The West Virginia Master Naturalist Program will soon begin its next session for those interested in animal habitats or learning to identifying birds, trees, flowers and amphibians.
West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR) began the West Virginia Master Naturalist Program in 2004 by providing weekends of classes to provide the necessary 64 hours of coursework for individuals to become West Virginia Certified Master Naturalists. Thirty hours of volunteer work is also required.
The Canaan Valley chapter of the West Virginia Master Naturalist Program, now a committee of the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge's Friends of the 500th, will be offering classes one weekend a month for four months starting in April. Classes will run Friday evenings, Saturday all day and evenings and Sunday mornings. Tentative weekends for the classes are: April 29-May 1, May 13-15, June 24-26 and July 22-24. The subjects of classes include birds, ecology, wetland habitats, terrestrial habitats, mammals, wildflowers, trees, amphibians and reptiles, among others. There are classroom and field components to most classes.
The minimum age for participants is 16. Most classes will take place at the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge's Visitors' Center on Route 32 in Canaan Valley. The cost of the entire program including classes and manual will be approximately $125 which will pay for the cost of instructors and supplies. The program is self-sufficient,. People usually pack a lunch and dinner or go out for a quick meal between classes. Lodging is on your own, but organizers may be able to assist with special rates.
For more information about the program, go to the WVDNR website www.wvdnr.gov/wvmn/index.shtm or call or email the volunteer local coordinator for the program Andrea "Andy" Dalton at ADalton2000@yahoo.com or 304-866-7037.