FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Registration for the Eastern Shore Master Naturalists 2016 Basic Training Class will close on August 26, 2015 but it is not too late to sign up. Classes will be held on Thursdays, starting September 8 through November 10, from 9:00 a.m.to 3:00 p.m. at the Historic Onancock School.
The fee for the 10-week course is $95 which covers all materials and field trips. Registration forms and more information are on the chapter’s web site, www.masternaturalistesva., or contact Mimi Stitt at 757-678-7879.
The training is an opportunity to explore the Shore’s natural resources with classes and field trips led by experts in its ornithology, geology, forestry, entomology and botany as well as the natural processes that create the barrier islands and the bayside coasts.
Since the Eastern Shore chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalists was chartered in 2007, graduates of the 40-hour course have volunteered thousands of hours to numerous research, stewardship, and educational projects that have enhanced the environment and contributed to a growing base of knowledge about the shore. Last year, volunteers donated more than 5,000 hours to various projects.
They have conducted bird counts on Wreck Island, surveyed the bayside beaches for the rare Northeastern Beach Tiger Beetle, helped with oyster restoration projects, removed invasive species such as the Tree of Heaven at the Mutton Hunk Natural Area Preserve, and engaged in hundreds of outreach projects such as the annual Watershed Walk. Since 2009 more than 440 acres of migratory songbird habitat have been restored by Eastern Shore Master Naturalists.