Contact Us

University of Illinois Extension serving Henry, Mercer, Rock Island and Stark Counties

Main Office (Rock Island County)
321 W 2nd Avenue
Milan, IL 61264
Phone: 309-756-9978
FAX: 309-756-9987
Email: uie-hmrs@illinois.edu
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm

Branch Office (Henry-Stark County)
358 Front Street
Galva, IL 61434
Phone: 309-932-3447
FAX: 309-932-3454
Hours: Monday-Friday 8am to 4:30pm (Closed from 12 - 1 pm)

Branch Office (Mercer County)
2106 SE Third Street
Aledo, IL 61231
Phone: 309-582-5106
FAX: 309-582-7338
Hours: Monday-Friday 8am to 4:30pm (Closed from 12 - 1 pm)

News Release

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University of Illinois Extension seeks those interested in environmental stewardship to become Master Naturalist Volunteers: Training Starts August 3rd

University of Illinois Extension Master Naturalist Training for Rock Island, Mercer, Henry and Stark Counties will be starting August 3rd. It is designed for adults of any age that desire the opportunity to learn about and positively impact our local environment.  Over 12 weekly meetings on Thursdays, August 3 – October 12 from 9 am – 4 p.m. participants will learn from state and local experts who share their knowledge in a combination of classroom and field trip workshops. “We have a great slate of presenters lined up, it’s a unique and engaging educational experience.” said Tracy Jo Mulliken, UI Extension Master Naturalist Program Coordinator. 

Presenters include, from the University of Illinois Extension educators Dave Shiley (Local Food Systems and Small Farms and State Master Naturalist coordinator ) covering mammals; agriculture and urban wildlife, Duane Friend (Energy and Environmental Stewardship) covering weather and climate, Ken Johnson (Horticulture) covering entomology, Martha Smith (horticulture) is covering botany, and Tracy Mulliken (Master Naturalist coordinator) is covering the art of interpretation ; and from the Quad Cities area presenters include Rich Stewart and Joe Gates (Rock Island Soil and Water Conservation) covering conservation and leading a farm tour; Amy Loving (Nahant Marsh) teaching herpetology, Karen Rivera of the US Fish and Wildlife covering fish; Steve Hager of Augustana College leading ornithology, Beth Carvey and Ferell Anderson of Black Hawk Historic Site covering native American history and archeology; and Father Bud Grant from St. Ambrose University covering environmental ethics. Field tours will include visits to Black Hawk State Historic Site, Nahant Marsh, an Illinois Prairie, a production farm, and the Mississippi River.    

Mulliken said “The goal of the program is not to teach you "everything there is to know" about the subjects being covered, but to give you an engaging exposure to the natural world--one that encourages you to seek out lifelong learning opportunities to further your development as a naturalist.”  

Master Naturalist Program participants have the opportunity to:

  • learn about Illinois' natural history, ecosystems, plant and animal communities and environmental issues,
  • enhance their love of nature through hands-on training and community-based service,
  • practice lifelong learning and sharing,
  • interact and build relationships with new acquaintances with similar interests,
  • give something back to nature and your local community,
  • and learn from and work side-by-side with experts.

Master Naturalists agree to complete 40 hours of field and classroom learning during the training and 60 hours volunteer service within two years to become a Certified Master Naturalist. To remain active in the program, an additional 30 hours volunteer service and 10 hours of continuing education must be performed yearly. Mulliken said, “Master Naturalist volunteer opportunities are extremely flexible and are tailored to fit your personal interests, abilities and time restraints.” If you have any questions, please feel free to contact her at (309) 756-9978. There is a $250 registration fee to cover the training and an extensive workbook.  A full scholarship is available from the Rock Island County Extension & 4-H Education Foundation in memory of Mike Flaherty.  Information about the scholarship is available online at web.extension.illinois.edu/hmrs where online registration is also set up.

Local Contact: Tracy Jo Mulliken, Program Coordinator, Horticulture and Agriculture, tmully@illinois.edu