Certified Master Naturalists support the conservation of natural resources, and help educate the community about local flora and fauna. They assist in park stewardship, conduct field research, and lead educational programs. Master Naturalists are recognized state-wide as expert volunteers.
How Do I Become a Master Naturalist?
The training program at Montgomery Parks consists of 72-hours of hands-on classroom presentations and field trip experiences led by local ecology experts. You’ll learn to identify and explore the natural history of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects, plants, and fungi. You’ll also practice field study techniques, park stewardship, and interpretive skills.
Complete the 12-week training program and exam
Participate in a group project and presentation
Volunteer at least 40 hours of service to Montgomery Parks within the first year
To maintain certification, you must complete 8 hours of advanced training and forty hours of volunteer service each year.
If accepted, pay your registration fee to the University of Maryland Extension by January 30, 2017
The cost for the course is $250 and is limited to 18 students (18 years and older). The course fee includes all speaker dues, publications, course materials, and general supplies.
Classes will meet every Wednesday from 9:30am to 4:30pm, February 28th to May 30th . There will be no class on April 4th and 11th.
Our meeting location will rotate among Montgomery Parks’ many Centers, to expose Master Naturalist Trainees to a variety of both indoor and outdoor resources. We will primarily meet at Meadowside Nature Center in Rockville, Brookside Nature Center in Silver Spring, Black Hill Visitor Center in Boyds, and Locust Grove Nature Center in Bethesda. We will also tour various historical sites, parks, and conservation areas. A full schedule of topics and rotating meeting locations will be shared on request.