Become a Master Naturalist!
What is a Master Naturalist?
Certified Master Naturalists support the conservation of natural resources in Frederick County, and help educate the community about local flora and fauna. They assist in park stewardship, conduct field research, and lead educational programs. Master Naturalists are recognized state-wide as expert volunteers.
How Do I Become a Master Naturalist?
The training program at Fountain Rock Nature Center consists of thirteen weeks of hands-on classroom presentations and field trip experiences, led by park naturalists and local ecology experts. You’ll learn to identify and explore the natural history of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects, plants, and fungi. You’ll also practice field study techniques, park stewardship, and interpretive skills.
- Submit your application materials
- Complete the thirteen-week training program and exam
- Participate in a group project and presentation
- Volunteer at least 40 hours of service within the first year
To maintain certification, you must complete 8 hours of advanced training and forty hours of volunteer service each year.
Our Master Naturalists have just graduated! Look back here soon for info on how to join next year’s class.
History of the Master Naturalist Program at Fountain Rock Nature Center:
Frederick County has hosted two training programs for Master Naturalists in the past, once in 2012 and the second in 2014. The Master Naturalists that became certified in these programs currently work with Fountain Rock and Catoctin Creek Nature Centers as volunteers providing services to the public.
Previous Master Naturalist-supported projects include stream surveys, invasive plant removal, tree-planting, Nature Fest, the Sensory Trail at Catoctin Creek, and more. Many of our program graduates also serve as members of the Frederick County Nature Council.