Image of a raccoon climbing down tree

Photo Credit © Welty Center

Welty Environmental Center

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Training Dates

July 17 - July 22, 2023


Welty Environmental Center

1201 Big Hill Court

Beloit, WI 53511



Aaron Wilson

David Bendlin

Darien Becker

Chuck Goldstein

Liz Meek


The Welty Environmental Center is pleased to host the Wisconsin Master Naturalist training in the 190 acres of Big Hill Park. There will be some inside activities; 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, participants will have the opportunity to learn skills that may be used to assist with field trips and other educational programming. Potential training 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 education in a variety of natural history topics and Master Naturalist service areas. Through expert-led trainings, Master Naturalists are equipped to address challenges facing the state by making positive impacts through stewardship, citizen science, and educational activities. Trainings have an emphasis on outdoor field experiences with some classroom instruction and are taught by professional natural resources educators and scientists. Once trained, Wisconsin Master Naturalists record 40 hours of service and 8 hours of advanced training each year to maintain certification and receive a recognition pin.


Monday, July 17th: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Tuesday, July 18th: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Wednesday, July 19th: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

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

Friday, July 21st: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Saturday, July 22nd: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Class Size



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.
  • Travel in personal vehicles as necessary to reach different learning sites throughout the training, unless transportation is provided by the host.
  • Complete a small training project.

** Master Naturalist Trainings are primarily outdoor learning experiences which may include extended periods of standing, hiking on both flat paths and off-trails with inclines, and a variety of weather conditions. If you have questions about the activity level of the training, please contact the program office prior to registering.

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