VALPARAISO — Registration is now open for Taltree Arboretum & Gardens’ Indiana Master Naturalist class.

This 10-week, hands-on course provides an opportunity for anyone with a love of nature to expand their knowledge of plants, wildlife and our state’s natural resources while earning certification as an Indiana Master Naturalist.

The class provides an introduction to Hoosier natural resources through sessions led by local professionals as well as Taltree staff members.

Among those leading the classes are Indiana University Northwest Department of Biology Chairman Dr. Spencer Cortwright, Indiana Dunes State Park Naturalist Brad Bumgardner, Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission Senior Water Resources Planner Joe Exl, The Nature Conservancy Restoration Coordinator John Henry Drake and Taltree Arborist Craig Gress.

Subject matters include prairies, trees, amphibians, wildlife, water, geology, birds, macroinvertebrates, people and natural resources.

Students are required to attend 80 percent of the classes to be eligible for Indiana Master Naturalist certification.

Participants are required to perform 30 hours of volunteer service for a natural resource agency or organization in order to obtain certification through the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

The classes take place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays, from Aug. 18 to Oct. 27 in the Taltree Arboretum & Gardens’ Classroom, 71 N. County Road 500 West. Participants must be 18 or older.

The cost of the class is $100. Payment and registration must be received by Thursday to ensure a spot in the class. Space is limited.

Registration forms and payment are available online at

Call (219) 742-8147.

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