Text by Paula Dittrick, TMNCPC blogmaster. Photos by TMNCPC members Jean Stipelcovich and Lynn Trenta
The highlight of 2020 for me was getting certified as a Texas Master Naturalist through the Coastal Prairie Chapter. As with almost everything else in 2020, TMN training came with some unexpected (and seemingly everchanging) challenges thanks to the pandemic.
TMNCPC President Bert Stipelcovich and 2020 New Class Director Shannon Westveer proved to be very good at adapting. They were steadfast in their efforts to ensure success for interns from the spring and the fall classes.
Smart phones, computers, and Zoom became as necessary to the training as did the textbook. Face masks became as common as hats and hiking boots when we were able to meet in person. We followed safety guidelines and complied with social distancing.
I am grateful to all the TMNCPC members who offered encouragement and assistance to individual interns behind the scenes. TMNCPC 2020 Vice President Terri Hurley and Courier Newsletter Editor Lynn Trenta kept me going when it was hard to get volunteer hours.
My TMNCPC mentor, Robbin Mallett, always made time to encourage me and help me with ideas, photos, and information for the blog despite her very busy schedule.
I’m also grateful for TMN instructors willing to teach via Zoom so that people could get their initial training hours.
Depending upon COVID conditions, volunteer work and other events took place when possible at Seabourne Creek Nature Park in Rosenberg.
TMNCPC members really pulled together as a team when the chapter provided content hosts and another helpers to assist speakers for the annual TMN meeting.