Life is Better Outdoors

Life is Better Outdoors


Charlie Grindstaff Indian Trail Master Naturalist


The Indian Trail Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalist volunteer program in Ellis and Navarro Counties will be offering training classes on Thursdays beginning April 12.  If you are interested in ensuring that future generations will enjoy our native wildflowers, birds, butterflies and all other aspects of the out-of-doors, then we hope you will join us. You can become a partner in our quest to increase public awareness, understanding and appreciation of our natural resources through education and active citizen participation.


Master Naturalist training will be held at Waxahachie’s First United Methodist Church on eight Thursdays beginning April 12 from 9:00 A.M. until 4:00 P.M. with two Saturday field trips. Instruction is provided by recognized experts and customized to focus on native ecosystems of North Central Texas and, specifically, of Ellis and Navarro Counties. The course provides an understanding of our natural systems and the detrimental, long-term consequences of imbalances and faulty management. The training will consist of research-based presentations and relevant field trips. Participants learn how to restore, regenerate, nurture and conserve plant species and animal habitats through classes covering such topics as weather and climate, ecological regions of Texas, geology and soils, native plants, birds, insects, mammals, fish, rangeland and wetland ecology.


Requirements to become a certified Texas Master Naturalist:

♦ Complete and submit your application by March 22.   Applications are available online at or by calling AgriLife Extension Service Office (972-825-5175)

♦ Attend all scheduled classes and field trips

♦ Provide 40 hours of volunteer service to your community; and

♦ Take 8 hours of advanced training within one year


The cost for the training program is $150, which covers the cost of the manual, handouts, speakers and background check. The cost is $100 for the second family member when one handbook is shared.


The opportunities for volunteer service and advanced training, some chapter-wide and some individual projects, are limitless and include: development of Mockingbird Nature Park (Midlothian), trail building at Wolf Creek Park (Navarro Mills Lake), Project Wild (introducing children to nature), Texas Stream Team (water quality monitoring), CoCoRaHS (rainfall monitoring), Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center, Texas Turtle Watch and Amphibian Watch.  In addition, we offer a series of Master Naturalist programs for the public on the fourth Monday of each Month.


Requests for more information or a schedule of classes, questions and concerns should be directed to Paul Grindstaff, Training Committee Chairman, 972-291-2868,


The Texas Master Naturalist program is co-sponsored by the Texas AgriLife Extension Services and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

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