The Diamond Lakes Chapter of the Arkansas Master Naturalists recognized members achieving the status of Certified Master Naturalist at its January meeting.
According to a news release, members awarded a first-year pin were Dwight Bailey, Alex Barnard, Aaron Boswell, August Gant, Margo Bushmiaer, Kai Coggin, Share Daves, Mary Harrison, Gin Hartnett, Jennifer Kay, Jan Kerr, Karen Malone, Belinda McAda, Vicki Philipp, Randy Rowland, David Schou, Hilde Simmons and Anne Zipkes.
Those awarded a second-year pin were Ralph Butler, Linda Fleming, Kym Gallagher, Karen Hicks and Marty Lynch.
A third-year pin was awarded to Jenny Gerard. Fourth-year pins were awarded to Bob Pierce, Jerry Simmons, Loretta West, Mary Wilson and Shari Hall. Fifth-year pins were awarded to Jeri Beliveau, Bill Randel and Terry Thomason. Sixth-year pins were awarded to Alan Atkins, Laurie Hartshorn and Warren Hartshorn. Seven-year pins were awarded to Joann Saraydarian, Shena Ball and Shane Scott. An eighth-year pin was awarded to Dan P. Smith. Nine-year pins were awarded to Mike Curran, Belinda Jonak and John Simpson.
A 10-year pin was awarded to Jim Baggenstoss.
Arkansas Master Naturalists is a nonprofit organization focused on helping connect Arkansans to nature through education and volunteer opportunities. There are several chapters across the state, the release said.
Achieving the status of Certified Master Naturalist means a member has performed a minimum of 40 hours of volunteer work and completed at least eight hours of continuing education during 2022.
Diamond Lakes Arkansas Master Naturalists contributed 3,090 volunteer hours and completed 1,018 continuing education hours for 2022, the release said.
A total of 43 members achieved the status of Certified Arkansas Master Naturalist and received pins to represent the number of years they have been certified.
The Diamond Lakes Arkansas Master Naturalist chapter is centered in Hot Springs and was organized in 2014. The chapter has over 80 members who volunteer their time maintaining the Butterfly Garden located on the Hot Springs Creek Greenway Trail, working at the Middle Fork Barrens and Terre Noire nature areas, monitoring water quality as Stream Team volunteers, providing educational hikes, conducting educational classes for children and adults, and monitoring and maintaining the eastern 7 miles of the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail, the release said.
The 2023 training classes are scheduled throughout the year and new members are being accepted. Most classes will include live classroom instruction with field trips afterward so participants can experience firsthand topics covered in the classroom.
Classes will include trail building and maintenance, tree identification, eco regions of Arkansas, pollinators, wild edibles, mushrooms, bird identification, aquatic critters, StreamTeam, insects, frogs, mammals, Hot Springs National Park geology, and bats.
One of the first classes of the year will be taught by Leslie Cooper, Arkansas monarch and pollinator coordinator at Quail Forever on Saturday, Jan. 28. She will present a class titled "Grow Native: Supporting Monarchs & Other Native Pollinators." Those interested in joining and attending classes can visit the AMN website at http://www.arkansasmasternaturalists.org and click on "How do I Join?" Membership applications are available online. For more information, email Dan Smith at [email protected]