County Master Naturalists welcome three new members
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[December 16, 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
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
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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