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Master Naturalist training set for January

PALISADE—Enjoy learning about the natural world? If so, consider becoming a Minnesota Master Naturalist volunteer.

The Long Lake Conservation Center in Palisade is hosting a Minnesota Master Naturalist volunteer training beginning Jan. 22.

Master Naturalist volunteers complete a 40-hour hands-on course with expert instructors and fellow learners—studying natural history, environmental interpretation and conservation stewardship. Final certification comes with completion of 40 hours of volunteer service.

The program offers three courses corresponding to Minnesota's three major ecosystems—titled "Big Woods, Big Rivers," "Prairies and Potholes" and "Northwoods, Great Lakes."

This course will cover the natural and cultural history of the "North Woods, Great Lakes" region. It will provide an in-depth overview of the boreal forest ecosystem and participants will observe and learn about the variety of plant and animal communities of the region. Through the course, participants will develop their ability to observe nature and will learn tools to improve these skills. In addition, participants will improve their communication skills by sharing knowledge with other participants and working on a group project.

The classes will be 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m., January 22-26. The cost varies depending on what the participant prefers. The basic 40-hour course (no lodging or meals) is $275. The 40-hour course with homemade, hot lunch Monday through Friday is $315. The week-long getaway—40-hour course with lodging and breakfast, lunch, and dinner—is $510.

The instructor is Courtney Dowell, available at 612-384-8855 or

Register online at, call 1-888-241-4532, or email Scholarships are available.

Minnesota Master Naturalist is sponsored by the University of Minnesota Extension Service.