Master Naturalist Class Forming
by Sara Riggs, Texas Master Naturalist Lindheimer (Comal) Chapter
When you are out enjoying our local parks or trails and you see someone wearing a sage green t-shirt with a dragonfly and the words “Texas Master Naturalist” on the front, say hello as you always do (this is Texas, after all, home of friendly folks).
After saying hello, wait for the person to pass you and read what’s written on the back of the shirt: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Texas Master Naturalists (TMN) take this to heart. Whether the change that is to disconnect young people from the internet for a little while to connect them, maybe just a little, to nature or to build or maintain hiking trails so families can enjoy our beautiful countryside or to teach homeowners about native plants and animals or one of dozens of other things, TNM members are out to change the world for the better.
TMN experts have trained for the tasks they assign themselves by attending a year-long program with classes in things like ecological concepts, geology, ornithology and other subjects. They also go on a variety of field trips such as a birding outing at Crescent Bend, looking at archaeological artifacts at the Gault Research Lab in San Marcos, hiking the Canyon Lake Gorge, and viewing the largest concentration of mammals in the world at Bracken Bat Cave.
And there is so much, much more, including meeting interesting people and making friends who also are nature-friendly.
If you might like to join others in to train as Lindheimer Master Naturalists, a new training class for future Naturalists in the Comal County area will begin November 2017 (after an orientation session in late October.)
Here’s more information:
- Our meeting location is usually at the AgriLife Center at 325 Resource Dr. in New Braunfels.
- Orientation is in late October of 2017.
- With a few exceptions, classes are on the first Tuesday of each month from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
- The first class is Nov. 7, 2017, and the last class is Oct. 2, 2018.
- Graduation is October 18, 2018 (probably at Tye Preston Memorial Library.)
- You must attend all classes if possible and, if not, you must make arrangements with the coordinator to make up missed class(es.)
- You must attend at least two field trips. There will be several to choose from, and you may attend more if you like. Also, you must participate in a class project.
- The cost for the training class is $150, and this includes a textbook and the previously mentioned Master Naturalist t-shirt. There will be no refunds once the class has started. A background check is required.
- After the training program, you will be certified as a Texas Master Naturalist. If you wish to recertify in the following years, you will be expected to meet training (8 hours a year) and volunteer (40 hours a year) requirements. This process will be explained to you in great detail at orientation and in class.
While these requirements may sound daunting, let us assure you that this program is more fun than anything else.