County Master Naturalists welcome three new members
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[December 11, 2015]
- Logan Countyís Master Naturalist team has just welcomed three new
members. Vince Long, Mike Starasta and Gary Streubing have
successfully completed their ten-week training program with the
Logan-Menard-Sangamon University of Illinois Extension Unit.
As Master Naturalists they will be carrying out the
organizationís mission through volunteer work on stewardship of
natural areas and education of others about nature.
These Master Naturalists come from varied backgrounds but were
always interested in the natural world.
Vince Long, from Beason, who has worked in the trucking and
fertilizer industries, became interested in plants as a boy and has
been a Master Gardener for a decade.
Mike Starasta of Lincoln, who has been a librarian in both
academic and public settings and has served as a Park Ranger at the
Lincoln Home National Historic Site, also nurtured a lifelong
interest in the natural world.
The same interest in nature led Gary Struebing to study zoology
at Eastern Illinois University before joining the armed forces and
later returning to New Holland to work in the farm implement
In their training, the participants received in depth information on
the natural features, plants and animals of Illinois, delivered by
experts through classroom and field experiences. They also received
a comprehensive manual, further supplemented after graduation by
newsletter updates and opportunities for continuing education in
areas of their interest.
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The graduates have already started logging volunteer hours by participating in
the local teamís war on invasive species at Master Naturalist partner
organization, Kickapoo Creek Park. Starasta has also assisted the Logan County
Bluebird Project by winterizing nesting boxes at Creekside Outdoor Center for
Environmental Education, and Struebing has joined his brother Jim in
volunteering at Master Naturalist partner organizations in Sangamon County.
Master Naturalists is a University of Illinois Extension program. For more
information on the program, see http://web.extension.illinois.edu/mn/ .
[Carissa Akpore, Logan County