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Janet Laminack: Nature lovers invited to Master Naturalist class

Are you the kind of person who, when someone yells “snake!” you run toward the screamer to identify the lovely creature? Would you rather be outside than indoors even in this hot August weather? Do you love learning about the natural world and all the subjects it has to offer: entomology, geology, botany, meteorology, ornithology and the list goes on? The Master Naturalists program might just be the perfect fit for you.

Come learn more about this program at the 2014 Master Naturalist Trainee Class Roundup from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 2200 N. Bell Ave. in Denton. The event is an opportunity to talk to current Master Naturalists and ask questions. Come for lunch and learn more about this volunteer program and view exhibits displaying many of the ongoing Elm Fork Chapter community projects.

The Elm Fork chapter is the local chapter which serves Denton, Cooke and Wise counties. The chapter is are currently recruiting for its newest training class, which begins in September and is a 60-hour training course on the region’s natural features and the impact that people have on nature. The course includes presentations by biologists, geologists, naturalists and others from local, state and federal agencies, and universities.

To become a certified Master Naturalist, you must complete a minimum of 40 hours of volunteer service and eight hours of advanced training during the first 12 months following the completion of the course (to be completed before your course’s graduation anniversary date). The course costs $150 and applications are due Thursday.

The Texas Master Naturalists program was created to develop a corps of well-informed volunteers to provide education, outreach and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within their communities. Many communities and organizations rely on such citizen volunteers for implementing youth education programs; for operating parks, nature centers and natural areas; and for providing leadership in local natural resource conservation efforts. In fact, a short supply of dedicated and well-informed volunteers is often cited as a limiting factor for community-based conservation efforts.

The application, course curriculum and more information about the Master Naturalists program can be found at or by calling 940-349-2883.

JANET LAMINACK is the horticulture county extension agent with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. She can be reached at 940-349-2883 or