Excited and curious about the natural world? Enjoy being outside? Want to play an ACTIVE role in the management and conservation of Virginia’s natural resources? If so…the Virginia Master Naturalist program is for you!

As members of a community-based natural resources program, Virginia Master Naturalists are volunteer educators, citizen scientists, and stewards helping Virginians conserve and manage natural resources and public lands.

Ways you can help:

  • Education – Teach adults and youth about nature!
  • Citizen Science – Collect data on wildlife and plant populations, water quality, and more!
  • Stewardship – Restore wildlife habitat, clean up a local stream, or build a trail!

Interested Virginians become Master Naturalists through training and volunteer service. Click here to learn more.

The Middle Peninsula Chapter of Virginia Master Naturalists will be conducting a Basic Training Course for new members starting the beginning of 2022. Classes will run from February through May. Classroom instruction will be virtual and in-person outdoor field training will also be included.

The application process is now open and will close on October 8, 2021. The process consists of three steps: 

  1. Complete the online application. Click here to access application.
  2. Download the Course Agreement for Applicants Feb 2022. This form will familiarize you with the course and its requirements. If you agree to the terms of the course, please “sign” the agreement by typing your name at the bottom and send it to midpennat@gmail.com
  3. Submission of your $175 course fee. The $175 will be refunded to you should you not be accepted into the course or you are accepted and decide to drop out prior to the third online class. If you are unwilling to sign the Course Agreement do not send in your course fee. Your check should be made out to Middle Peninsula Master Naturalists and be sent to Middle Peninsula Chapter – Virginia Master Naturalists, P.O. Box 1614, Gloucester, VA 23061-1614.

We will begin checking your references and will contact you about scheduling your online interview in the coming weeks after we receive your course agreement.  We are looking forward to working with you through the application process and your eventual enrollment in our Basic Training Course. 

For more information, email Middle Peninsula Master Naturalists on our Contact page. 

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2021 Cohort 2 Basic Training Course: Trainees learn about Water Quality Testing during the Shoreline Restoration and Coastal Ecology field trip to Ware River Yacht Club.


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Middle Peninsula Master Naturalist members from Cohorts 0, 1, and 2 enjoy a paddle on Dragon Run for a hands-on lesson about its unique ecosystem. From left, Jack Kauffman, Carol Kauffman, Doug Dwoyer, Bob Diaz, and Susan Crockett.

Upcoming event:

Inaugural Middle Peninsula Butterfly Count

The Middle Peninsula Master Naturalist Chapter will be sponsoring a North American Butterfly Association (NABA) butterfly count on Saturday, August 28. The NABA Butterfly Count Program has been held annually since 1975, but this will be the first count to be held on the Middle Peninsula including parts of Gloucester, Mathews, Middlesex, and King and Queen counties. This year there are 424 butterfly counts organized throughout Canada and the United States during the spring, summer, and fall. Thirty-five volunteers from the Middle Peninsula Master Naturalist and Northern Neck Master Naturalist Chapters will conduct a one-day census of all butterflies observed within a 15-mile diameter circle. The data collected will contribute to the nationwide NABA program that conducts long-term scientific monitoring of butterfly populations and geographical distribution. Susan Crockett of Gloucester, has organized the local count and will serve as the compiler of the data collected in the four-county area. For more information, visit www.naba.org.

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“Black Swallowtail” Photo by Carol Kauffman, Middle Peninsula Master Naturalist.

The program is open to all adults regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.