Ellis County Naturalists Provide Education and Action
L.S. “Mox” Moxley
Indian Trail Master Naturalists are nature enthusiasts who enjoy learning about Ellis County’s natural resources and sharing their knowledge and skills with other adults and children to enhance and sustain our environment.
If you are curious about the outdoors and wish to make a positive impact on our environs, the Master Naturalist Program will interest you.
Each Sunday issue of this publication will include an article concerning Ellis County’s natural environment written by an Indian Trail Master Naturalist.
Topics will range from identification and behaviors of birds and insects to interviews that provide an historical perspective on our local ecology.
If you want to gain a greater understanding of our natural systems and to serve as a community volunteer, now is the time to apply for the annual Indian Trail Master Naturalist training program. Training in wildlife and natural resource management is provided by recognized experts in the field and is specifically tailored to focus on the native ecosystems of North Central Texas and Ellis County. Opportunities for advanced training in subjects that coincide with the participants’ interests are also available.
Classes are scheduled on 10 Saturdays (8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.), from mid-March through mid-June. (Ellis County Lawn and Garden Expo and holiday weekends are excluded.) Morning classroom presentations are typically followed by field trips. Applications are available by calling the AgriLife Extension Service at 972-825-5175. Tuesday, February 15, is the application deadline. The $150 fee covers the manual, speakers and background check.
In return for this training, participants provide the county with at least 40 hours of volunteer services per year in the form of educational activities, projects, outreach or service. Indian Trail members may be seen removing invasive plants, sowing native grass seed or monitoring bluebird boxes with Girl Scouts at Midlothian’s Mockingbird Nature Park. Members are also identifying and preserving plant specimens at Ennis’s Kachina Prairie to promote the identification and appreciation of native plants by the citizenry. The clean-up and enhancement of Bardwell Lake’s wetlands are yet other voluntary efforts designed to expand the education and enjoyment of Ellis County’s natural resources.
Monthly, hour-long programs are an additional educational venue offered by Master Naturalists. Programs commence at 7:00 p.m. on the fourth Monday of each month at the First United Methodist Church, 505 W. Marvin Avenue in Waxahachie. “Obtaining and Maintaining a Wildlife Tax Exemption”, presented by Greg Armstrong of the Ellis County Appraisal Office, is the featured program on Monday, January 24. Everyone is welcome to attend; there is no admission fee.
Through newspaper articles, comprehensive training programs, projects and monthly presentations, members of the Indian Trail Master Naturalist Chapter work to spread information and the stewardship of our natural resources in order to leave a legacy for future generations.
The Indian Trail Master Naturalist Chapter is one of 42 chapters that comprise the Texas Master Naturalist Program. Chapters are co-sponsored by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. For further information, contact the Indian Trail Master Naturalist Chapter at the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, 701 South Interstate 35-E, Suite 3, Waxahachie, call 972-825-5175 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
L.S. “Mox” Moxley is an Indian Trail Master Naturalist.