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Master naturalist program set
Grass is greener...
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This morning was either a winter wonderland or much ado about nothing. I would like to see snow, but we are not the best of drivers on dry roads and ice adds adrenaline to an otherwise pleasantly uneventful commute. Either way, I hope you protected your pipes, pets and plants.
Has this latest cold snap caught you yearning for a warm spring? Would you like to discover the remarkable environmental stewardship efforts being accomplished by federal, state and private business and industry on a daily basis right here in your area? Or are you looking for a good excuse to get out and enjoy the area in the company of an interesting and diverse group of your neighbors?
The Coastal Georgia Master Naturalist Program is back this spring. Each session is an all-day class every Wednesday from April 2- June 4. Each class meets at a different venue in Chatham, Liberty, Effingham and Bulloch counties.
We will start at Mary Kahrs Warnell Education Center with an introduction to ecosystems. Republic Landfill will be the venue for recycling, waste-to-power, birding and habitat creation. Skidaway Institute of Oceanography will be our host for ocean ecosystems, oysters and shellfish, sand sharing, dredging and sea level rise with a trip to Wassaw Island. The Savannah President Street Water Treatment Plant and Industrial & Domestic Water Plant provide tours of water use and environmental stewardship.
We will study marsh, maritime forest and coastal development issues at Melon Bluff and Dunham Farms. Urban impacts will be explored at the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens, including recycling, mosquito control, parks and recreation, animal control and urban forestry. We will explore the challenges to agriculture at Ottawa Farms.
Fort Stewart’s longleaf savanna ecosystem management program, endangered species and invasive species management programs are always a highlight of the course. Georgia Southern University’s Wildlife Center provides an excellent program on wildlife identification and ecology, backyard wildlife, wetland ecology and wildlife rehabilitation.
It is an interesting and educational tour of local environmental issues and the local professionals managing resources we depend upon daily but tend to take for granted, or just never knew existed. The 10-week class costs $200 per person for the first 30 paid applicants and includes the site costs for course activities, Master Naturalist ball cap, shirt and certificate, all training materials and handouts.
If you are interested and have time to devote to the class, you can register through UGA Extension at Glynn County, 325 Old Jesup Road, Suite 110, Brunswick, GA 31520, or email me at, or call at (912) 554-7578.

Gardner lives in Keller and is the UGA extension agent for Glynn County, serving South Bryan.

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