LEWISTON — The Maine Master Naturalist Program is currently completing its first year in Maine. This fledgling organization is dedicated to developing a network of trained naturalist volunteers to teach natural history and encourage the stewardship of Maine’s natural environment. This year  there will be a course offered in Lewiston and one in Belfast.

The deadline for applications has been extended to April 30.

The cost of the comprehensive course is  $300 and includes a starting packet of resources of several books and essential observation equipment. The program offers participants comprehensive instruction and field experience focused on the ecological principles of wetland and upland ecology, identification of Maine’s flora and fauna, geology, and teaching skills.

Upon completion of the course of study from September to June including Wednesday evening classes for 10 months and six full-day Saturday field studies, the certified graduates will commit to 40 hours of volunteer service in their community to teach others about the wonders of the natural world in Maine.

All applicants are invited to visit the website, www.mainemasternaturalist.org, for an application and fully detailed course and schedule descriptions and dates. For Lewiston inquiries, contact Susan Hayward at 782-5238.

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