Northern Neck Master Naturalists
Trained & Certified Virgina Master Naturalists


About Northern Neck
Master Naturalists

Chief Ranger Katie Shepard receiving her
Certified VA Master Naturalist Certificate

Photo by Jeff Wright 

The Virginia Master Naturalists

The Virginia Master Naturalists

Parramore Island NAP during the 2017 Field Trip taken by Nature Conservancy Staff

“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

Virginia Master Naturalist Service: What You’ll Do

Parramore Island NAP during the 2017 Field Trip taken by Kyle Langford

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.

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.

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.

Becoming a Virginia Master Naturalist in the Northern Neck Chapter

Becoming a Virginia Master Naturalist in the Northern Neck Chapter

Stratford Hall beach during 2017 Basic Training by Kyle Langford

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