Bellevue to offer free master naturalist training


Applications are now being accepted for a free 11-week Bellevue Parks & Community Services Master Naturalist Training Program designed to build a group of dedicated community volunteers trained in environmental education and stewardship.

The training program is open to interested students, community members and volunteers ages 18 and up. Participants will meet 11 Fridays beginning Feb. 2012 for a series of in-class lectures, field trips, workshops and restoration projects in and around Bellevue City parks. The program will provide volunteers with training on our area’s ecology, hydrology, geology, natural resource management, native plants, wildlife, cultural history and restoration efforts.

Volunteers who complete the program will be trained to assist Bellevue Park Rangers with a variety of efforts, such as environmental education and interpretation, habitat restoration, adult and family environmental education programs, nature hikes, wildlife and native plant restoration monitoring and research, community volunteer projects, canoe tours, wetland monitoring, and more.

Upon completion of the program, naturalists are expected to complete a minimum of five hours of community service per month up to 100 hours of service to Bellevue’s natural resource programs. Completion of 100 hours is not to exceed a two-year period.

Training sessions will take place on Fridays, Feb. 3 to April 13, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Lewis Creek Visitor Center, 5808 Lakemont Blvd. Ideal candidates will have an enthusiasm for learning and some prior education and experience in natural resource sciences. Bellevue residents will have priority for selection.

This is the third year Bellevue has hosted the program. It has been adopted by 23 states and has successfully trained thousands of volunteers throughout the nation.

Individuals interested in the program must complete and return an application packet on or before Jan. 6. Complete packets and submittal information is available online. For more information, call Alexandra DySard at 425-452-4195.

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