Are you a Nature Nut? Do you want to learn more about nature in West Virginia and meet others with similar interests? Consider enrolling in the WV Master Naturalist program. Most classes are held at the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center on Route 32. The state program is sponsored by the WV Division of Natural Resources and the Canaan Valley Chapter is sponsored by the Friends of the 500th, the nonprofit that supports the Refuge. To become a certified WV Master Naturalist, you must complete 62 hours of coursework and 30 hours of approved volunteer activities. The 62 hours of classes can be completed in five weekends, but you have up to four years to complete coursework and volunteer hours. Many students do coursework over two to three years. There are no tests. Classes usually include a classroom and an outdoor component and are focused for adults. The cost for the program is $175 which includes all classes for 4 years or until certification, whichever comes first. The fee also includes a paper or digital manual, a magnifier loupe and a Friends’ membership. No student is turned away for an inability to pay thanks to the Friends of the 500th. The 5 weekends of classes this year will be April 14 – 16, May 5 – 7, July 21 – 23, August 25 – 27, and September 15 – 17. There will be other classes throughout the year, but they are not required for certification. To get more information about the program or to register, contact Andrea “Andy” Dalton at AndreaDalton64@gmail.com or call her at 304-704-2476.
Everyone is welcome to a public program on Hawks in Elkins March 14 at 7PM taught by Collin Waybright. He will use live raptors in his program at the WV Division of Natural Resources Operations Center on Ward Road in Elkins (the road across from Walmart). After the program, there will be an introduction to the WV Master Naturalist program which all are also welcome to attend. This program is sponsored by the Tygart Valley Master Naturalists, but the CV Master Naturalist program will be represented.
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