Image of a Fall prairie plant habitat at Welty Center with trees and tall grasses.

Photo Credit © Welty Center/span>

Welty Environmental Center

COVID Considerations

Keeping the health of everyone in our community in mind, we’re approaching our programming with intentional steps. These steps follow CDC, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, and UW–Madison guidance. These requirements are in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.

During our upcoming events:

  • We will institute physical distancing of 6 feet
  • Participants will be reminded of hand-washing
  • We will concentrate our learning outdoors
  • You will be asked to wear a face covering

Additionally, we will be collecting contact information in the event we need to make a participant aware of potential exposure to COVID-19. Attendees who do not follow these requirements will not be able to participate. You can learn more about our policy and guidance at

Training Dates

August 8 - September 26, 2021


Welty Environmental Center

1201 Big Hill Court

Beloit, WI 53511



Aaron Wilson

David Bendlin

Jaime Benedict


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 three 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 Wisconsin’s first ski jump, WPA projects, and Native American meeting grounds. Field tips will allow us to expand our knowledge beyond Big Hill Park into the greater reaches of Southern Wisconsin and the Stateline Area. These trips may include visits to the Logan Museum, Beckman Mill, Sweet Alynn Park, Androne Woods, and the Ice Age Trail located in 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 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 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. Due to COVID-19, we anticipate the training to be held mostly in outdoor settings. 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.


August 8: 1:00 pm - 5:30 pm

August 15: 12:00 pm - 6:30 pm

August 22: 12:00 pm - 6:30 pm

August 29: 12:00 pm - 6:30 pm

September 12: 12:00 pm - 6:30 pm

September 19: 12:00 pm - 6:30 pm

September 26: 12:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Class SIze


Attendance Requirements

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

  • Attend regularly. Only four hours of training may be missed.
  • Be 18 years old or older.
  • 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 training.


Our 2021 scholarships are being awarded to 2020 scholarship recipients whose trainings were canceled due to the pandemic. The number of scholarships available each year is determined by the projected revenue from these trainings. The program had no revenue in 2020 due to the pandemic and we expect reduced revenue in 2021. There will be scholarship funds available once again for the 2022 training season.


Registration fee


Registration fee includes all class materials and a one-year membership with the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin. Food and lodging not included unless otherwise stated.

Registration Open

July 8-29, 2021

or until full.
Check this page for an active registration link at that time.

Registration deadline

July 29, 2021

Cancellation Policy:

A full refund is provided (less a $25 administrative fee) for any registrations cancelled prior to the registration deadline. No refunds will be made if a registration is cancelled after the registration deadline. If a training is cancelled due to low enrollment, all registrants will be notified and will receive a full refund. Any registrations cancelled due to COVID-19 (by the program OR the individual) will receive a full refund.


(608) 262-0020