Do you think nature should be part of our everyday life, not just somewhere to go on the weekends?

Are you someone who's NOT afraid of digging in the dirt and slogging through the mud while giving back to the community?

Would you like to join an active citizen corps of knowledgeable volunteers to provide education, outreach and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within our communities?

The Indian Trail Chapter of Texas Master Naturalist wants you! Our spring training classes begin on Feb. 25, 2014.

• Complete and submit your application by Feb. 1, 2014. Applications are available online at and by contacting the AgriLife Extension Service Office by phone at 972-825-5175 or email at

• Attend 40 hours of classroom and field-based instruction in traditional naturalist disciplines (the “ologies,” you know—geology, mammalogy, archaeology, ichthyology, ornithology, herpetology, entomology and ecology) plus botany, and ecosystem concepts and management.

The training classes will be held on Tuesdays, 6-9 p.m., from Feb. 25–May 27 at First United Methodist Church Family Life Center at 505 West Marvin Avenue in Waxahachie. Three Saturday field trips are planned. Classes are taught by recognized experts in each field and customized to focus on the native ecosystems of North Central Texas, Ellis and Navarro Counties, specifically.

• Pay the fee of $150 which covers the cost of the manual, handouts, speakers and a mandatory background check. The fee is $100 for the second family member when one manual is shared.

• Are we there yet? Not quite. At this point you would be a Texas Master Naturalist. To become a Certified Texas Master Naturalist you will need to take a minimum of eight hours of approved advanced training and complete 40 hours of volunteer service in the form of educational activities, projects and outreach.

Indian Trail Chapter has many chapter-wide and individual projects including: development of Midlothian’s Mockingbird Nature Park, Girl Scouts trail of bluebird nesting boxes, Stream Team (water quality monitoring), Texas Turtle Watch, CoCoRaHS (rainfall monitoring), Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center, trail building at Bardwell Lake, Project Wild (introducing children to nature) and Amphibian Watch.

The Texas Master Naturalist program is co-sponsored by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Thank you for your interest in the Texas Master Naturalist program. We look forward to your participation in this educational and beneficial volunteer program. Call Training Chairman Lynn Wisakoswsky at 214-802-6993 or email or