Catawba Master Naturalist Program
Sponsor: Anne Springs Close Greenway
Location: Ft. Mill, SC
Dates: TBD - usually March thru May
Time: TBD - 6 hours per class
Join us for 12 fun weeks exploring the world around you through observation and hands-on, interactive learning in Fort Mill, SC and surrounding areas. Based on the Anne Springs Close Greenway, the Catawba Master Naturalist Program is offered on Wednesdays in the spring (March - May) for a full day. The goal of the course is for the participant to develop a reasonable understanding of environmental and ecological concepts, which they can then apply toward developing community relationships through volunteering and environmental stewardship. Participants will learn identification skills and ecological concepts and will explore local, national, and cultural historical points of interest. The program will also demonstrate how this knowledge can be applied to ensure that human impact on the Earth is sustainable. The only prerequisite for this course is curiosity and a desire to learn about the natural world. No prior knowledge is required. The course includes field trips to locations around the Piedmont area in addition to the 2,100 acres of preserved land on the Anne Springs Close Greenway. Field trips will include Forty Acre Rock, Landsford Canal State Park, Museum of York County, Kings Mountain Military and Congaree National Parks. Classes will be taught by knowledgeable instructors within their specific field of expertise.
Through the established connections, you will develop the skills necessary to become a lifelong student of nature and an environmental steward. The experiences and training you receive throughout this program will assist you in your own volunteer adventures within your community. Participants completing the course and 30 hours of approved volunteer service on the Anne Springs Close Greenway (or other approved sites) will receive Master Naturalist certification, making them eligible to join a local Master Naturalist alumni chapter and participate in advanced training courses.
PLEASE NOTE: The Catawba Master Naturalist Program is a classroom and field-based program. As such, access to some sites visited by the class requires hiking on trails of moderate difficulty. Participants must be in good physical condition and able to hike 1-2 miles, without difficulty or assistance, over terrain with steep sections, where footing will be uneven, with frequent tree roots, rocks, muddy areas and fallen tree trunks to climb or step over. Sturdy walking shoes or hiking boots are required. In addition, some sites do not have restroom facilities requiring use of the woods.
Opened in 1995, the Anne Springs Close Greenway is a 2,100-acre natural preserve that offers countless activities from hiking and biking and horseback riding to picnics and kayaking and more, while maintaining a natural habitat for wildlife. Its mission is to provide stewardship and protect the cultural, ecological and scenic features of the land, while also offering recreational and educational opportunities that promote the health and wellness of the community. The Greenway is a 501(c)3 not for profit and receives no tax money to build, maintain and operate trails and facilities. It is funded in part by the generous donations from individuals and corporations.