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Texas Master Naturalist, Sabine-Neches Chapter announces training class for 2017

Special to The Leader

Are you interested in volunteering to help preserve the natural resources and natural areas within Southeast Texas communities? Would you like to know more about the local environment? Enrollment is open for the 2017 training class sponsored by the Texas Master Naturalist™, Sabine-Neches Chapter, serving Orange, Hardin, and Jefferson counties. An Open House for all prospective trainees will be held 6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. on Thursday, February 23, at the Orange County Convention and Expo Center, 11475-A FM 1442, Orange, TX.
The mission of the Texas Master Naturalist program is to develop a corps of well-informed volunteers to provide education, outreach, and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within their communities. Master Naturalist volunteers receive in-depth training in wildlife and natural resource management focused on local ecosystems and provide service in the form of community education, conservation, and demonstration projects.
The Master Naturalist program is sponsored by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Local partners are Shangri La Botanical Gardens, Big Thicket National Preserve, Sea Rim State Park, Roy E. Larsen Sandyland Sanctuary, Village Creek State Park, and J. D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area. Each year the Texas Master Naturalist program trains about 720 new Master Naturalists, provides about 320,000 hours of service (valued at $6.2 million), offers about 46,000 hours of advanced training, and reaches about 160,000 youth, adults and private landowners through direct contact events across the state of Texas.
Initial requirements to become a Certified Texas Master Naturalist, Sabine-Neches Chapter, include 40 hours of approved basic training, 40 hours minimum of approved volunteer service, 8 hours minimum of approved Advanced Training, a $70 application fee, and a background check. Instructions for applying online are posted at http://txmn.org/sabine/. For more information contact Randy Beehn, Sabine-Neches President (281-414-4304 or beehner@att.net) or Ashlee Krebs, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agent (409-882-7010 or ashlee.krebs@ag.tamu.edu). Monthly meetings are held on the third Thursday from 6:30-8:30 p.m., primarily at the Orange County Convention and Expo Center, 11475-A FM 1442, Orange, TX.