Learn how to restore natural habitats, be a steward to bluebirds, protect pollinators and more at a Master Naturalist Training Program.

The Master Naturalist program focuses on education, outreach and service to manage local natural areas and resources. It includes land stewardship to eradicate invasive species and restore natural habitats; bluebird stewardship which includes monitoring local populations, data collection and educational outreach to local grade schools; pollinator protection; speaking engagements; and partnering with organizations that share the common goal of protecting natural resources. The mission is to develop knowledgeable and dedicated volunteers who are active in promoting awareness, understanding and stewardship of the natural heritage of Kansas.

Training begins Wednesday, March 16 and runs each Wednesday from 6 to 9 p.m. through mid-May. The application deadline is Saturday, January 15.

All classes will be conducted at the Johnson County K-State Research and Extension Office, 11811 S. Sunset Drive, in Olathe, KS. Class members must be a resident of the greater Kansas City metro area. There is a $120 administration fee for those accepted into the class. Acceptance notices will be sent out in early February. The class is limited to 35 participants.

Applicants who are selected will receive 40 hours of classroom and hands-on instruction from experts in natural resource concepts. In return, newly-trained recruits will be required to volunteer 30 hours each year on community environmental projects.

For more information or to apply, contact Juju Wellemeyer, Natural Resources and Mid/Small-Scale Agriculture agent with Johnson County K-State Research and Extension at 913-715-7000, juju.wellemeyer@jocogov.org or visit Johnson County K-State Research and Extension  for details.