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Get Started

To begin your journey, follow these six steps:


Contact us at and let us know that you're interested! We'll be glad to chat about the opportunity and answer any questions you may have.  We offer several information sessions throughout the year to share more information about our Chapter. Before you can receive the online application link, you must first attend an information meeting. When available, these will be listed on our event calendar.


Complete the online application, the link will be available before the start of the training course. After this application has been received, we'll schedule an interview to get to know you better. 


Attend the in person interview after your application has been received.

We collect a $200 one-time Basic Training Course and Membership Fee at the interview.  After meeting with you we will review your application and contact your references.  We'll be in touch to notify you when this step is complete and whether your application has been approved. There are no other dues in our chapter.


Following your acceptance, Take a 40-hour basic training course offered by the Merrimac Farm chapter. The times the course is offered and the cost of the course will vary from year to year.


Complete 40 hours of volunteer service in citizen science, stewardship, environmental education, or chapter administration within one year during and following your basic training course.  Some pre-approved volunteer work is available while you are a trainee.


Complete 8 hours of continuing education in an area of your choosing within one year following completion of your basic training course.


After these steps are fulfilled you are officially a Certified Virginia Master Naturalist!

Following initial certification, volunteers maintain their certification by completing 40 hours of volunteer service and 8 hours of continuing education each year.  See our projects page for some of the volunteer opportunities that are available.

Virginia Master Naturalist programs are open to all adults, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, military status, or any other basis protected by law.  If you are 14 to 17 years old, you may participate provided that you: 1) apply and enroll in the program using the application and enrollment procedure established by the chapter, and 2) be accompanied at trainings, field trips, and volunteer service events by a parent or other adult who is directly responsible for you.  


If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact us at

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