This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Virginia Master Naturalist program. In the decade since the national program started in the commonwealth, the organization has trained several thousand Master Naturalists, who have contributed 526,583 hours of volunteer service — the equivalent of well over 250 years of full-time employment. Its initial 10 chapters have grown to 30, with each making a significant positive impact on Virginia’s natural resources.
Virginia Master Naturalist volunteers provide education, outreach, and service to support Virginia’s natural resources and public lands. Their time is calculated to be worth nearly $12.4 million to date.
“About 3,500 Master Naturalists have been trained since the program began in Virginia,” said Program Coordinator Alycia Crall. “Many of them are still active volunteers, donating at least 40 hours of work each year.”