Northern Neck

Master Naturalists


“The Virginia Master Naturalist Program” is a statewide corps of volunteers.  Virginia Master Naturalists are volunteer environmental educators, citizen scientists, and stewards helping Virginia conserve and manage natural resources and public lands.

This is a Community-Based Natural Resources Volunteer Program. The Northern Neck Chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalist volunteer work is focused on the lands and waters of the Northern Neck and the counties of the Middle Peninsula along the Rappahannock River and the Chesapeake Bay.

Interested Virginians become Master Naturalists through training and volunteer service. A year following completion of your basic training course, you must complete 40 hours of volunteer service and 8 hours of continuing education to become a Certified Virginia Master Naturalist.  You can complete your service in four key areas: citizen science, stewardship, environmental education, and chapter administration.  Following your initial certification, you can become recertified every year by completing 40 additional hours of service and participating in 8 hours of continuing education.

Virginia Master Naturalist Service: What You’ll Do

  1. Citizen Science:

    Bird, butterfly, frog and toad counts. Wildlife and native plant mapping and surveys. Camera trapping. Stream and beach monitoring. Citizen scientists all over the country follow consistent protocols to collect data that supply scientists and policy-makers with the information they need to make informed management and policy decisions.  These data describe the lives, habits, and responsiveness to change of plant and animal species or communities.

  1. Stewardship:

  2. Plant trees. Protect streams. Protect our rivers and the bay. Restore and maintain wildlife habitat, improving water quality. Build park trails and maintain them. Stewardship brings volunteers outside, gets them dirty, and shows them tangible results of their work.

  1. Environmental Education:

    If you enjoy teaching, public speaking, or working with youth, you may participate in education-related service projects, such as leading programs in a nearby state park or natural area preserve.

To learn about becoming a Master Naturalist in the Northern Neck Chapter, go to the Basic Training page on this site.

The Northern Neck Master Naturalist chapter was established to support a centuries long tradition of appreciation and utilization of the natural resources of the Northern Neck of Virginia. The mission of the Northern Neck Master Naturalist Chapter is to provide leadership, knowledge, volunteers and assistance to the professionals who serve as stewards of our natural heritage. 

For more information, email the Northern Neck Master Naturlist chapter at

To see what the Northern Neck Chapter accomplished in 2016, please see
the image right, below or click on northern neck infographic 2016.pdf .


Northern Neck Chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalists

Ornithology Class,  Master Naturalist Field Trip Westmoreland State Park, 2010. Photo by Bonnie Wilson

The Northern Neck Chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalists will offer basic training to become a Master Naturalist in 2017. For more information, please click here.