Contact Us

David Shiley
Extension Educator, Local Food Systems and Small Farms
University of Illinois Extension
122 S Walnut St
Arthur, IL 61911
Phone: 217-543-3755
FAX: 217-543-3757
dshiley@illinois.edu

Illinois Master Naturalist

Illinois Master Naturalist

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WHO CAN BECOME A MASTER NATURALIST?

An Illinois Master Naturalist is an adult who loves the outdoors, has a concern for the local environment and wants to provide education and service to help their local community.

You do not need to have a college degree or years of experience. You need to have a sincere desire to learn and share information about nature and be willing to devote time to volunteering and on-going training.

WHAT IS THE MASTER NATURALIST PROGRAM?

The Illinois Master Naturalist program is designed to educate and train a corps of volunteers to provide support in the conservation, management, and interpretation of the area’s natural resources in collaboration with local partners.

In Extension Unit 19, the Illinois Master Naturalist program includes projects and partners in Coles, Cumberland, Douglas, Moultrie and Shelby counties.

The program provides science-based educational opportunities that connect people with nature and help them become engaged environmental stewards.

With the help of local experts, University of Illinois Extension provides the educational support for the program, while volunteering is typically coordinated through local partners.

PROGRAM PARTNERS

University of Illinois Extension, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, Grand Prairie Friends, Coles County Soil and Water Conservation District

WHAT DOES TRAINING INVOLVE?

Each Master Naturalist volunteer participates in at least 40 hours of initial training. The classes are held in a variety of locations, but many of them will be presented at Douglas-Hart Nature Center. Training sessions include lecture, discussion, hands-on activities, and field trips.  Training will be every Tuesday, from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm, beginning September 11, 2018 through October 23, 2018.  An additional orientation and introductory meeting is scheduled on August 28, 2018 at 6:00 pm

WHAT TOPICS ARE COVERED DURING TRAINING?

Topics relate to local natural areas and may include Botany, Environmental Ethics, Soils, Forestry, Geology, Prairies, Mammals, Birds, Wetlands, and Aquatics.

HOW DO I BECOME A CERTIFIED MASTER NATURALIST?

Certification requires the completion of the initial training and 60 hours of volunteer internship. To remain certified a MN volunteer must complete at least 30 hours of volunteer time and 10 hours of continued education each year.  

GETTING STARTED

Potential participants must complete an application and background check and participate in an informal interview/orientation.  The fee covering the classrooms and field training, handouts and the Master Naturalist manual is $150.00.

APPLICATION DEADLINE

August 3, 2018