View All Feb 3, 2014

Anne Springs Close Greenway Explores Piedmont, Offers Naturalist Certification

FORT MILL, S.C., January 18, 2014 — Nature lovers can become certified S.C. Master Naturalists and join a regional corps of citizen scientists by attending a weekly environmental training course beginning in March at the Anne Springs Close Greenway.

The Catawba Master Naturalist Program teaches participants how to explore the world around them, identify plants and animals, and better understand ecological concepts they can apply through volunteering in their communities. 

The 12-week course also explores the culture and history of the Piedmont region and includes field trips across Upstate South Carolina to landmarks such as Forty Acre Rock, Lansford Canal State Park, Museum of York County, Kings Mountain Military and Congaree National Parks.

The course is part of the S.C. Master Naturalist program and is based at the Greenway, a 2,100-acre natural preserve minutes south of Charlotte with nearly 40 miles of trails, woodlands and pastures and a variety of waterways.

“This training aligns with the Greenway’s mission of providing educational opportunities and encouraging environmental stewardship,” said Buddy Faile, Managing Director of Greenway Operations. “It’s perfect for people who want to learn to read the land and understand the natural world around them, whether they work in related fields or simply want to know more they can then share with others.”

Master naturalists participate in a variety of volunteer activities, from assisting in nature outreach programs at parks, museums and schools, to helping conduct bird counts, to collecting water quality data.

The course is set for Wednesdays, March 5 through May 21, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  Cost is $600, which includes course materials, instruction and field trip expenses. Participants also receive a free one-year membership to the Anne Springs Close Greenway.

Those who complete the training, as well as 30 hours of volunteer work at the Greenway or other sites, will receive S.C. Master Naturalist certification, making them eligible for alumni activities and advanced training.  The course is a Clemson Cooperative Extension program administered through the S.C. Department of Forestry and Natural Resources in cooperation with partners around the state.

For information or to register, please go to

About Anne Springs Close Greenway
Opened in 1995, the Anne Springs Close Greenway is a 2,100-acre natural preserve that offers countless activities from hiking and biking and horseback riding to picnics and kayaking and more, while maintaining a natural habitat for wildlife. Its mission is to provide stewardship and protect the cultural, ecological and scenic features of the land, while also offering recreational and educational opportunities that promote the health and wellness of the community. The Greenway is a non-profit organization and receives no tax money to build, maintain and operate trails and facilities. It is funded in part by the generous donations from individuals and corporations.