On Nov. 3, 11 local residents from four different counties completed their Master Naturalist training at Case-Halstead Library in Carlyle. The new grads will be considered interns until they have completed their first 60 hours of volunteer service through the Master Naturalist program. At that time they will join the ranks of the other 26 active Master Naturalists in Bond, Clinton, Jefferson, Marion and Washington Counties. New graduates from Clinton County include Ken Holtgrave, Arnold Huelsmann, Bill Kisting, Dian Langenhorst, and Richard Wahlfeldt.
The Master Naturalist program is still relatively new to Extension, with this being just the fourth time training has been offered. The training program provides science-based educational opportunities that connect people with nature and help them become engaged environmental stewards. Topics covered during the training classes cover a wide range of areas including: botany, environmental ethics, archeology, climate, forestry, grassland ecology, geology, prairies, mammals, birds, reptiles, insects and aquatic systems. The sessions also include hands on activities and field trips.
Master Naturalists share natural resource information with the public and assist with conservation and restoration activities in their home communities. The next Master Naturalist training will be offered in the fall of 2018.