Get Started!

Recruitment for our 2022 training class held August 2022-January 2023 has ended, please contact us for more information and to be added to a notification list for future training opportunities.

Tentative 2022-2023 Training Schedule available here

To begin your journey, follow these simple steps:

STEP 1:  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 through the year to share more information about our Chapter.  You must attend one info session before your interview.


 See the document below for some info about our upcoming class. 





* STEP 2:  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.  Download this guide by clicking this link for more information on how to complete the online application through our volunteer system, Better Impact.

STEP 3:  Attend the interview after your application has been received, (virtually or in person).

$200 Basic Training Course and Membership Fee will be collected after 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.  Following your acceptance:

STEP 4:  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.

STEP 5:  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.

STEP 6:  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

Virginia Master Naturalist Fall Course Information