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

Photo Credit © Welty Center

Welty Environmental Center Fall

Cancelled due to Covid-19

Training Dates

August 23 - October 11, 2020


Welty Environmental Center

1201 Big Hill Court

Beloit, WI 53511



Aaron Wilson

David Bendlin

Jaime Benedict


All 2020 Master Naturalist Volunteer Trainings are postponed due to COVID-19. The Master Naturalist Program continues to work with host organizations to develop a 2021 training calendar, along with new training guidelines and resources to promote healthy and engaging learning environments out in nature and in the classroom. Watch for 2021 locations and dates to be announced by December 1, 2020.

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.


Sunday, August 23rd: 1:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Sunday, August 30th: 12:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Sunday, September 13th: 12:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Sunday, September 20th: 12:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Sunday, September 27th: 12:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Sunday, October 4th: 12:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Sunday, October 11th: 12:00 pm - 6:30 pm

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.

Cancelled due to Covid-19