Northland Arboretum in Baxter is hosting a Minnesota Master Naturalist volunteer training beginning Aug. 18.

Master Naturalist volunteers study natural history, environmental interpretation and conservation stewardship in a 40-hour hands-on course with final certification after 40 hours of volunteer service, according to a University of Minnesota news release. The program offers courses corresponding to Minnesota’s three major ecosystems: Big Woods, Big Rivers, Prairies and Potholes and North Woods, Great Lakes.

The Northland Arboretum course will cover the natural and cultural history of the Big Woods, Big Rivers region with an in-depth overview of the deciduous forest ecosystem, according to the release. Participants will observe and learn about the variety of plant and animal communities of the region as well as work on a group project.

The classes will be held on Tuesdays from Aug. 18 to Oct. 20 from 6-8:30 p.m. with 2 full day field trips on Saturday, Sept. 26 and Oct. 10.

This course will be held in accordance with the University of Minnesota Extension social distancing and safety practices, according to the release. Should it be necessary to suspend this in-person course instructors are prepared to continue the course online. Instructions and training will be provided using web-based technology at that time. Please be prepared for either option.

For more information and to register, go to For website assistance, call Julie Larson at 320-589-1711 ext. 2120 or 1-888-241-4532, or e-mail