Volunteer Training, St. Croix Valley; REGISTRATION CLOSED

Carpenter Nature Center, St. Croix County Parks, The Friends of Willow River & Kinnickinnic State Parks, and The Great River Road Visitor and Learning Center are partnering to offer the Wisconsin Master Naturalist Volunteer Training Course. The classes will be held on the 3rd Saturday of the month starting on March 17th and ending on October 20th (see dates below). The course will include some classroom time, but will focus mostly on local and regional field experiences to exceptional sites for learning in our topic areas (geology, ecology, plant communities, wildlife, interpretation, water, and human impacts). Many regional experts will be sharing their knowledge, research, tips, and inspiration with us as they lead or present parts of the course.

A Master Naturalist course instruction manual will be provided and woven into all of the studies. Participants will also meet representatives from each host organization, DNR, local non-profit, and nature groups to learn about the many opportunities for the Master Naturalists to engage as volunteers, participate in citizen science, help provide leadership for activities, job opportunities, community involvement, and so much more!

The Wisconsin Master Naturalist Program is a network of well-informed citizens dedicated to conservation education and service within Wisconsin communities.  The Master Naturalist Volunteer Training Course provides 40 hours of coursework in natural history, interpretation, and conservation stewardship.  Courses combine classroom instruction with field experiences and are taught by professional natural resources educators and scientists.  Once trained, Wisconsin Master Naturalist Volunteers provide 40 hours of service and take 8 hours of advanced training each year to maintain their certification and receive a recognition pin.

Schedule: 3rd Saturday of the month, March-October 2018.

Exact dates and times:

  • March 17, 8 a.m.-noon
    • Carpenter Nature Center - MN Campus (Hastings, MN): As we kickoff our training course we will make maple syrup, learn about wildlife with live animals, and get an introduction to interpretation skills
  • April 21, 8 a.m.-noon
    • Willow River State Park (Hudson, WI): Join us on a geological journey of Wisconsin. Dr. Bill Cordua will be presenting to us on the Geological History of the area. Then we will spend the next half of class seeing geology up close as we see the terminal moraine of the last Wisconsin Glacier, hike to the 45 foot Willow Falls, and see where there are two fault lines in the park.
  • May 19, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
    • McMurtrie Preserve (Star Prairie, WI) and USFWS Wetland Management District (New Richmond, WI): We will travel to a preserve and to Fish and Wildlife managed land were we will learn about plant communities, human impacts, and Wisconsin ecology.
  • June 16, 8 a.m.-noon
    • Homestead Parklands on Perch Lake (N. Hudson, WI): We will get knee deep into the water as we learn about and look for macroinvertebrates, frogs and toads, and so much more in Perch Lake!
  • July 21, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
    • Kinnickinnic State Park (River Falls, WI): We will enjoy a beautiful pontoon ride on the St. Croix River and stop at the mouth of the Kinnickinnic river to discover our river ecosystems.
  • August 18, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
    • Carpenter Nature Center -- WI Campus (Hudson, WI): Today we will be focusing on citizen science and WI ecology. Make a difference and participate in a bird banding activity and take a walk through a beautiful prairie.
  • September 15, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
    • The Great River Road Visitor and Learning Center (Prescott, WI): We will take you back into time as we discover the history of Wisconsin and the impacts that humans have on our environment. At the end of the day we will visit the UW-River Falls farm (River Falls, WI) to look at how farmers are practicing sustainability.
  • October 20, 8 a.m.-noon
    • Carpenter Nature Center -- MN Campus (Hastings, MN): You Made it! Celebrate your accomplishments at Carpenter where we will take a hayride in the apple orchard and so much more!

Think you might miss 1 day? Contact your instructor to see if alternative arrangements can be made.


Those who complete the required 40 hour training course become a certified Wisconsin Master Naturalist.


Host Organizations Information

Melissa Dupont, 715-386-9340 at Friends of Willow River & Kinnickinnic State Parks: www.willowkinnifriends.org

Aleisha Miller, (715) 531-1915 at St. Croix County Parks:  https://www.sccwi.gov/408/Environmental-Education

Jessica Bierbrauer, 715-262-0104 at Great River Road Visitor and Learning Center: www.freedomparkwi.org

Jen Vieth, (651)-270-4736 at Carpenter Nature Center: carpenternaturecenter.org


Fee: $250 includes all class materials and a one-year membership with the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin.

Location: Carpenter Nature Center, 12805 Saint Croix Trl, S, Hastings, MN  55033

Questions?: info@wimasternaturalist.org

PLEASE NOTE - Course participants that want to be certified Master Naturalist Volunteers will be required to:

  • Attend at least 90% of classroom time and all field study.
  • Participate in field trips, even in inclement weather.
  • Some travel in personal vehicles may be necessary to reach field trip locations.
    • Some field trips may involve some moderate activity on uneven terrain. Please consult with the program office (info@wimasternaturalist.org) before registering if you have concerns.
  • Complete a capstone project during the course.

Registration is now closed

  • Registration deadline is February 15, 2018
  • Class size is limited to 20 participants.
  • Course cancellation policies:
    • If a registrant cancels his/her registration for this course prior to March 7, 2018, s/he will receive a full refund less a $25 administrative fee. No refund will be made if a registrant cancels after the course deadline (03/07/2018).
    • The Wisconsin Master Naturalist Program reserves the right to cancel a course if fewer than 10 people register by the registration deadline. If the program cancels the course, all registrants will receive a full refund. 

Course Dates: 

Tuesday, December 25, 2018 - 8:00am