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Office Location:

Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation 5841 Brookshire Blvd Charlotte, NC 28216

Contact

Nature Preserves
980-314-1000

Central Carolinas Master Naturalist Program

Program Description

​The Central Carolinas Master Naturalist (CCMN) Program is an adult certification program designed to educate and train a corps of volunteers to provide support in the conservation, management, and interpretation of natural resources and natural areas within Mecklenburg and the surrounding 13 counties ("Central Carolinas"). The Program is administered by Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation, Division of Nature Preserves and Natural Resources.

What is a Master Naturalist?

Master Naturalists are adults who are passionate about the natural world, have a concern for the local environment, and want to give back to their community through volunteer service. They make a difference in the community through education and stewardship and assist the public in understanding and appreciating the natural environment. Master Naturalists are valued for their natural resource knowledge and dedication. They truly are "Master Volunteers."

Become a Master Naturalist

Once accepted into the program, participants must successfully complete the following three program components to become a Certified Central Carolinas Master Naturalist: 

1)    Basic Training CourseThis course is offered annually in the spring. Classes meet one day per week (March – May) at various locations in and around Mecklenburg County and are taught by a variety of local experts. Most classes combine classroom and hands-on/field experience. Class attendance is mandatory. Classes offered as part of the basic training course may include, but are not limited to:



​Historic Naturalists
Weather & Climate​
​Ornithology
Botany​
​Geology
Aquatic Ecology​
​Forest Ecology​Herpetology​​​
​Mammalogy
Entomology​
​SustainabilityWetland Ecology
Ecological Concepts
Interpretation & Teaching Skills​​

 

2)    Volunteer ServiceAfter completion of the basic training course, a minimum of 40 volunteer service hours must be completed on approved projects then on an annual basis thereafter to maintain certification. Volunteer service must be conducted in the specified Central Carolinas program area. In addition to program administration/support, volunteer service projects focus on the following key areas:

Citizen Science   Stewardship   Environmental Education


3)
    Advanced Training/Continuing EducationAfter completion of the basic training course, a minimum of eight (8) continuing education hours must be completed in advanced training then on an annual basis thereafter to maintain certification. 

Program Benefits ​

CCMN Program participants not only increase their knowledge in natural history, but they also interact and network with fellow naturalists and local organizations with similar interests. They receive benefits such as invitations to participate in volunteer recognition and social events, trainings/workshops, and volunteer service opportunities.

CCMN Program participants also receive a certificate of completion and accredited continuing education units from the Center for Sustainability at Central Piedmont Community College (a CCMN Program partner). In addition, contact hours obtained through the CCMN Program can be applied toward certification/re-certification requirements for the North Carolina Environmental Education Certification and the National Association of Interpretation Certified Interpretive Guide programs.

How Do I Get Started?

The CCMN is a year-round program. Individuals must be fully committed to attend all basic training classes, devote time to volunteering, and on-going training.

Qualifications

  • Must be 18 or older. Youth, ages 14 – 17, may be accepted under special conditions.
  • Must pass a criminal background check.
  • Must have access to transportation and internet.
  • Must have a background or strong interest in natural history.
  • Must have a willingness to learn and a desire to share knowledge with others.
  • Possess or be able to learn communication and public speaking skills.
  • Previous volunteer or community service experience preferred, but not required.

To Apply​

The application deadline for the 2018 Master Naturalist Basic Training Course was December 8, 2017. Applications are no longer being accepted for the 2018 course. Please check back this fall for an application announcement for the 2019 Basic Training Course. You may also contact the Master Naturalist Program Coordinator and request to have your information added to the contact list to receive an email notification when the next application process opens.

To apply, complete and submit the following online forms:

Information submitted on the Volunteer Enrollment Form will be used to conduct criminal background checks. Applicants will be notified by Mecklenburg County Human Resources regarding the status of their criminal background check. Applicants that do not pass their criminal background check are ineligible to participate in the CCMN program.​

All eligible applicants will be notified of their selection status. After notification, accepting applicants will be required to pay 50% deposit within 10 days of acceptance notification. The remaining balance is required within 30 days of the first day of the basic training course.

Cancellation & Refund Policy:  Individuals needing to cancel should do so in writing (email) to the Master Naturalist Program Coordinator. Cancellations must be made at least 30 days prior to the first day of the basic training course. Payment(s) received will be refunded minus a 10 percent administrative cost. No refunds will be given if cancellation is less than 30 days. A $25 fee is charged for all returned checks.


MASTER NATURALIST INFORMATION CENTER

Information listed in this section is for current members in the Central Carolinas Master Naturalist Program. Click the links below to access useful information and resources:


Program Contact Information

Erin Hall, Master Naturalist Program Coordinator
Phone:  704-566-9064
Fax:  704-536-3164​​

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Address

Office Location:

Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation 5841 Brookshire Blvd Charlotte, NC 28216

Contact

Nature Preserves
980-314-1000