as naturalists and use those skills in volunteer service. We provide that through a community-based volunteer and education program.”
Master Naturalists receive specialized training regarding nature in the region where chapters are based. Members help MDC and conservation partners through citizen science, educational programs, and stewardship projects. To become a certified Master Naturalist, participants must complete an initial training course and eight hours of advanced training. They must also contribute 40-hours of natural resource-related volunteer service through a local chapter.
For more information about the Mississippi Hills Master Naturalist training in Hannibal, contact Chapter Training Chairman Bob Kendrick at (573) 248-7361.
Information about the Missouri Master Naturalist program is available at https://extension.missouri.edu/programs/missouri-master-naturalist.