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Protecting our environment and providing education is important to volunteer program

DECATUR, Ill. — Taking care of the earth is a responsibility everyone shares. The University of Illinois Extension Master Naturalist program educates people to help them become better environmental stewards. If you are eighteen years of age or older, appreciate the outdoors, and enjoy participating in stewardship projects, consider becoming an Illinois Extension Master Naturalist. No other experience is necessary. Applications for the upcoming DeWitt, Macon, and Piatt counties Master Naturalist training are now being accepted.

DeWitt, Macon, and Piatt counties Illinois Extension’s Master Naturalist training will be from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays beginning Jan.11 through March 29 at the Macon County Extension Office, 3351 N. President Howard Brown Blvd. in Decatur. This is an eleven-week program that includes classroom sessions and field trips. Master Naturalist training topics include Geology, Soils, Weather and Climate, Wetlands, Understanding the Natural World, Ethics, and more. There are also two to three Saturday field trips that are part of the training. To complete the training and become certified, Master Naturalists need sixty volunteer hours. Yearly recertification requires only thirty volunteer hours.

Apply online by Jan 6. The cost of the eleven-week program is $150. Partial fee waivers are available for eligible participants. For more information, please contact Extension Educator Doug Gucker at or call 217-877-6042.

University of Illinois provides equal opportunities in programs and employment. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, please contact 217-877-6042. Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time for meeting your access need.

SOURCE: Doug Gucker, Local Food Systems and Small Farms Educator, University of Illinois Extension

WRITER: Maria Lightner, Marketing and Communications, University of Illinois Extension