Bee on milkweedThe Banshee Reeks Chapter is part of the Virginia Master Naturalist Program. This program supports a statewide corps of volunteers providing education, outreach, and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within our communities. We offer an eight-month training course for community members interested in certification as a Virginia Master Naturalist. The course covers topics in biogeography, botany, ecology, ornithology, management and conservation of ecological systems such as wetlands, forest and urban/suburban settings, as well as teaching and interpretive skills in citizen science.

Our chapter is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Northern Virginia, in Loudoun County. The Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve provides use of its Education Center for our training course, as well as 725 acres of forests, successional fields, ponds and streams in which to conduct field studies, continuing education classes, and volunteer service projects. The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries is our advising state sponsor.

State requirements for certification as a Virginia Master Naturalist include a minimum 40-hour basic training course, 8 hours continuing education, and 40 hours of volunteer service. The Banshee Reeks Chapter has designed a course that is approximately 72 hours of training: 42 in class lectures; 30 hours in the field.

The next scheduled training course for the Banshee Reeks Chapter will begin in September 2014.