by Carolyn Henderson
Linda Jo Conn received special recognition Saturday night at the annual meeting of Texas Master Naturalists in Dallas/Ft Worth. She has reached a milestone of 4,000 service hours. She was in very tight company. Only one other statewide member qualified.
The award included a dragonfly pin of brushed gold with a ruby in the center and a special pin and certificate from the office of the President of the United States.
In other categories, Eric Neubauer received recognition for reaching 250 service hours. All who received initial certification from the class of 2020 were also recognized (there were many statewide).
Larry Kocian was recognized for “109!” hours of service in the Texas Water Specialist program with TPWD. Kocian and Sandra Dworaczyk were both given recertification this year.
I attended a 3-hour session on this program, and it looks particularly interesting. If we can get a group of three interested, they can take the class and gain certification. I have a connection to it if anyone is interested. If you’d like to find out more information, contact Melissa Felty, conservation education manager for TPWD, at Conservation Edu@tpwd.gov or go to the web site. The class counts as advanced training hours (8) and the service, which can be education, water testing, CoCoRaHs precipitation measuring, and other things, count as service hours for Texas Master Naturalist.
The meeting had some very educational sessions. I went from water conservation, to wildscaping in the shade, to Chronic Wasting Disease, to iNaturalist advanced training, to Tarantula sex with live tarantulas in one day. That last one was particularly amusing to me, Eric, and the rest of the packed class. A few members gave play-by-play commentary. My favorite occurred on Saturday. It was an excellent program given by a fellow iNaturalist from the Blackland Prairie chapter on identifying trees. I now have a brochure to carry with me.
The meeting was educational, entertaining, and a great place to meet other TMNs. I came away with some good ideas for our chapter.
Oh, and by the way, the new TMN pin for recertification in 2022 is the Lightning Whelk.