Minnesota Master Naturalist Program

Coming to Ramsey in  February 2020.

What is the Master Naturalist Program?

The mission of the Minnesota Master Naturalist Program is to promote awareness, understanding, and stewardship of Minnesota’s natural environment by developing a corps of well-informed citizens dedicated to conservation education and service within their communities.

Who can join?

Any adult who is curious and enjoys learning about the natural world, shares that knowledge with others, and supports conservation can be a Minnesota Master Naturalist Volunteer. If you enjoy hiking, bird watching, following tracks, or identifying wildflowers, you'll love being a Minnesota Master Naturalist Volunteer. Minnesota Master Naturalist Volunteers are a motivated group of fun and interesting people: teachers, retired professionals, nature guides, hunters, eco-tour operators, farmers, and...YOU!


Master Naturalist

Becoming a Minnesota Master Naturalist is easy!

Minnesota Master Naturalists are required to log 40 hours of volunteer service and participate in 8 hours of advanced training annually to maintain certification. Following the completion of the training course, Minnesota Master Naturalist Volunteers will be expected to complete 40 hours of volunteer service per year to be considered an active Master Naturalist. Any time spent on the Capstone Project and any volunteer service hours completed after graduating from the training course may be counted towards the 40 hours. There are four basic areas of service:

  • Stewardship Projects—these projects would involve natural resource management activities such as invasive species removal or restoration projects.
  • Education/Interpretive Projects—these projects would be public presentations of natural resource information, educational materials development, or leading hikes.
  • Citizen Science Projects—these projects would focus on volunteers gathering data and returning it to researchers to support the research projects. Examples would include Monarch larval monitoring, plant or animal counts, or water quality monitoring.
  • Program Support—these projects include working in a store or office of the Minnesota Master Naturalist or sponsor or serving as a local chapter organizer.

Program Offering - Big Woods, Big Rivers

The official name for the ecological province called Big Woods, Big Rivers by the Minnesota Master Naturalist Program is the Eastern Broadleaf Forest. It reaches from Minnesota and stretches southeast to Arkansas encompassing portions of twelve states along the way. The Big Woods, Big Rivers make a diagonal sash across the state of Minnesota, starting at the Northwest corner of the state with a narrow band and widening out in the southeast. It takes in approximately 12 million acres of the state.

Three of the largest rivers in the state are found in this region, the Mississippi, the St. Croix, and the Minnesota. All three were formed during the last glacial period when the huge glacial lakes had formed and were draining into these river channels. The Southeast was not covered by the last glacier and provides a great view into earlier time periods.

Many plant species are at the edge of their range in this biome. Making it a unique transition zone where evapotranspiration and precipitation are nearly equal. Temperature and rainfall increase as you move toward the southeast portion of the biome.

The Tallgrass Aspen Parklands are included in this biome within the Minnesota Master Naturalist Program. The Tallgrass Aspen Parklands, are a cold and dry region that forms a transition between the prairie to the west and the coniferous boreal forest to the east. The biome comprises about 3 million acres in our state.

Source: Minnesota DNR, & 2



How do I register?

Registration dates to be announced. Check back with our page in the coming weeks. Fee is $295.00 and includes course manuals and supplies. If the fee is a hardship, fill out the Minnesota Master Naturalist Scholarship Form.

How can I learn more?

Please Contact:
     Mark Riverblood
     (763) 433 9853
     visit the MN Master Naturalist Webpage for more information about the program.

The Minnesota Master Naturalist Program is a joint effort of the University of Minnesota Extension and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Information courtesy of MN Master Naturalist.