Master Naturalists in Livingston, McLean, and Woodford Counties

The inaugural training class in Unit 12 concluded with the graduation of 20 Master Naturalist interns. The participants immediately got to work to form an organization and volunteer in the community. Below are some of their thoughts, put into words, regarding the training experience:

Over the weekend I had some time to consider our learning and experiences together. I just have to say that the program and all of you have made this fall's program a real 'life list' event for me. It was wonderful learning with and about all of you. I am in awe of the knowledge base of this group. Each one of you has several special areas of expertise which added so much to the learning. Most importantly, every one of you, in your own way, provided energy to the group. Thanks for the great time; I can't wait for our next adventure.

I too have learned so many new things and realize that there is so much more that I want to learn. It will seem strange to not be heading down I-55 to Bloomington this Friday. It has become something that I truly looked forward to every week. I look forward to this group being able to connect at future events, trainings, tours and more.

A marvelous conclusion of the beginning! Thanks to one and all for the wonderful experience with the Master Naturalist program. What a delight to get to know all of you, and find new friends that share common interests, wonder, and values. Winston Churchill said of H.G. Wells "he has a sea of knowledge about an inch deep." Though this was not intended as a compliment it fits what I feel, but not in a depressing way. At least I know better now what I don't know! And I have new colleagues and resources to help me ask the right questions and guidance for where to go for help. I also have renewed hope that at the grassroots there are concerned and creative people seeking ways to restore and take better care of the environment.

I think the best part of the training for me (and I loved every second of every Friday), was finding a group of like-minded people. I'm looking forward to staying in touch through our volunteer opportunities, future meetings, and hopefully a field trip here or there on our own. There's so much to see and do!!

I would indeed second everything that you have said. One of our traditions around the Thanksgiving holiday table is an arrangement of five kernels of corn at each place setting. Those who wish to participate mention something they are thankful for while holding each kernel of corn. You, my Master Naturalist friends, will be named as one of my blessings this year.

Amen and Ditto! I'm looking through our clinic window at the prevailing wind from the west as these words are being written and thinking of all the implications we learned about that! Shortly, I'll send you a note about the Parklands work days and would love to see y'all there but there should be plenty more of those to come. Thanks so much for making it the best course I have ever taken!

Truly, the energy and camaraderie were so incredibly positive, week after week. My curiosity has been jolted back to life; my thanks to all of you for sharing and supporting each other. I feel privileged to have been a part of it. High-five, graduates!

Friday morning I'll be like the solitary Cedar Waxwing at my birdbath today, lost without my flock. We are uniquely talented, insightful, funny, dedicated, kind, generous, serious but most important we are a flock!

It is 2:00 pm on Friday and as I sit at my dining room table alone I can't help but be nostalgic. I greatly miss sitting at tables with all of you learning about the world around us. So this Thanksgiving I will be thankful for one more thing - - - having a chance to meet all of you.

It does seem strange not traveling south today to learn more about the world around us and share the experience with the group. It has been a great class and I am looking forward to what the future holds. "Till our next adventure".

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