CLOSED: Volunteer Training, St. Croix Valley

Carpenter Nature Center, St. Croix County Parks, The Friends of Willow River & Kinnickinnic State Parks, and The Great River Road Visitor and Learning Center are partnering to offer the Wisconsin Master Naturalist Volunteer Training Course. The classes will usually be held on the 3rd Saturday of the month starting on March 16th and ending on October 19th (see dates and tentative syllabus below). The course will include some classroom time, but will focus mostly on local and regional field experiences to exceptional sites for learning in our topic areas (geology, ecology, plant communities, wildlife, interpretation, water, and human impacts). Many regional experts will be sharing their knowledge, research, tips, and inspiration with us as they lead or present parts of the course.

A Master Naturalist course instruction manual will be provided and woven into all of the studies. Participants will also meet representatives from each host organization, DNR, local non-profit, and nature groups to learn about the many opportunities for the Master Naturalists to engage as volunteers, participate in citizen science, help provide leadership for activities, community involvement, and so much more!

The Wisconsin Master Naturalist Program is a network of well-informed citizens dedicated to conservation education and service within Wisconsin communities.  The Master Naturalist Volunteer Training Course provides 40 hours of coursework in natural history, interpretation, and conservation stewardship.  Courses combine classroom instruction with field experiences and are taught by professional natural resources educators and scientists.  Once trained, Wisconsin Master Naturalist Volunteers provide 40 hours of service and take 8 hours of advanced training each year to maintain their certification and receive a recognition pin.

Schedule: Usually meets 3rd Saturday of the month*, March-October 2019. This unique schedule is great for busy people and for letting you absorb the knowledge you are gaining. *April and June dates may not be 3rd Saturday

Exact dates and times:

  • March 16, 8 a.m.-noon

Carpenter Nature Center - MN Campus (Hastings, MN): As we kickoff our training course we will make maple syrup, and get an introduction to interpretation skills

  • April 13*, 8 a.m.-noon

Willow River State Park (Hudson, WI): Join us on a geological journey of Wisconsin. Starting with a presentation on the Geological History of the area. Then we will spend the next half of class seeing geology up close as we see the terminal moraine of the last Wisconsin Glacier, hike to the 45 foot Willow Falls, and see where there are two fault lines in the park.

  • May 18, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

McMurtrie Preserve (Star Prairie, WI) and USFWS Wetland Management District (New Richmond, WI): We will travel to a preserve and to Fish and Wildlife managed land were we will learn about birds, plant communities, human impacts, and Wisconsin ecology.

  • June 1*, 8 a.m.-noon

Carpenter Nature Center -- WI Campus (Hudson, WI): Today we will be focusing on citizen science and WI ecology. Make a difference and participate in a bird banding activity and take a walk through a beautiful prairie.

  • July 20, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Kinnickinnic State Park (River Falls, WI): We will learn about the St. Croix and Kinnickinnic Rivers to discover our river ecosystems.

  • August 17, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Homestead Parklands on Perch Lake (N. Hudson, WI): We will get knee deep into the water as we learn about and look for macroinvertebrates, frogs and toads, and so much more in Perch Lake!

  • September 21, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

The Great River Road Visitor and Learning Center (Prescott, WI): We will take you back into time as we discover the history of Wisconsin and the impacts that humans have on our environment. At the end of the day we will visit the UW-River Falls farm (River Falls, WI) to look at how farmers are practicing sustainability.

  • October 19, 8 a.m.-noon

Carpenter Nature Center -- MN Campus (Hastings, MN): You Made it! Share your capstone project with your peers and Celebrate your accomplishments at Carpenter where we will take a hayride in the apple orchard!

Those who complete the required 40 hour training course become a certified Wisconsin Master Naturalist.

 Host Organizations Information

Aleisha Miller, (715) 531-1915 at St. Croix County Parks:

Jessica Bierbrauer, 715-262-0104 at Great River Road Visitor and Learning Center:

Jen Vieth, (651)-270-4736 at Carpenter Nature Center:

Friends of Willow River & Kinnickinnic State Parks: 715-386-9340 or


Fee: $275 includes all class materials and a one-year membership with the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin.

Scholarships:  If you would like to be considered for a scholarship, you must fill out the Master Naturalist scholarship form before registering.  The Master Naturalist office will follow up with a special code to be used when you register.

Location: Carpenter Nature Center, 12805 Saint Croix Trl, S, Hastings, MN  55033


PLEASE NOTE - Course participants that want to be certified Master Naturalist Volunteers will be required to:

  • Attend at least 90% of classroom time and all field study.
  • Participate in field trips, even in inclement weather.
  • Some travel in personal vehicles may be necessary to reach field trip locations.
    • Some field trips may involve some moderate activity on uneven terrain. Please consult with the program office ( before registering if you have concerns.
  • Complete a capstone project during the course.


  • Registration deadline is March 1, 2019
  • Class size is limited to 20 participants.
  • Course cancellation policies:
    • If a registrant cancels his/her registration for this course prior to March 6, 2019, s/he will receive a full refund less a $25 administrative fee. No refund will be made if a registrant cancels after the course deadline (03/06/2019).
    • The Wisconsin Master Naturalist Program reserves the right to cancel a course if fewer than 10 people register by the registration deadline. If the program cancels the course, all registrants will receive a full refund.

Course Dates: 

Tuesday, December 31, 2019 - 8:00am