The Welty Environmental Center is pleased to host the Wisconsin Master Naturalist program in the 190 acres of Big Hill Park. There will be some inside coursework; however, we will spend much of our time exploring the 3 main ecosystems in Big Hill Park: oak savanna, deciduous forest, and freshwater river. We will study each of these three biomes, how they interact, the geology that informs them, and the rich history of the park that includes Native American meeting grounds, WPA projects, and Wisconsin’s first ski jump. Field tips will may include visits to the Logan Museum, Beckman Mill, Sweet Alynn Park, and the Janesville Outdoor Lab. During this training, you will have the opportunity to learn skills that you may use to assist with field trips and other programming. Potential capstone projects include: construction and maintenance of raised vegetable gardens, improvement and maintenance of blue bird houses, collaboration with Rock County Conservationists on restoring much of the 90 acres of former farmland surrounding the Center to an Oak Savanna, interpretation signage and activities, and curriculum design.
The Wisconsin Master Naturalist program is a network of well-informed volunteers dedicated to conservation service, leadership, and lifelong learning. The Master Naturalist Volunteer Training provides 40 hours of coursework in natural history, interpretation, and conservation stewardship. Trainings combine classroom instruction with field experiences and are taught by professional natural resources educators and scientists. Once trained, Wisconsin Master Naturalists provide 40 hours of service and take 8 hours of advanced training each year to maintain their certification and receive a recognition pin.
Registration is taken on the WI Master Naturalist Webpage.
August 23: 1:00 pm – 5:30 pm
August 30: 12:00 pm – 6:30 pm
September 13: 12:00 pm – 6:30 pm
September 20: 12:00 pm – 6:30 pm
September 27: 12:00 pm – 6:30 pm
October 4: 12:00 pm – 6:30 pm
October 11: 12:00 pm – 6:30 pm