Allegheny Land Trust master naturalist program expanding
Last updated 10/24/2018 at 8:14pm
A Pennsylvania Master Naturalist is an individual with a passion for the natural world who participates in an intensive training program and uses his or her knowledge by giving back to the community through volunteer service.
“We’re very excited for this program to expand on our side of the state, and very proud to be the nonprofit partner making it happen,” Vice President of Education Jessica Kester said. “It’s a great opportunity for educators, volunteers, and nature- lovers alike to earn a prestigious ecological training while giving back to their communities.”
ALT facilitated the very first program on the western side of the state last year, which took place in Allegheny County. The cohort of 25 was the largest to ever run, resulting in 2019’s expansion of the program to another county.
Founded in 2010, Pennsylvania Master Naturalist is a statewide partnership initiative that aims to connect people with their local ecosystems through intensive natural science training and local conservation service work. It is a venture directed toward developing a local corps of master volunteers and service providers to offer education, outreach and service dedicated to the understanding and management of natural areas within their communities.
Pennsylvania is an ecologically diverse state that can be divided into distinct ecological regions or ecoregions. Pennsylvania Master Naturalist has divided the state into four ecoregion-based curriculum modules (defined by EPA level II ecoregions): Appalachian Forests, Eastern Temperate Forests, Atlantic Highlands and Southeastern and Coastal Plains.
This year-round program has three components to the 55-hour training: an initial volunteer training course, volunteer service hours, and advanced training classes.
Applications will be accepted starting mid-September 2018, and the deadline to apply to the program is January 15, 2019.
Interested parties may apply to be a PA Master Naturalist at this link: Bit.ly/altpanaturalist.