Volunteer Service Guidelines
In order to attain certification, a Texas Master Naturalist trainee must complete a minimum of 40 volunteer service hours (and 8 hours of advanced training) within one year of the completion date of the initial training series. In order to retain the title of Texas Master Naturalist, a volunteer must complete another 40 volunteer service hours (and 8 hours advance training) in each subsequent year.

The state charter states that Volunteer Service projects must be pre-approved, ideally by a local chapter committee. The pre-approval of volunteer service projects is important to:

· Ensure that volunteers are covered by the program insurance available
· Provide a list of service projects for volunteers in the chapter
· Ensure the goals of the organization and the partners are met
· Avoid Assumptions

Current approved projects can be found on the web page and in the newsletter, and are announced at general meetings. Travel time to and from volunteer projects can be included in volunteer hours.

Criteria for Approved Volunteer Projects

All programs and projects presented by Chapter Sponsors and Partners are automatically approved if they meet the basic volunteer criteria.

Volunteer work must be of a type that furthers the TMN mission statement: “To provide education, outreach, and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within our communities.”

Volunteer hours can be credited for both RBMN and another organization such as Acton Nature Center, Fossil Rim, or Texas Parks and Wildlife. However, if the volunteer is a member of Master Naturalists and a Master Gardener chapter, the hours cannot be double credited. They can be split between the two organizations, or all hours given to RBMN.

Members are encouraged to design their own volunteer projects and to submit those to the Volunteer Service Committee in writing for approval as a volunteer activity. Members are also encouraged to identify projects within their own communities that are potential volunteer activities and to notify the Committee for approval 

Forms and instructions for submitting volunteer projects to the Volunteer Service Committee can be found on the web page. Link to Project Form

Examples of Unacceptable/Better/Best Volunteer Projects
Unacceptable Better Best
Manning the front desk or doing paperwork for one of our partners Helping build nature trails for one of our partners Leading an educational nature trail walk for the public at one of our partner’s facilities
Conducting wildlife activities on your private land Conducting wildlife activities on public land for an approved project Teaching landowners to develop their own wildlife management plans to carry out on their private land
Teaching natural resource activities in your own classroom Teaching natural resource activities unpaid after school as Environmental Club leader. Teaching natural resource activities workshop for general public as unpaid volunteer.
Planting exotic plants at a local school Planting native plants or a Wildscape at a local school Leading 5th graders and staff in implementing a native plant garden/Wildscape at a local school