What is a Master Naturalist?
Many communities and organizations rely on volunteers to implement environmental education programs; to operate parks, nature centers, and natural areas; to provide leadership in local natural resource conservation efforts; and to educate landowners on the ecology and management of their biological resources.
The Texas Master Naturalist program develops local teams of “master volunteers” to provide educational and outreach services aimed at the better management of natural resources and natural areas within their communities. The Texas Master Naturalist program is a partnership between the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Texas Parks & Wildlife, and other local partners. There are a number of Texas Master Naturalist Chapters – including the Galveston Bay Area Chapter.
The mission of the Galveston Bay Area Chapter – Texas Master Naturalist is to:
– Preserve and restore our area’s natural resources
– Educate others about our local ecosystems
To help achieve this mission, our 221 trained volunteers work with community programs designed to:
– Increase the appreciation of our natural environment
– Promote the maintenance and sustainable use of public open spaces
– Protect and preserve native flora and fauna and their habitats
In 2017, we celebrated our 16th anniversary as a Texas Master Naturalist chapter. Our chapter’s 222 members delivered 42,162 service hours to the Galveston and Houston communities with over 18,500 hours of direct contact with our community members. Our chapter’s project – Injured Bird Response Team was named exemplary project of the year for the Texas Master Naturalist Team. In 2016, our on-going effort Confronting Plastic Pollution was also named the Texas Master Naturalist project of the year. Our efforts were further recognized as a Gulf Guardian award winner in the EPA/Gulf of Mexico Program placing 1st place in the non-profit category.
We are governed by a Board of Directors and are supported by a number of outstanding organizations and agencies.