Welcome to the Rio Brazos Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalist

The Texas Master Naturalist program develops local teams of "master volunteers" to provide educational and outreach services aimed at the better management of natural resources and natural areas within their communities. The Texas Master Naturalist program is a partnership between the Texas AgriLife Extension, Texas Parks & Wildlife, and other local partners. There are a number of Texas Master Naturalist Chapters - including the Rio Brazos Chapter.

How to become a Texas Master Naturalist

 December Rio Brazos Chapter Meeting is at Cleburne State Park   
December 7th at 6:00 PM

Members bring a dish for potluck dinner. Visitors are encouraged to attend and have dinner on us!

This month is our end of year awards presentation for member achievments.

Johnson County:
Cleburne State Park
Dining Hall Located 2/10’s of a mile past Cedar Lodge, on the right.
Park is located between Cleburne and Glen Rose
Six miles off Hwy 67 – exit Park Road 21
Park Map
Google Map (satellite)
Google Map (standard map)

On the Horizon: Upcoming events and items of note

Potential New Projects (contact Maryann Mathews):
- City of Cleburne Botanical Garden (Amanda Zumwalt or Henry
- Meridian State Park (contact Tessa Chenoa Ownbey)

Acton Nature Center Bird Walks: 1st Saturday of each month at dawn (contact Dr. Billy Teels)

Numerous public and 'chapter only' field trips are being planned throughout the next year, check back here (on the Events Calendar) and the ANC website for updates.

Cleburne State Park (contact Cathy Crocker):
- Monthly events include hikes and work days
- Friends of Cleburne State Park

Camp El Tesoro (contact Andrea Roiz)

Comanche Peak (contact Maryann Mathews)
- Lots of volunteer opportunities at this link

- Work day (spruce up for NAD)  9/23/17 8 AM - 11 AM
Unimin (contact Alan Sarver)
- Lots of volunteer opportunities

Monarch Larva Monitoring Project (contact Sara Paulsen)

Prarie Oaks Master Naturalist chapter has lots of volunteer opportunities
- Contact Seth Hamby at this email address: link

Young Birders Group of Greater Hood County (contact Jake Balmuth)
- General Information flyer:
- Sparrow Identification Class 11/18/17  9:30 AM – 11:00 AM ( flyer link )

Rio Brazos members doing what they do best,...
Getting outside and helping others find wonder in nature.

Some sample photos from various chapter field trips, events and
training classes in 2017.

Acton Nature Center Homeschool Class Schedule
Fall 2017 / Spring 2018

see flyer at this link

Come join us for our 6th annual star party at ANC!

We will have a guest speaker at the twilight program under the pavilion adjacent to the
parking lot starting at 7:30 pm followed by a short walk down the path to the farmhouse
where we will have telescopes with guides.

November 25, 2017 from 7:30 to 10:30 pm
Flyer at this link

Young Birders
of Greater Hood County

When: Saturday September 23rd 8 – 10 am 
Where: Acton Nature Center, 6900 Smoky Hill Court, Acton TX

Contact Jake Balmuth for more details, see flyer at this link

Acton Nature Center bird blind

On February 22, 2014 we broke ground on the project. During the upcoming Feather Fest, we will have the Grand Opening. Not too shabby considering we do this in our spare time! It's been a great learning opportunity for the chapter, a lot of fun to be part of and will be a valuable asset for ANC into the future. Many thanks to all talents involved, especially Bill Diehnelt, Dave Moore and Joe Langdon for the concepts and leadership. Congratulations RBMN!



2017 Master Naturalist Training

The 2017 Master Naturalist training classes are scheduled to begin on Saturday February 4, 2017 at the Acton, Opal Durant Hood County Community Center. There are a total of 11 classes allowing for better in depth presentations. The training will include classes and field exercises and will start at 9:00 AM and end between 3-4 PM. The classes are open to residents of Hood, Johnson, and Somervell Counties, however we will accept students form the surrounding counties as well. The fee is $125.00 and this covers the class materials, instruction fees, and a training manual.

For more information and an application form contact
Maryann Mathews, 817-714-3803 (Cell)

Go to "Training" page to download flyer, registration form and Training Class Dates and Locations Summary (updated 12/11/16)


.Opportunities for Master Naturalists at Fossil Rim

1) Trail work: I have 4 hiking trails at Wolf Ridge Nature Camp. We always could use help maintaining those. 

2) Certain classes we teach at Wolf Ridge Nature Camp fit into MN guidelines. Not classes about exotics, of course, which wouldn’t help anyone with their volunteer hours, but , we do teach astronomy, geology, arthropods, natural dyes (cochineal), birding, fossil digs, tracking, nature journaling, hiking (day and night hikes), wolf conservation, The Lorax (about conservation, habitat loss, and the Attwater’s Prairie Chicken), many BSA and GSA badges. There are others MNs could teach – those are just the ones off the top of my head. The only requirements on FR’s end would be a background check, and then a short little online course on child abuse prevention protocols. Easy peasy. I particularly need someone who teaches astronomy well .

3) Of course Shirley, Donna, and Carol have their “Plant Ladies” projects with Curt Decker. Curt sometimes has other projects he could use help on, and I will forward those.

4) An intern just put a Monarch Way Station in at Wolf Ridge Camp as her intern project. Maintenance and improvement of this will be ongoing. It is just bare-bones at the moment, but I would like it to be permanent, and stay lovely. I am going to make this project my own, but would love for others to work alongside me, as I can’t get volunteer hours at FR myself, because I work here! But I’m glad to work with someone while they earn hours.

5) We put out a Homeschool Enrichment E-zine, which has articles about our animals, but also articles about Texas Natives. If you have any other writers, our Homeschool Coordinator could use help with that.

Also, we occasionally offer training in things like Project Wild, Project Learning Tree, etc., that I will send y’all notification of, so people can get advanced training hours from them. I’d like to do Leopold Education Project this year. It is by far superior to all the others I’ve done. And I may bring NAI in again this year, if anyone wants to get their CIG. Still looking into the feasibility of that.

Tessa Chenoa Ownbey, C.I.G.
Director of Education
Fossil Rim Wildlife Center
2155 CR 2008
Glen Rose, TX 76043


Visit our
RBMN Facebook Page

For members that use Face Book, we have started a Rio Brazos Master Naturalist Group page.  You can find it by using the link below or type in Rio Brazos Master Naturalist Group (be sure to include the word group if you want to get to the new page) into the search bar on FB.  Ask to join and we’ll approve the membership.  Maryann is working hard to get the events posted to the page and feel free to post pics, check out the latest events, have fun!

If you have comments or suggestions for our web site please contact
Chris Inbody - Webmaster
All suggestions welcome.
The Texas Master Naturalist of Texas activities are coordinated by AgriLife Extension and Texas Parks and Wildlife. Texas Master Naturalist programs serve all people regardless of socioeconomic level, race,color,sex,religion,disability or national origin.

Texas Master Naturalist State Office
Michelle Haggerty, State Coordinator, 830-896-2500
© 2013 Rio Brazos Master Naturalist