Mid-Ohio Valley Master Naturalists enter ninth season News, Sports, Jobs

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The Mid-Ohio Valley Master Naturalist program will offer a variety of wildlife-focused programs and seminars. (Photo provided)

PARKERSBURG – The Mid-Ohio Valley Master Naturalist Program is entering its ninth season.

The program is for people who enjoy experiencing nature and exploring the plants, animals and landscapes of West Virginia through subjects such as mammals, geology, birds, nature sketches, trees, insects, fungi, fish and more.

Participants learn by taking field trips and workshops. The program is open to anyone 16 years of age and over. All ages and all levels of physical ability are welcome.

The cost of the program is $ 125 and can be paid in five monthly installments or all at once. It covers the DNR manual, speaker allowances and some administrative costs. Participation in the program can last indefinitely. Many people take two years to complete the program.

For more information, contact Emily Grafton for a copy of the schedule and a brochure. She can be reached at [email protected] or 304-906-7846. The year 2021 is getting organized.

Mid-Ohio Valley’s Master Naturalist program will offer a variety of wildlife-focused programs and seminars. (Photo provided)

Resource experts from the Natural Resources Division, Fish and Wildlife Service and local experts teach the 64 hours of workshops. The Fish Workshop is taught by Jason White, a local scientist / naturalist with years of internship and volunteer experience with the Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge. MNR Wildlife Biologist Sue Olcott taught the Mammal Workshop for eight years. Jim Fregonara, another DNR instructor, teaches the reptile and amphibian class with lots of practical material and living creatures. Michael Schramm of the Wildlife Refuge teaches Unity on Birds.

A favorite event on the naturalist program is a day at Jay and Cindy Burkhart’s farm. Participants spend the morning learning about 80 species of wildflowers from Cindy, then spend the afternoon exploring their ponds and coves for aquatic life.

The mission of the naturalist program is to provide sufficient in-depth exposure to the natural history of the Appalachians that students have a basic understanding of the ecology and wildlife of the region. By the time a person completes the program, they will be ready to lead nature walks and introductory classes for adults and children and will be able to continue to learn each year by participating in new workshops and anyone they care about. wish to revisit. Students must complete 48 hours of core credit and 16 hours of electives.

In addition to coursework, students must complete 30 hours of volunteer work in order to obtain a DNR certificate. There are many possibilities for volunteering. Activities ranging from monitoring blue bird boxes to planting and maintaining pollinator gardens and volunteering in environmental education programs are just a few. The program meets at the Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge, North Bend State Park, and local nature reserves in and around West Virginia.

The Mid-Ohio Valley Master Naturalist program will offer a variety of wildlife-focused programs and seminars. (Photo provided)

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