St. Croix Valley

This training has passed

Training Dates

March 16 - October 19, 2019


Carpenter Nature Center - MN campus

12805 Saint Croix Trl, S,

Hastings, MN 55033



Aleisha Miller

Jen Vieth

Jessie Eckroad


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 usually be held on the 3rd Saturday of the month starting on March 16th and ending on October 19th (see dates and tentative syllabus 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, 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.  Trainings 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.


Saturday, March 16th: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

* Carpenter Nature Center - MN Campus (Hastings, MN): As we kick off our training course we will make maple syrup and get an introduction to interpretation skills

Saturday, April 13th: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

* Willow River State Park (Hudson, WI): Join us on a geological journey of Wisconsin. Starting with a presentation on the Geological History of the area, we'll move to see 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.

Saturday, May 18th: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

* McMurtrie Prairie (Star Prairie, WI) and USFWS Wetland Management District (New Richmond, WI): We will travel to a preserve and to Fish and Wildlife managed land where we will learn about birds, plant communities, human impacts, and Wisconsin ecology.

Saturday, June 1st: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

* Carpenter Nature Center - WI campus (Hudson, WI): Today we will be focusing on citizen science and Wisconsin ecology. Make a difference and participate in a bird banding activity and take a walk through a beautiful prairie.

Saturday, July 20th: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

* Kinnickinnic State Park (River Falls, WI): We will learn about the St. Croix and Kinnickinnic Rivers to discover our river ecosystems.

Saturday, August 17th: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

* Homestead Parklands on Perch Lake (N. Hudson, WI): WE will get knee deep into water as we learn about and look for macroinvertebrates, frogs and toads, and so much more in Perch Lake!

Saturday, September 21st: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

* 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.

Saturday, October 19th: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

* Carpenter Nature Center - MN Campus (Hastings, MN): You made it! Share your capstone project with your peers and celebrate your accomplishments at Carpenter where we will take a hayride in the apple orchard!

Class Size



To be a certified Master Naturalist, you will be required to:

  • Attend regularly. Only four hours of training may be missed.
  • Participate in field trips, even in inclement weather.
  • Travel in personal vehicles as necessary to reach field trip locations.
  • Experience moderate activity on uneven terrain. Please consult with the program office before registering if you have you have questions about accessibility.
  • Complete a capstone project during the course.

Financial Hardship

The Wisconsin Master Naturalist program believes that finances should not be a barrier to learning. Reduced registration fees are available for those who indicate the fee is a hardship. Reduced fees will be available during the registration process at a self-selected rate of either $200, $150, or $100. Our hope is that by participating in the Master Naturalist program you are able to give back your time to organizations that need your help. And if your financial situation changes in the future that you’ll consider a donation back to our program.

This training has passed