The goal of Texas Master Naturalist Basic Training is to develop knowledgeable volunteers to help promote conservation and beneficial management of the natural environment. To accomplish that, basic training covers an extensive array of environmental topics and provides first-hand experiences with the local ecosystem and natural resources. Our program sponsors depend on Lost Pines Texas Master Naturalists to carry out selected programs and help educate the public on the importance of caring for our natural environment.
The Lost Pines Chapter’s 2024 basic training course begins Saturday, January 6, 2024 and ends Saturday, May 20, 2024, with a graduation picnic. The class meets ten Monday evenings (6PM to 9PM) for lectures and ten to twelve Saturdays (usually about 9AM to noon) for active learning and field trips. Although the Texas Master Naturalist’s state organization requires forty hours of basic training, Lost Pines offers more than sixty, out of which trainees must attend a minimum of forty in order to graduate. The extra hours offered by Lost Pines Chapter provide a degree of flexibility for trainees who cannot attend every session.
Monday evening sessions features one or two speakers (experts on their topics), who present different components of the Texas Master Naturalist Statewide curriculum with an emphasis on local applicability. Saturday sessions feature field trips to nearby locales (within a 75-mile drive of Bastrop) chosen to provide hands-on familiarity with such diverse topics as bird watching, archeology, water science, geology, and botany, as well as practical experience with various local ecosystems.
Subject matter experts lead our field trips, which may include short hikes in natural areas that are not readily accessible to the public. Please note that, because our emphasis is on learning about the environment rather than on exercise, our hikes move at a leisurely pace with multiple pauses for the field session leader to provide interpretation.
The Master Naturalist Curriculum is intensive and requires commitment. However, there are no tests and, if you keep up with reading assignments, show up for classes and field trips, and actively engage with the materials presented (getting your hands dirty when necessary!) you will have a grand time and will successfully complete the course.
Registration for our 2024 Class opens Nov 1, 2023. Application deadline is Dec 15, 2023. Class size is limited to 25 students. Registration is $165/person, or $295 for a couple sharing one training manual. Students must be 18 years or older by Jan 6, 2024.