PA Master Naturalist Early Bird Registration Open Till May 15!

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Please join us for a Q & A session for on Saturday, May 9, 2020 at 11:00 A.M. via Zoom at

Dear Applicants,


Pennsylvania Master Naturalist is working hard to keep our communities, employees, volunteers, and program participants safe to help reduce the risk and spread of COVID-19.  We are currently enrolling participants for the fall program scheduled to begin in August 2020.


Below are key objectives we are addressing to ensure the safety of program participants:


  1. Maximum class size will be 15 participants
  2. Classroom will be set-up to have at least 6 feet between program participants
  3. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), e.g. face masks, will be required if recommended by the PA Department of Health.


What is the Pennsylvania Master Naturalist Program?
Pennsylvania Master Naturalist is a 501(c)(s) non-profit organization whose mission is to develop a corps of knowledgeable volunteers dedicated to protecting our natural heritage.  Our volunteers undergo rigorous training in natural history and nature conservation, specific to their region, before becoming certified.  There are three components to our certification program:

  • 50 hour training course
  • Advanced training/ continuing education
  • Volunteer service

Why Should I Apply?
There are all kinds of reasons but here are just a few:

  • To learn from local experts in their field about the birds, plants, insects, geology etc. of your area
  • To make a positive impact in your community by helping protect its beauty and biological diversity
  • To meet like-minded people and join a growing network of fellow nature enthusiasts who have been inspired into action


Where and when will the classes take place?
The majority of classes will be held at the Outdoor Discovery Center, 142 Kerr Road, Ford City, PA 16226.  Classes are on Wednesday evenings from 6.30-8.30pm, August 12 to October 28.  There are four Saturday field trips during the 12 week course.  Insert link to schedule?


Do I have to live in Armstrong County to apply?

No, although we prefer candidates to live within a 30 mile radius of the training site.


How much does the program cost?
The early bird discount price is $325.  Applications received by midnight on Friday May 15 will be subject to this price.  The fee for applications after this date is $400.  This fee is one-time only and covers the 12 week instruction as well as course textbook.  Small (partial) scholarships may be available.  Please contact the Program Coordinator for further details.


In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, is there a risk the class will be canceled?

As long as there is sufficient interest, we will run the class this fall.  We will be ready to switch to an online training format wherever and whenever it is determined the best and safest option for our trainees and local communities.  We will look to the recommendations of the PA Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in making our decision.  This may not come until closer to the start of the fall training courses.


How do I apply?
Applications are made online.  Follow the links on the ACCL web page to begin an application.  You do not have to complete it all in one sitting.


When should I apply?

Apply by midnight on Friday May 15 to avail of early bird pricing, or by June 5 at the latest to be considered for training this fall.


When will I find out if I am accepted onto the program?

Applicants will be contacted early in June for information on next steps.


Where can I find out more?
Follow the links (on this page?) to the Pennsylvania Master Naturalist website.   Watch this space for information on an upcoming virtual information session!


Who should I contact if I have further questions?

If you have further questions, please direct them to Maeve Rafferty, Program Coordinator (southwest), [email protected], 412 660 7581.



For updated fall course details, you can find by going to our website and searching under Become a Master Naturalist and “training courses” (


We know this may be a stressful time for you and your families. We look forward to serving you and continuing to update you on fall courses and our work moving forward.


Thank you for your understanding and patience. Please stay safe.

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Armstrong Center for Community Learning

Armstrong Center for Community Learning