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Master Naturalist Graduates

Congratulations to the Illinois Grand Prairie Master Naturalist

Class of 2012

On November 2, the Illinois Grand Prairie Master Naturalist class of 2012 completed their nearly 70 hours of instruction and were awarded certificates of completion of the Illinois Master Naturalist training program. The following individuals, representing McLean, Livingston, and Woodford counties will now complete a 60 hour internship on their way to becoming certified Illinois Master Naturalists:

Nancy Bair

Laura Baue

Shaun Bill

Lenore Clark

Kathleen Clesson

Debbie Coleman

Orlyn Edge

Marilyn Freese

Nicole Gould

Mary Horgan

Karen Lowery

Vickie Robertson

Debra Tock

Judith Valente-Reynard

Rita Yordy

Roger Yordy

This year's training course was held every Friday for 12 weeks in several locations including the McLean County Extension office, Heartland Community College, Sugar Grove Nature Center, Franklin Farms, Parklands Foundation, Dickson Mounds, The Nature Conservancy at Emiquon, and PrairiEarth Farms. The curriculum covered a variety of topics such as: ecological concepts; weather and climate; forests; prairies; wetlands; agriculture; soils and geology; archeology and anthropology; and other traditional naturalist disciplines (e.g. ornithology, mammalogy, and herpetology). The sessions included both classroom and field study with an emphasis on hands-on experiences. Local experts and scientists as well as University of Illinois Extension educators and Illinois Natural History Survey researchers provided the instruction.

Internship projects for the new graduates may include "wildscape" maintenance; stream bank, wetland, forest, and prairie restoration; fish, wildlife, and plant inventories; environmental education programs for youth and adults; interpretive tours at a nature or visitor center; or program support for their local Illinois Grand Prairie Master Naturalist chapter.

The program was made possible thanks to the valuable contributions of the planning committee and the generosity of our program partners - Heartland Community College, Parklands Foundation, McLean County Soil and Water Conservation District, Wild Ones, Fugate Woods, and Sugar Grove Nature Center.

For further information on the program, please visit our webpage at:

Photo Provided by Sharon Becker

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