Applications are being accepted for a free master naturalist training program, designed to develop a group of dedicated community volunteers fluent in environmental stewardship and conservation.
The training, open to adults, will be Tuesday and Thursday evenings, Jan. 4 through April 5, 5:30-8 p.m., at the Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center, 1625 118th Ave. SE. Participants will learn about our area’s wildlife, ecology, hydrology, geology, natural resource management and cultural history through in-class lectures, field trips, workshops and restoration projects in Bellevue.
While trained volunteers perform many important tasks for the Parks & Community Services Department, especially during the summer, the master naturalists give back all year (usually for multiple years), providing essential environmental outreach and education, park ranger Curtis Kukal noted. Bellevue is one of only two cities in the country with a master naturalist program.
Volunteers who complete the program will assist park rangers with environmental education and interpretation, habitat restoration and monitoring, nature hikes, wetland monitoring, community volunteer projects and canoe tours. Master naturalists are expected to provide approximately five hours of community service per month for up to 100 hours of service to Bellevue’s natural resource programs within two years.
Ideal candidates will have an enthusiasm for learning and a passion for the outdoors. Bellevue residents will have priority for selection.
To apply, complete and return by mail an application packet available at Master Naturalist. Packets must be postmarked by Nov. 30.