Started in 1997, the Texas Master Naturalist™ program includes 48 local chapters in 213 counties, with new chapters starting all the time. We are developing well-informed volunteers who bring natural resource education, outreach, and service to their communities in the state of Texas.
What makes the work of a Master Naturalist so important is that they are not only individuals who love nature and offer their time, but are also trained naturalists with specialized knowledge of different ecosystems, species, habitats, and environmental demands. Our skilled volunteers work with communities and organizations across the state to implement youth outreach programs, help operate parks, nature centers, natural areas, and lead local natural resource conservation efforts. Private landowners depend on the expertise of our volunteers to help them gain a broader scientific understanding of the ecology and management of their natural resources.
The Texas Master Naturalist™ organization is sponsored by and funded by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Since the organization’s founding in 1997, our organization has impacted more than 229,000 acres of wildlife and native plant habitats, our volunteers have contributed more than 6.2 million hours of service and we have reached more than 6 million Texas residents of all ages. These volunteer efforts are estimated to be worth more than $102 million to the state of Texas.
In Texas, this partnership among the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and over 400 local partners has resulted in a unique master volunteer organization that includes 12,800 certified volunteers. At the state level, the organization is directed by an advisory committee that provides training guidelines, program marketing, promotion resources, curriculum resources, and advanced training opportunities. A volunteer representatives committee is responsible for representing the varied interests of the chapters and providing a communication link to state committees and program leaders.
It is structured so that we can Give Back to the community and show others how they can join us to make a differenceMaureen Nolan-Wilde, Galveston Bay Area Chapter