Master naturalists class returns to western Illinois

Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 6:40 PM CST
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QUINCY (WGEM) - For the first time since 2016, master naturalist training will be back in western Illinois.

Hosted by the University of Illinois Extension, the training lasts 40 hours from mid-March to mid-May.

This includes around 12 hours of classroom instruction, 10 hours of self-study and close to 19 hours worth of trips to regional nature preserves.

Natural Resources, Environment and Energy educator with extension Amy Lefringhouse said the program can help people recognize the beauty of nature across western Illinois.

“Then they can go out and provide education to our communities and then hopefully our communities have that pride and have that appreciation for our natural resources, our waters, our woods, our wildlife,” Lefringhouse said.

Topics covered in the classes include Illinois Natural History, Illinois Ecosystems, and more.

Lefringhouse said the master naturalist program is open to all adults and can be especially useful for teachers.

“Class times are after hours or on weekends, so teachers can take this opportunity to enhance their learning, learn a little bit more in depth about Illinois natural ecosystems and plant and animal communities and they can bring that back into the classroom,” Lefringhouse said.

She said teachers can be provided 40 hours of professional development through the training.

The program fee is $125 which covers the training, materials and field experiences.

Applications are due by March 3.

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