Providing Skilled Volunteers to Improve and Steward Texas Natural Resources and Natural Areas
Since 1997, the Texas Master Naturalist™ program has grown to include 48 chapters and more than 12,800 volunteers serving Texas communities throughout 84% of the state’s counties. The mission of the program is to develop a corps of well-informed volunteers to provide education, outreach, and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within their communities for the state of Texas.
What makes the work of a Master Naturalist so important is that they are not only individuals who love nature and offer their time, but are also trained naturalists with specialized knowledge of different ecosystems, species, habitats, and environmental demands that is priceless when determining how to best manage natural resources.These skilled volunteers work with communities and organizations across the state to implement youth outreach programs; help operate parks, nature centers, and natural areas; and lead local natural resource conservation efforts. In addition, private landowners depend on the expertise of these volunteers to help them gain a broader scientific understanding of the ecology and management of their natural resources.
The Texas Master Naturalist™ organization is sponsored by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Since the organization’s founding in 1997:
- relationships have been developed with over 400 partners
- there are presently 12,800 certified Texas Master Naturalist™ volunteers
- these volunteers have contributed more than 4.131 million hours of service
- more than 229,000 acres of wildlife and native plant habitats have been impacted
- reached more than 6 million Texas residents of all ages.
These volunteer efforts are worth more than $98 million to the State of Texas. Texas Master Naturalist™ volunteers serve in 48 local chapters across the state serving 213 counties, and new chapters are developing all the time.
Funding for the Texas Master Naturalist program is provided by Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.
In Texas, this partnership among the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and over 400 local partners has resulted in a unique master volunteer organization. At the state level, the organization is directed by an advisory committee providing training guidelines, program marketing and promotion, curriculum resources, and advanced training opportunities; and a volunteer representatives committee responsible for representing the varied interests of the chapters and providing a communication link to state committees and program leaders.
Past Annual Results: