Anne Springs Close Greenway Offers Naturalist Course to Expand Stewardship
FORT MILL, S.C., January 16, 2015 — Nature lovers can become certified S.C. Master Naturalists and join a regional corps of citizen scientists by attending a 12-week 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 course also explores the culture and history of the Piedmont region and is based at the 2,100- acre Greenway, a natural preserve just minutes south of Charlotte featuring nearly 40 miles of trails, woodlands and pastures and a variety of waterways.
As part of the S.C. Master Naturalist program, the course 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.
“This training aligns with the Greenway’s mission of providing educational opportunities and encouraging environmental stewardship,” said Dr. Michelle Evans, Director of Education for the Greenway. “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 share their love of nature with others.”
Master naturalists participate in a variety of volunteer activities, from assisting in nature hikes and outreach programs at parks, museums and schools, to helping conduct bird counts, to collecting water quality data.
The course is set for Wednesdays, March 4 through May 20 (with May 27 as an inclement weather make-up day), 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 chapter activities and advanced training. The course is a Clemson Cooperative Extension Service program in cooperation with partners around the state.
For information or to register, please go to: www.ascgreenway.org.