SAN BENITO — The natural Texas is home to all of us, no matter where we live.
The natural Texas, the real Texas, is still to be found all across our state — from the wilds of rural areas to the squirrels in a city park to a wildflower in our backyard.
But as Texas grows more urban, we hurry to keep up with the hectic pace of urban and even suburban life.
And we don’t take the time to notice, enjoy, and ultimately conserve the natural resources all around us.
Through the Texas Master Naturalist volunteer program, you can help children and adults in the Rio Grande Valley learn about the region’s natural resources, inspire them to a new appreciation of our unique local environment, and ensure that others will be able to enjoy the natural Texas for years to come.
M. Lee Brown, President of the Rio Grande Chapter, encourages community members to register for the training saying, “Our membership is a diverse group with a variety of interests who share a common goal of conserving the native habitats in the Rio Grande Valley.
The program offers lifelong learning opportunities for adults of all ages who are interested in the natural world and provides a wonderful way to meet people while volunteering to conserve our native plants, animals and local ecosystems.”
In the Texas Master Naturalist program, which is sponsored by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, you will enhance your love of nature with research-based, scientific knowledge.
You will receive at least 40 hours of in-depth training in wildlife and natural resource management taught by recognized experts in the field and customized to focus on the native ecosystems of the Rio Grande Valley.
You will also have the opportunity to complete at least eight hours of advanced training in special subjects that interest you.
In return, through the Chapter’s many partner organizations, you will provide our community with at least 40 hours of volunteer service annually in the form of educational activities, projects, or demonstrations.
You might serve on a speakers’ bureau to make presentations to community organizations, or you might introduce children to local plants, insects, and animals through school field trips.
You might serve as a guide at a local nature center, or you might build trails or exhibits at a local park.
The possibilities are endless, limited only by your imagination.
As a member of the Rio Valley Grande Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalist, you will help people appreciate the natural environment around their home while you enhance your own knowledge and skills.
And perhaps most satisfying of all, you will have a chance to build friendships and working relationships with others who share your love of the natural Rio Grande Valley.
Register for the next class at www.rgvctmn.org.
Classes are at the Cameron County Extension Building in San Benito. See https://rgvctmn.org/2018-spring-training-class-online-application/ for details. Registration ends Nov. 30.