The Central Virginia Master Naturalist Chapter has 21 members. These are graduates from the 40 hour curriculum presented in 2008. The Master Naturalist Program is a statewide program focused on the natural sciences and the environment. The president of the local chapter is Ginny Newton whose email is and the head of planning for the course is David Sellers whose email is The chapter was formed with the support of several local non profit partners including The Rockfish Valley Foundation as initiating partner. Others included The Wintergreen Nature Foundation, The Wildlife Center of Virgina, Friends of Rockfish Watershed, Nature Camp, USDOF Blue Ridge Parkway and Sherando Lake.

Information on the Spring Course is below:

The Central Blue Ridge Virginia Master Naturalist Spring Training Program 2009 – The next training session will be held on Saturdays on eight weekends from March through May, including a full weekend at Nature Camp. There is a $125 fee to cover course materials and chapter organization costs. Applications available at the Virginia Master Naturalist website or from the Nelson County Cooperative Extension office in Lovingston. Application deadline is February 16, 2009.
For more information, contact Michael Lachance at 434.263.4035 or email


The Virginia Master Naturalist Program is a statewide corps of volunteers providing education, outreach, and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within their communities. Interested Virginians become Master Naturalists through training and volunteer service.

The process for becoming a certified Virginia Master Naturalist typically takes 6 to 12 months. One starts by completing a 40-hour basic training course offered by a local chapter of the program. An additional 8 hours of advanced training are also required. An important part of the certification process is the required 40 hours of volunteer service.

Chapters are in development across Virginia. In an area where there is no existing chapter, several interested people and an advisor from a sponsoring agency can start their own.

The Virginia Master Naturalist Program is jointly sponsored by

It is based in the Department of Forestry within the College of Natural Resources at Virginia Tech.