Welcome to the Hill Country Chapter

Apply Now!

June 30 deadline is fast approaching.

You can become a Texas Master Naturalist! Apply now for our fall Training Course. You will attend classes and fieldtrips, volunteer forty hours, and participate in eight hours of advanced training. Submit your application today! Deadline is June 30.

2018 Class Recruitment rack card




Monthly Meeting >> 25 June

Monarch Habitat Restoration: How Citizen Scientists Play a Key Role in State and National Efforts presented by Cathy Downs

The Texas Hill Country landscape plays a vital role in the annual migration of the monarch butterfly. This iconic insect, once numbering a billion, is now under review by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as an endangered species. Efforts by Hill Country landowners to restore monarch habitat on the local, county, and regional scale could help lead to the recovery of this population. Using available resources and participating in citizen science programs can help sustain and nourish the monarch butterfly for years to come.

Cathy Downs KerrWMA MLMP

Cathy has presented monarch and pollinator habitat conservation programs to more than 65,000 children and 45,000 adults. She has traveled more than 100,000 miles delivering her message through workshops, trainings, school labs, and webinars. She is a Monarch Larval Monitoring Project Certified Trainer and a Monarch Watch Conservation Specialist, and soon will join the national board of directors for Wild Ones, a nonprofit environmental education group promoting restoration of natural landscapes with native plants.

cathy monarchs

Cathy Downs teaches a record-breaking live TV long distance learning class on monarchs.

Cathy has been a certified Texas Master Naturalist with the Hill Country Chapter since 2005, serving on the board six years with two years as Director of New Class Training. She is approaching 10,000 volunteer hours and has been awarded the Texas Master Naturalist diamond dragonfly for 5000 volunteer hours, Texas Wildlife Association Volunteer of the Year, the President’s Call to Service Award, Native Plant Society of Texas President’s Award, and Cibolo Nature Center and Farm’s Stewardship Award.

Cathy grew up on a farm in rural Maine. She spent thirty years owning and operating her own retail businesses first in New England, and then in central California. She and husband Scott retired in 2004 to Comfort where they manage ten-acres for wildlife.

Meetings are held in the Upper Guadalupe River Authority Lecture Hall, 125 North Lehmann Drive in Kerrville. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for our social half-hour; program begins at 7:00.




chapter sloganTexas Master Naturalist, Hill Country Chapter is one of 48 regional Texas Master Naturalist volunteer corps. Our chapter serves Bandera, Edwards, Gillespie, Kendall, Kerr, Kimble, Mason, Menard, Real, and San Saba counties. Members receive comprehensive training in natural resource management specific to the Texas Hill Country and share their knowledge to promote conservation and good stewardship in their communities. Our chapter is a 501(c)(3) organization.




Now in our sixteenth year of commitment to education, outreach, and service, we have trained more than 480 Master Naturalist volunteers who contributed more than 250,000 service hours to their communities.


Want to join a group of friendly folks who love nature and the Texas Hill Country? Explore our site for details, then email questions to our Membership Director. We look forward to hearing from you!

Questions or comments about our chapter’s website? Email our webmaster.

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