Indiana Master Naturalist is a course offered by the Elkhart County SWCD open to adult learners 18+ years old.
This course covers 11 different classes in accordance with the Indiana Master Naturalist curriculum guidelines. Classes meet at locations throughout the county once a week while the course is in session. Classes include:
- Indiana Geology and Soils
- Water Ecology
- Herbaceous Plants
- Fish and Herps
- Land Management
- People & Natural Resources
After completing the course, students are required to complete 24 hours of volunteer service in order to graduate.
We have trained over 250 volunteers who have reported over 30,000 service hours in our community since 2007!
The course fee is $150. This course fee includes qualified local natural resource professional speakers, materials for classes, and quality reference material in the form of handouts and books by well known nature writers.
When is the course?
The classes typically are held once a week in the evenings (3 hours) from the end of May through the beginning of August. The times are subject to change.
Where are the classes held?
The classes are held throughout Elkhart County at various parks and other natural resource locations. Each class is at a different location in Elkhart County.
What happens after the class?
Once you have taken the class, passed the test, and completed the 24 hours of volunteer service, you will receive a pin and certificate in the mail. After receiving the pin and certificate, you will always be an Indiana Master Naturalist. You can continue to be involved by joining the Elkhart County IMN Alumni group or completing the annual Advanced Indiana Master Naturalist certificate. Find out more information below!
How do I sign up?
The 2024 Elkhart County IMN course registration is not available yet. If you wish to be notified via email when the next course registration is available (typically early March) please fill out the information below.
Elkhart County IMN Alumni Group
If you have graduated from the Indiana Master Naturalist program and would like to stay in touch with IMN classmates, you can join the Elkhart County IMN Alumni! The Alumni gather together for continuing education and volunteer opportunities once every quarter.
Next Alumni Meeting
When: October 12, 2023
Time: 6:30 pm
Location: Schrock Pavilion
Address: 411 W Plymouth Ave, Goshen, IN 46526
Speaker: Annie Aguirre, waterfowl ID
Alumni, if you are looking for volunteer hours there are many things you can do! Check out the “Volunteer Guidelines” for more information on what counts for volunteer hours.
Certified Advanced IMN
Do you enjoy volunteering and learning more about Indiana’s natural resources? You can continue doing so by achieving the annual status of Advanced Indiana Master Naturalist.
- IAIMN is a per calendar year program.
- Pay an annual $15 administrative fee per calendar year.
- Volunteer 30 hours of volunteer time annually and complete 8 hours of education time annually (training/workshops presented by IMN Hosts, city/county/state parks, or other natural resources agency).
- Submit proof of the 38 hours to Jody Heaston (jheaston@dnr.IN.gov) by Dec. 20 of the current year along with fee if not paid yet. Include your hours, name, address, email address, host name, class year and a brief description of where you did your volunteer time and education time.
- Certified Advanced IMNs that have completed these hours and paid annual fee will receive an advanced pin and certificate for that year.
Do you have more questions? Check out the FAQ about Advanced IMN or visit the DNR website.
If you have participated in the Elkhart County IMN class, you should have been automatically signed up for email updates that include volunteer opportunities, education opportunities, meeting updates, and much more. If you are not receiving emails, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 574-523-2030.
Items for purchase
There are several IMN items that you can purchase from the DNR:
You can find out more details on the DNR website.
IMN Annual Gathering
As a certified IMN, you are invited to the annual gathering of Indiana Master Naturalists. During this gathering, network with other IMN’s, attend some natural history programs and have fun! You can find updates on the next gathering on the DNR website.