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Jason Haupt
Extension Educator, Energy and Environmental Stewardship
University of Illinois Extension
15411 N IL 100 Highway
Lewistown, IL 61542-9468
Phone: 309-547-3711
FAX: 309-547-3713

Christine Belless
Program Coordinator, Ag and Natural Resources
University of Illinois Extension
1505 Valle Vista Blvd
Pekin, IL 61554-6245
Phone: 309-347-6614
FAX: 309-347-5472

Paula Lane
Office Support Assistant
University of Illinois Extension
127 S High St, Ste 1
Havana, IL 62644-1496
Phone: 309-543-3308

Master Naturalists

Master Naturalists

The mission of the University of Illinois Extension Master Naturalist program is to provide science-based educational opportunities that connect people with nature and help them become engaged environmental stewards.

Program Information

The University of Illinois Extension, Fulton-Mason-Peoria-Tazewell Unit has trained 90 Master Naturalists over the past seven years. "The program is designed to train volunteers in natural resources, so they can become natural area stewards, educators, and advocates," explains Christine Belless, program coordinator with Extension. The program provides science-based educational opportunities that connect people with nature and helps them become engaged environmental stewards. The following subjects are taught during the two week program: Ecological Concepts, Geology, Anthropology, Botany, Forest Ecology, Grassland Ecology, Ornithology, Mammology, Herpetology, Entomology, and Aquatic Systems.

The Master Naturalist program is a combination of education and volunteer services. With the help of local experts, U of I Extension provides the educational support for the program, while the internship service time will be done with their primary partners: The Nature Conservancy, Dickson Mounds Museum, University of Illinois-Springfield at Emiquon, Forest Park Nature Center, Jubilee State Park, Wildlife Prairie Park, Chautauqua Wildlife Refuge, Peoria Park District, Soldwedel Program Center-Pekin Park District, Canton Park District, and Spoon River College Arboretum.

The next Master Naturalist training is being planned for the Fall 2019. For an application, access below. For more information about University of Illinois Extension Master Naturalist program, contact Christine Belless, Master Naturalist program coordinator, or Jason Haupt, Extension educator, energy and environmental stewardship,, 15411 N IL 100 Hwy, Lewistown, IL 61542 or call 309.547.3711.

Illinois Master Naturalist Website

Volunteer Time Tracking System