Contact us Monday through Friday 8:00am CST to 4:00pm CST at 715-327-4402

Become a Master Naturalist Volunteer for Northwest Passage today!

We are offering a unique volunteer opportunity at our Prairieview campus for

Wisconsin Master Naturalist Volunteer Training Course this spring. The course will focus on nature as a therapeutic tool for youth and will be an asset for the community. The subject areas included in the Master Naturalist training include geology, ecology, plant communities, wildlife, interpretation, water, and human impacts. The course will provide participants with a foundation in these subject areas. Unique to Northwest Passage’s course, lessons and workshops will include best practices and methods for working with youth with mental health and behavioral challenges.

A Master Naturalist instruction manual will be provided and used as a guiding resource for the course. Guest speakers will include regional scientists, professors, and natural history experts as well as members of Northwest Passage’s Clinical Team and Educational Staff. This specific course will appeal to enthusiastic educators with a passion not only for the nature of Wisconsin, but also with a desire to engage marginalized youth in the outdoors.

Project lead, Ian Karl says that “this is a great opportunity for anyone looking to improve their knowledge of our regional landscape and ecology or work with youth in their communities.” He goes on to say he hopes to see a wide array of community members – “we welcome anyone from educators and professionals in the field of mental health to anyone with a passion for connecting people with Wisconsin’s rich landscape”

When asked why Northwest Passage, a non-profit residential mental health program for youth, would invest in an opportunity like this in the community he smiled. “We know, and research supports, that spending time in nature is a key part of maintaining mental health. We want to help equip as many people as possible with the tools they need to be the connection for others to the woods, wildlife, and water in our little corner of the world. If one kid finds a mentor in a Master Naturalist Volunteer, then it’s worth it.”

The Wisconsin Master Naturalist Program is a network of well-informed citizens dedicated to conservation education and service within Wisconsin communities. The Master Naturalist Volunteer Training Course provides 40 hours of coursework in natural history, interpretation, and conservation stewardship. Courses combine classroom instruction with field experiences and are taught by professional natural resources educators and scientists.

Once trained, Wisconsin Master Naturalist Volunteers provide 40 hours of service, preferably with Northwest Passage at its prairie restoration site, and take 8 hours of advanced training each year to maintain their certification and receive a recognition pin. The course fee is $250 and includes all class materials and a one-year membership with the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin. Scholarships are available on a needs basis. If you’re interested in learning more about the scholarship, you can reach out to our development director, Chanda Elliott to apply. The courses will be held at Northwest Passage’s In a New Light Gallery and through a series of field trips. The gallery is located at: 7417 N Bass Lake Rd, Webster, WI 54893. The course will run every other weekend beginning on April 7, 2018 and will end on May 20, 2018.

Saturday, April 7: 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 8: 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 21: 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (Field Trip)
Saturday, May 5: 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (Field Trip)
Saturday, May 19: 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 20: 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

For more information about Northwest Passage call 715-327-4402 or visit us at


Prairieview-2016-Prairie-Study-03.jpg (attached) – Ian takes students out to the prairie to investigate their surroundings.
WMN_logo_color_med.png – Become a volunteer at Northwest Passage to help us with our prairie restoration stewardship project.


Since 1978, Northwest Passage’s mission has been to restore hope through innovative health services for children and families.

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