Eileen Burger and Charlie Grindstaff

Master Naturalists

At its June meeting the Indian Trail chapter of Texas Master Naturalists unanimously voted to expand the chapter boundaries from that of Ellis County to include Navarro County. Our member from Blooming Grove proposed the expansion with the enticement that Navarro County has both Richland Creek Wildlife Management Area and Navarro Mills Lake, an Army Corps of Engineers Project, which need our volunteer services. We look forward to working with the stewards of Navarro County’s lakes and rivers, as well as landowners and residents of the towns and cities, the schools, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and other nature-oriented groups. We are available to answer questions, give advice and present programs about nature related to both Navarro and Ellis Counties.

A great opportunity exists for those who want to learn about nature and become Master Naturalists.

We invite Navarro and Ellis County residents to apply now to attend our fall training classes which begin Sept. 8. The classes will be held from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at Waxahachie’s First United Methodist Church each Thursday through Oct. 27. Classes focusing on the nature and native ecosystems of North Central Texas, Ellis and Navarro Counties will be taught by experts. The curriculum is a combination of book learning and hands-on field experience, facts and fun. Field trips to John Bunker Sands Wetlands and Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center are planned for two Saturdays in October.

Applications are available online at http://txmn.org/indiantrail/ or by contacting Paul Grindstaff at 972-291-2868.  Don’t wait….the deadline for submitting your application is Monday, Aug. 15.

 Indian Trail Master Naturalists will lead a fun and family-friendly hike into the nighttime world of animals at Midlothian’s Mockingbird Nature Park at 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26.

A trail which is familiar by day becomes a whole new experience at night. Our fearless trail guides will take you on an adventure in which owls hooting, coyotes howling and strange rustlings in the brush are wonderful possibilities.

Come and learn about the sights, smells and sounds of nature at night.

Closed-toed shoes, long pants, and bug spray are recommended. Bring a flashlight and a bottle of water. Participants should plan to be outdoors at least two hours.

Mockingbird Nature Park is located at the corner of Mockingbird and Onward Roads in Midlothian.

This free night hike is sponsored by the Midlothian Parks and Recreation Department and Indian Trail Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalist Program and generously supported by Staples and Brookshire’s of Midlothian.

Call 972-291-2868 to sign up.

For more information about Master Naturalists, call the AgriLife Extension Service at 972-825-5175 or e-mail ellis-tx@tamu.edu.