Opportunities for Volunteer Hours and Advanced Training

by Russ Olivier

With all the craziness in the world these days, I’m sure you’re itching to get out and enjoy some nature! Although the pandemic has cancelled many of the Texas Master Naturalist events, there are still a lot of Volunteer Opportunities out there and even more coming soon!

Habitat Workdays:  If you want to get outside and get your hands dirty, Texas Discovery Gardens, LLELA (Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area), 12 Hills Nature Center and Frankford Prairie all have volunteer opportunities scheduled to help maintain these beautiful natural habitats. Help these areas maintain and beautify their native plant collections, natural prairies, and butterfly and hummingbird gardens. See the Member Calendar for more information.

BRIT Armchair Botanist: Earn VH hours from home and help the Botanical Research Institute of Texas categorize and digitize hundreds of their specimens. A great way to contribute for all you budding Botanists! See the Member Calendar or visit their site for more information

Citizen Science Project: Honeysuckle Leaf Blight:   Help the University of Kentucky and Northern Kentucky University track the Honeysuckle leaf blight fungus. Learn more at the iNaturalist project page. Log all hours to NTX: Other Pre-Approved Field Research

Project Lead Openings:  There are several Master Naturalist Projects that need Project Leads, particularly to plan and prep to re-engage members for when this virus is over! Earn VH by helping these projects remain successful in 2021! Project Leads are needed in these areas:  Blackland Prairie Raptor Center, Irving EcoTourism, Oak Cliff Nature Preserve, and the Spring Creek Pollinator Garden in Garland.  Contact Russ Olivier at activities@ntmn.org for details.

Advanced Training:  There are still lots of virtual Advance Training opportunities on the calendar with very diverse topics such as Wildlife Tracking, Beekeeping, and Giant Silkmoth Identification! See the Member Calendar for all the info! In addition, the Master Naturalist Annual Conference will be held virtually this year, with tons of opportunities for Advance Training.  More Info and sign up here

And Coming Soon:  

Socially Distant Biobiltz Take 2:   September 6-12 another Socially Distant Bioblitz will be held, led by our own Sam Kieschneck.    Use iNaturalist to identify and document wildlife right in your own backyard, and earn VH hours along the way!  Look for more information coming soon.

Virtual Volunteer Fair:  Our Texas Master Naturalist Virtual Volunteer Fair will be an opportunity for our two sponsoring state agencies, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service to present volunteer service projects that need volunteers from a distance or virtually! On Wednesday September 2nd we’ll host a series of 10-15 minute long Project Sessions highlighting each of the potential projects submitted, with plenty of time for Q&A and an opportunity to sign up on the spot for volunteering! Visit here for more information!

Some of our newest members from the class of 2020 are taking the initiative to put their own volunteer activities together (socially distant guidelines of course) using our existing venues, from monarch tagging to seedball making. Stay tuned for more information on these activities, and if you have an idea for a project contact Russ Olivier at activities@ntmn.org 

NOTE: Logging Volunteer Hours and Advanced Training:  It is IMPORTANT that all members log VH and AT in a timely manner.  All hours need to be logged within 45 days of the event.  If you are having trouble logging hours, we can assign you a “data buddy” to help!  Contact Russ Olivier at activities@ntmn.org if you need any help logging those hours.  

Thanks for all you do for the Chapter and happy volunteering!

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