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Gardening -  Master Naturalists collect seeds for prairie restoration Image Gardening -  Master Naturalists restore habitat Image

Master Naturalist Training Class to start March 1

By Julie Massey, Galveston County Extension Agent - Marine

February 21, 2007

Restoring the wildflower gardens at Texas City Prairie Preserve and conducting Camp Wild at Galveston Island State Park, where fifty Galveston kids enjoyed a week of science, nature and fun, are just two recent ventures for Galveston Bay Area Master Naturalists.

In carrying out their mission of preserving and restoring natural areas and helping area residents learn about the environments that surround us, these *master volunteers* also build boardwalks, man nature centers, re-plant marshes and prairies and guide nature walks. But perhaps most satisfying of all, they have fun working and learning alongside others who share their love of the natural Texas.

The statewide program, sponsored by Texas Parks and Wildlife and Texas Cooperative Extension, is open to any who want to enhance their love of nature with research-based, scientific knowledge and who are willing to dedicate 40 hours a year to environmental education and stewardship.

The next Galveston Bay Area Master Naturalist training program begins March 1st and continues through mid-May. Eleven Thursday classes conducted by recognized experts in their fields are held 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at a variety of area locations. Classes consist of morning lecture and afternoon sessions in the field and focus on the birds, plants, fish, oysters, marshes, beaches and prairies of the Galveston Bay area. Participants trawl the Bay, bird at Audubon*s Bolivar Peninsula preserves, explore the beautiful Armand Bayou prairie and seine in the Gulf of Mexico.

The program cost of $140 includes all materials and fees. To receive an application packet, contact Julie Massey, County Extension Agent - Marine, Galveston County at 281-534-3413, ext. 2 and 2 or by email at jmassey@ag.tamu.edu. You can also drop by the Galveston County Extension Office at 5115 Highway 3 in Dickinson.


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