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Master Naturalist Summit Explores Wetlands Habitat


More than 30 individuals gathered on June 4th at the Nipper Wildlife Sanctuary in Loami for the 2016 University of Illinois Extension Master Naturalist Summit. Attendees learned about wetlands including grasses, plants and wildlife that live around this habitat. Speakers included: Joe Bartletti, Prairie Engineers of Illinois, and Mary Lou Lael, U of I Extension Master Gardener Volunteer. After the session concluded attendees took a tour of the wetland property that is part of the sanctuary grounds. Vern LaGesse, Director of Friends of the Sangamon Valley,lead the walking tour identifying various grasses andplants growing and bloomingcurrently on the grounds including Rattlesnake Master, Foxglove, Indigo, Yellow Rocket, Wild Quinine, Purple Coneflowers and Spiderwort to name just a few. The University of Illinois Extension office serving Logan, Menard and Sangamon counties holds the Master Naturalist Summit every year for current volunteers and as an orientation to the program to recruit new volunteers.

The Master Naturalist programincludes both classroom training and hands on volunteer experience. The Master Naturalist program is designed to educate and train a corps of volunteers to provide support in the conservation, management, and interpretation of the areas natural resources. The program provides science based educational opportunities that connect people with nature and help them become engaged in environmental stewardship. Contact Jennifer Fishburn, Horticulture Educator for the Logan-Menard-Sangamon Unit for University of Illinois Extension at 217-782-4617. Or email: fishburn@illinois.edu. Applications for fall 2016 Master Naturalist class are available now until July 25. Training Classes will be offered on Wednesday's starting August 31.



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