The Williamson County 4-H program is administered through the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.
Weekly Zoom meetings for the program will be presented on Thursdays at 7 p.m. starting Sept. 10. Additional details can be found on the chapter website.
Participants must be able to access Google Classroom, join live Zoom sessions, and set up and access an iNaturalist account.
Registration fee and how to register
The program registration fee is $51, which includes $25 for Junior Master Naturalist, JMN, registration, $25 for 4-H membership and $1 for iNaturalist youth set-up.
The $25 JMN registration fee may be paid through PayPal or a mailed check during registration. Registration is not complete until this fee is paid. Additional information on the 4-H fee and setting up an iNaturalist account will be sent in September.
Program instruction and activities
“Youth in third through fifth grade, including previous Junior Master Gardener program participants, are invited to explore the nature spaces around us with the Junior Master Naturalist program Wild About Wild Things,” Melton said. “Participants will learn to be citizen scientists capturing their observations in iNaturalist and sharing with their friends.”
Melton said videos and materials created and curated by Master Naturalists will provide in-depth learning about the wildlife of Central Texas. Weekly virtual meetings will provide the opportunity for youth participants to share their observations and see how they integrate with the observations of others to develop an understanding of our local natural spaces.
“All fall activities will be virtual, but we hope the Junior Master Naturalists will have opportunities to observe and explore together during spring field trips,” she said. “Spring field trips will be dependent upon what the COVID-19 active cases are at the time and no fall field trips will take place. Also, to protect families and volunteers, there will not be an in-person classroom component to the program this year.”
This year’s program begins with Creeping and Crawling Creatures, which will explore the variety of animal phyla. Observations and sharing will continue through the fall with moths, animal habitats and homes, and mammals. The program during spring will focus on birds and finish with pollinators, amphibians and reptiles.
“Each participant will maintain an iNaturalist observation log of all the wild things they find and will add to our group project showing the variety of wild things in our natural greenspaces,” Melton said.
She said in-person field trips will also be tentative and subject to local, state and national restrictions as well as Williamson County 4-H and Good Water Master Naturalist policies.