Master Naturalist class covers lots of ground

Dear editor,

In 2008, I received a Christmas letter update from a neighbor who added a link to a newly formed master naturalist group in Milam County. This friend and neighbor was instrumental in helping get this organization started.

Rather than repeatedly asking my neighbors more about this interesting sounding organization, I decided to get out of my regular routine to take the classes myself so I could learn more about this.

There was an initial cost of $150, which I have learned first hand is an extremely good investment. There is hardly a week that goes by that I do not have the opportunity to do something fun and exciting right here in Milam County. Of course, I have the option to do as little or as much as I want to or am able to do.

I have been living in the country around Milam County for a number of years and have always been most appreciative of nature. But, I figure the more you know about anything, the more you appreciate it’s value, and the more enjoyment you will get.

I also have always loved to read and learn about things. And, of course, meeting new friends with similar interests to share this love of nature and learning was more than worth my initial investment.

Our classes are taught by professionals such as Texas Parks and Wildlife employees, university instructors and other professionals in related fields of study.

The classes vary from simple to quite challenging information so there is plenty of information for anybody with an interest in nature to learn. I do not know of anybody “too dumb” or “too smart” that would not get something out of taking the classes.

Since first joining the El Camino Real Master Naturalist Chapter (ECRMNC) in early 2009, I have not only made a whole bunch of new like-minded friends, I have learned so much about so many different things. Birds, reptiles, mammals, wildflowers, trees, insects, wetlands, lichens, mosses, amphibians, water tables, weather and climate, ecoregions, native plants, grasses, and wildlife, as well as tons of other interesting information.

There is really not enough room to give justice to the many things that have been presented to us to learn about locally. But, if something has to do at all with nature or preserving nature you can be assured that the topic will be of interest to our group. And, if you have a particular interest in a subject there is a very high probability that this group would find a way to enhance your studies.

So, if you think that you need or want to get outside and off the couch a little more, I challenge you to get involved and become a participant in something exciting that is happening right here in your local area.

I am proud to say that although Milam County may be rural, we are not behind. I will be hoping to meet you soon, but right now I am going to enjoy this nice weather and see what wildlife is peeking out ready to enjoy it with me.

Meanwhile, call the AgriLife Extension Office at 254-697- 7045 or visit our website http:// and sign up for the new class beginning April 1 — before all the slots are filled. You will be glad you did.

Dorothy Mayer

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2010-03-25 digital edition

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