December 2020 Chapter Meeting Announcements

Highlights from the December Chapter Meeting
The Announcements

View the full set of December announcements here. With so much going on, only announcement highlights were presented at the chapter meeting. More opportunities and contacts, websites, and other details are available here.

A COVID-19 reminder: NTMN face to face activities suspended until further notice. This directive from our AgriLife sponsor is extended at least through December 23rd. Details here.

What About the Awards Banquet?

The meeting where we celebrate the awards and milestones achieved during the year will be scheduled in the first part of 2021 – most likely in February. This will give us a chance to wrap up activity from the entire 2020 year and not cut the tallies off November 15 to meet the deadline of a December meeting.

Highlights of the meeting

To our many guests, thank you for participating this month. We hope everyone felt welcome at NTMN. Kicking the meeting off, Stalin SM treated us to a recap of 2020 in photos. To see it again, please go here. Nancy Wilson presented a video review of 2020’s New Class activities and accomplishments. To see it again, please go here. Ginger Greatens reported on Diversity and Inclusion work, challenging the chapter to join in pursuing our revised mission statements. Thanks to Stalin, Nancy, and Ginger for engaging us.

I provided the annual Chapter Update, reviewing our progress through 2020 and looking ahead to the coming year. Congratulations to all NTMN members on your service to the community through this year’s challenges. Your contributions are remarkable both in the ways you’ve pulled together and in the total time logged thus far. Over 21,400 volunteer hours and over 3,600 advanced training hours! A summary of my report is included here.

NTMN made real progress this year on our goals to enhance outreach efforts, improve financial processes, and build diversity and inclusion plans. Improving member engagement through affinity groups is on our list for next year. The upcoming budget includes special new investments, particularly in outreach and education. We’re focused on virtual meetings and distanced service through the first half of 2021 and eagerly look forward to the time we can meet in person.

Why Being a Master Naturalist Matters

We’re fortunate in having Texas Master Naturalist State Coordinator Michelle Haggerty and Assistant State Coordinator Mary Pearl Meuth wrap up NTMN programs for 2020. In showing us how our work as master naturalists matters, they led us through TMN’s history and key accomplishments. Over its 22 years of developing that “corps of well informed volunteers” the program has trained over 14,000 of us; more than 5,600 are active now. Reviewing statewide demographics showed some increases in younger, working members. It also highlighted the need to focus on diversity and inclusion.

The cumulative value of volunteer contributions has exceeded 120 million dollars. Some results: reaching 6 million people, enhancing 229,000 acres of habitat and developing/improving 2,120 miles of trail. While this is impressive progress, their presentation also stressed the human side of the program – how special naturalists are. And how we’re part of something bigger, in terms of naturalist organizations in 25 states and in shaping a national movement connecting people to nature (more about the Alliance of Natural Resource Outreach and Service Programs here). In closing Michelle and Mary Pearl gave us a glimpse into the coming year. Lots to look forward to; dates below.

Summarizing Quote: “He instilled in me the mind and values of a naturalist: to be open to all possibilities, to be a close and careful observer, to discipline my interpretation with facts, and to work hard at my passions so that they might bear fruit.” – Bernd Heinrich

Thank you, Michelle and Mary Pearl for underscoring the importance of Texas Master Naturalists and how we make a difference!

To see their presentation, please click here.

Key takeaways: Save the dates in 2021!

  • Virtual Volunteer Fair – February 3-4
  • TMN Tuesdays – Lunchtime on 2nd Tuesdays (except October), February: Doug Tallamy. Please share your ideas on topics with Michelle mmhaggerty@tamu.org and Mary Pearl mpmeuth@tamu.org
  • Annual Meeting – October 21-24 in Irving

Thank you, NTMN for all you’ve done for our communities this year.

Wishing you all the happiest of holidays and the very best in 2021!

Scott Hudson
President
North Texas Master Naturalist

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