The Virginia Master Naturalist Program is a volunteer training and service program providing education, outreach, and service to benefit natural resources and natural areas in Virginia. Volunteer training includes a minimum of 40 hours of classroom and field time in natural history and natural resource management. To become a Certified Virginia Master Naturalist, each volunteer must complete 40 hours of service in education, citizen science, or land stewardship. The program is sponsored jointly by Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, Virginia Department of Forestry, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, and the Virginia Museum of Natural History, with additional support from the Virginia Tech College of Natural Resources and Environment and the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation. In addition the 29 program chapters across the state work with more than 300 local partners, including schools, nature centers, nonprofits, and local governments. Currently the program has 1,100 active volunteers. Since the program’s inception in 2006, these volunteers have contributed 229,558 hours of service—with a value of $4.9 million—to the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Virginia Master Naturalist Program website.