Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Indiana Master Naturalists

Day 9: Indiana Master Naturalists

I have loved being involved with Indiana Master Naturalists! I started with a class last fall, meeting with others once a week for about 3 hours to learn about the natural resources in our area. We met with professionals all over Elkhart County. As part of the class, I received numerous resource books on nature pertinent to our area. The value of the books easily absorbed the cost of the class. People who help with the class area also volunteers, mainly being run by SWCD and Elkhart County Parks. We finished the class with an open note and open book quiz to test our knowledge and effectiveness of the classes. After the course, we are expected to do as many hours of volunteer work as we had in class or 30 hours to maintain an active status. It's a great way to learn and serve and help connect others to nature! I see IMN volunteers at various nature activities. I know they make an impact.

There have also been groups in St. Joseph County in 2012 and at Gene Stratton-Porter's State Historic Site in 2013. Updated schedules can be found at the state Indiana Master Naturalist page.

After the class, I've enjoyed volunteering at various nature-related activities in the area and meeting with other IMN graduates on a quarterly basis. It's fun to touch base, share stories and find others with similar interests. Often, there is a guest speaker, there are often snacks, and we spend a little time socializing as well.

I've written about Indiana Master Naturalists before today. I also really enjoyed the IMN state gathering near Prophetstown State Park this fall. In 2014, it will be held in Elkhart County--nice and close to home!

IMN Potluck

Guest Post by Monica Yoder about Indiana Master Naturalists

IMN Fall Potlucks 2012