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Virginia Master Naturalist Program Blossoms


Aug. 15, 2011 – With 30 program chapters across the state and more than 1,000 active volunteers, the Virginia Master Naturalist Program is a rapidly growing force. Through this program, trained volunteers broaden their own knowledge about Virginia’s natural resources while serving their communities and the environment.

“Virginia Master Naturalist volunteers are active statewide, and natural resource agencies and organizations are turning to these volunteers for help with many of their initiatives,” said Michelle Prysby, the state’s program coordinator. “Educating others about natural resources is one of the most important things the volunteers do.” Virginia Master Naturalist volunteers have reached more than 130,000 people through educational programs for parks, community groups, festivals, and schools.

The program received a 2011 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence, earning a Gold Medal in the governmental environmental programs category. Award recipients are selected based on criteria including environmental benefit, stakeholder involvement, public outreach, transferability, and innovativeness.

Since the program’s inception in 2006, volunteers have contributed 142,300 hours of service valued at more than $2.8 million. Several hundred new volunteers are trained each year. More than 300 local partners, including nature centers, nonprofits, and local governments, collaborate with the Virginia Master Naturalist Program on efforts to build appreciation for natural resources and restore habitats across the commonwealth.

The program is sponsored jointly by Virginia Cooperative Extension, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Virginia Department of Forestry, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, and the Virginia Museum of Natural History, with additional support from the college’s Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation.


    CNRE Newsmagazine Summer 2011 Cover

Summer 2011

25th Anniversary

Celebrating 25 Years

    1992 through 2017, 25 years

Join us Sept. 15-16 to visit campus and reconnect with alumni, faculty, staff, and friends.

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