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Virginia Master Naturalists offer training classes

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virginia master naturalists

Field trips to the Great Dismal Swamp, Piney Grove Preserve and the Blackwater Ecological Preserve will be included in the next session of basic training to become a Virginia Master Naturalist. Submitted | Sallie Gillman

The Historic Southside Chapter of the local Virginia Master Naturalists program will begin its annual Basic Training on Tuesday, Jan. 28. Classes will be in the VA Cooperative Extension Office at the IOW Court House.

The eight-week course includes 27 hours of classroom instruction. There will be information on ecology, birds, mammals, insects, fish, reptiles, plants, wetlands, forestry, weather and geology. In addition, there are 13 hours of field trips (Saturdays Only). The field trips include:

• The Great Dismal Swamp

• Chippokes Plantation – geology and birding

• Piney Grove Preserve – home of the longleaf pine

• Endangered Cockaded Woodpecker;

• A tour of the Blackwater Ecological Preserve

The course fee is $125/person or $190/couple (parent/child, spouses). Youth ages 14 to 17 must be accompanied by an adult for all classes and field trips.

For more information and an application form, visit www.vmn.historicsouthside.org or call the Virginia Cooperative extension Office at 365-6261. All registrations are due by Tuesday, Jan. 21.