Montgomery Parks Seeks Applicants for Spring 2013 Master Naturalist Program
Applications for statewide 60-hour training program are due January 24, 2013; Eight-week program starts in March and will be offered alternating Fridays and Saturdays at Brookside Nature Center.
WHEATON, MD — The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) Montgomery Parks is currently accepting applications to a 60-hour, hands-on training Maryland Master Naturalist Program taking place spring 2013 at Brookside Nature Center. Participants in the eight-week program will gain in-depth instruction in natural history fields such as geology, ornithology, botany, entomology, as well as environmental interpretation and conservation stewardship. Program graduates will join a corps of volunteers providing education, outreach, and service to protect and steward natural resources and natural areas within Maryland. The program costs $250 and applications can be downloaded at www.BrooksideNature.org.
“This is a great training program for community members who want to raise the level of care for our local natural resources in Montgomery County's award-winning park system," said Mary Bradford, Director of Montgomery Parks. “With population and development on the rise, it can be hard to keep up, and we are excited to work together to protect and preserve our County's extraordinary natural beauty and resources."
Founded in 2008, and modeled after the Master Gardener Program, the Maryland Master Naturalist Program is a statewide, science-based natural resource training course jointly sponsored by University of Maryland Extension, Maryland Department of Natural Resources and other state and local agencies and organizations. Host facilities from around Maryland provide training as outlined in the state guidelines.
Following the training program, participants must complete 40 hours of volunteer service on project(s) approved by the program coordinator to obtain Master Naturalist certification. Volunteers maintain their Master Naturalist status year-to-year by completing an additional eight hours of advanced training and volunteering 40 hours annually.
Montgomery Parks’ Brookside Nature Center will coordinate and host training sessions beginning Saturday, March 23, 2013 and running on alternating Fridays and Saturdays through Friday, May 10, 2013. Knowledgeable instructors will provide a broad review of the flora and fauna, geology, ecology and conservation of the Maryland’s Piedmont region, as well as an introduction to the art of natural history interpretation. Trainees can complete their required 40 hours of volunteer service at one of four Montgomery Parks’ nature facilities: Black Hill Visitor Center, Brookside Nature Center, Locust Grove Nature Center, or Meadowside Nature Center.
Visit www.BrooksideNature.org to download an application; space is limited. Applications should be submitted by January 24, 2013 by mail or email to:
Geri Drymalski, MMN Coordinator
Brookside Nature Center
1400 Glenallan Ave.
Wheaton, MD 20902
For additional information, contact Brookside Nature Center naturalist and program coordinator Geri Drymalski by email, Geri.Drymalski@MontgomeryParks.org or by phone, 301-962-1486.