The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources 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 also are required.
The Canaan Valley chapter of the West Virginia Master Naturalist program will offer classes one weekend a month for four months, starting this month.
Dates for the classes are: April 13-15, May 18-20, Aug. 24-26 and Sept. 14-16. The subjects of classes include birds, ecology, 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 be at the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge's Visitors' Center on Route 32 in Canaan Valley. There is a charge for the classes.
More information about the program is available at www.wvdnr.gov/wvmn/index.shtm or www.MNofWV.org. Those who wish to register are asked to do so as soon as possible by contacting the volunteer local coordinator for the program, Andrea "Andy" Dalton, at ADalton2000@yahoo.com or 304-866-7037.