Preserve Some Natural Texas: Become a Texas Master Naturalist
Training Course for New Texas Master Naturalists to Begin February 2019 in McKinney
MCKINNEY, Texas – The population in North Central Texas is expected to increase by 4.1 million by 2030. (North Central Texas Council of Governments) We will welcome new friends and neighbors, but what about our current natural Texas neighbors—the animals, insects, and plants? Will they have to move to make room for more people, houses, and businesses? Not if there are more Texas Master Naturalist volunteers working in their local communities to increase understanding of local ecosystems, to promote conservation and enhancement of natural resources and to share ways to preserve a natural Texas for years to come.
The Texas Master Naturalist program began in 1998 as a joint effort between Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Services. The program goal is to provide an opportunity for concerned adult citizens of all ages to learn about the natural environment and use this knowledge to provide volunteer service in the form of community education, conservation, and demonstration projects. This year the program celebrates its 20th anniversary with 4.4 million hours of service achieved by more than 9,329 volunteers in 48 recognized chapters throughout Texas.
The Blackland Prairie Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalist program, based in McKinney Texas, draws members from communities located in Collin and Hunt counties. Communities in this area are growing fast, but so are opportunities to conserve local natural resources. Master Naturalist volunteers are uniquely qualified to inspire their neighbors to appreciate the environment, to take part in hands-on projects at parks and preserves, to help children and adults learn about local natural resources, and much more. The possibilities to make a difference are endless.
With all the exciting work ahead, the Blackland Prairie chapter is currently seeking applicants interested in becoming Texas Master Naturalists. Participants must complete a minimum of 40 hours of natural resource training taught by recognized experts in each field, eight hours of advanced training and 40 hours of chapter-approved volunteer service within their first year in the program. Classes will be held at the Heard Natural Science Museum, 1 Science Place, McKinney, TX 75069, from February 13—May 8, 2018. Applications will be accepted until January 15, 2019. Application forms and program information are at https://txmn.org/bptmn/class-of-2019/.
Can one person really make an impact? Blackland Prairie Chapter President Mike Roome says “The answer is yes. By joining with others of like passion and resolve, I can educate myself and volunteer to make a difference through efforts to preserve precious and valuable natural resources for the generations to come.”