Texas Master Naturalist
Hays County Chapter

...dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within our communities.
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Welcome     Members

Thank you for visiting our website. We hope that these pages will answer most of the questions you might have about the Hays County Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalist Program™. To get a better idea about our activities and programs, please feel free to browse the Members section of this site. If you have other questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

2016 Master Naturalist Training Class

Registration for the Hays County Master Naturalist Class for 2016 begins December 1!  As a Master Naturalist, you will join a corps of volunteers dedicated to the beneficial management of our natural resources and natural areas.  Are you interested in our natural habitat – whether native plants and grasses; local geology; natural water systems; native birds, insects and mammals; our overall ecosystem?  If so, you can enhance your knowledge of these areas and more by becoming a Certified Texas Master Naturalist.  Students and graduates of this program volunteer for over 50 projects around Hays County such as Jacob’s Well in Wimberley, the Greenbelt Alliance in San Marcos, and Charro Ranch Park in Dripping Springs.  You may be involved in anything from trail management to educating students about our natural habitat – you decide based on what interests you most.

The classes are held from February through November and are rotated throughout the county.  Ten classes are on Tuesday evenings from 6:00 - 9:30 p.m. with dinner included.  Two classes are held on Saturday mornings to allow part of the class to occur in the field.  In addition to attending classes taught by recognized experts in their fields, you will participate in field trips to enhance your knowledge of local geology, range management and ecological diversity.  You will also visit local properties to view and discuss different habitats and ecosystems. 

The total cost for the program is $175 and there are a few scholarships for Hays County residents to reduce the cost to $75.  Submit your application soon, since enrollment is limited.  Click on the links below for an application orfor more information on becoming a Certified Texas Master Naturalist.

For additional information, contact:
Bari Conley
Hays County Texas A & M AgriLife Extension Office
1253 Civic Center Loop
San Marcos, Texas  78666

Application Letter
Application Form
Liability Release
Scholarship Application

Texas Night Sky Festival Photography Contest

The Hays County Chapter is co-sponsoring the Texas Night Sky Festival to be held on March 5th, 2016 at the Dripping Springs Ranch Park.

Participants will join in fun citizen-science activities, learn from engaging speakers and exhibits, see examples of good lighting for their home or business, view school projects and competition entries focused on protecting the night sky, feast at the food trucks, take home a book or work of art inspired by the night sky, earn a related scouting badge, or explore the stars.

The Festival includes a Photography Contest with cash prizes. Entries can be taken anywhere in Texas.

Please visit the contest web page at http://hcphotoclub.org/tnsf/ for complete information.

This is the event's and the photography contest's first year so please help us get the word out! The more entries we receive, the better the exhibition will be and will help us to better communicate the importance of preserving our dark skies.

The contest is co-sponsored by the Hill Country Photography Club, the Photographers of Dripping Springs, the City of Dripping Springs, and the International Dark-Sky Association - Texas Section.

Photography Contest Flyer

Speakers Bureau

Presentations Available: As part of our mission to provide education dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within our communities, the Hays County Master Naturalists are happy to offer a range of short presentations to any organization interested in learning more about how we all interact with nature.

Current topics (See details):
• Xeric Native Plants
• Living with deer
• Take back the night
• Edible wild plants
• Oak wilt
• Feral hogs
• Poisonous plants & animals
• Those pesky insects
• Protecting and Conserving Our Water Resources
• Climate 101: the essential facts about climate change and what you can do

Any group that would like a short talk and slide show on any of these topics can schedule a presenter free of charge. For more information, or to schedule a presenter, contact us at outreach@haysmn.org at least 6 weeks prior to your event or meeting.

HaysMN Program Overview

The Hays County chapter of the Texas Master Naturalist program is dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within our communities through the formation of a corps of trained volunteers. To achieve these goals, the Hays County Master Naturalist (HCMN) chapter provides training and volunteer opportunities to individuals who wish to learn about and promote the sustainable use, conservation, and maintenance of our natural resources and who afterward are willing to continue serving as volunteers in such endeavors. The program is presented through a collaborative effort of professionals from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and other organizations, as well as past students of the Master Naturalist Program. HCMN is a chapter of the Texas Master Naturalist program, a statewide organization sponsored jointly by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

To gain the designation of a Texas Master Naturalist, you must participate in an approved chapter training program with a minimum of 40 hours of combined field and classroom instruction, obtain 8 contact hours of approved advanced training, and complete 40 hours of volunteer service. Upon starting the initial training program, you have a maximum of fifteen months in which to complete your 40 hours of volunteer service and 8 hours of advanced training. To retain the Texas Master Naturalist title during each subsequent year, volunteers must complete 8 additional hours of advanced training and provide an additional 40 hours of volunteer service. Back to Welcome

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Training program
    2015 class schedule
Advanced training
    Program guidelines
    Approved opportunities
    Program approval request

    Project guidelines
    Volunteer screening
    Project approval request
    Rainfall monitoring project
    Officers and chairs
    Chapter Awards
    Operating handbook
    Mgmt Guidelines (pdf)

    Sites of Interest
    Texas MN Program
    Internet Resources List
© Copyright 2005-14 Hays County Texas Master Naturalist Chapter
Email: info@haysmn.org
haysmn.org/index.html (Last modified Mar-23-14)

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