Stuart and I attended the Louisiana Master Naturalists Association statewide Board of Directors meeting in Baton Rouge last Friday. We were hosted by the beautiful Hilltop Arboretum, well worth a visit if you’re in the area.

Water Lily (Nymphaea alba) & Watermeal (Wolffia globosa)
Water Lily (Nymphaea alba) & Watermeal (Wolffia globosa)

Statewide president Dr. Bob Thomas introduced us to “watermeal,” which covered the small pond on the Arboretum grounds. It is in the Duckweed family and the smallest flowering plant. I could see the individual plants with a field loupe, but not the flowers!

The Board spent a significant portion of its time together planning and setting policy for the statewide annual gathering of Master Naturalists called “Rendezvous.” Rendezvous is two and a half days packed with interesting lectures, workshops and field trips, and socializing with other Master Naturalists.

If you are still wondering if you should invest in becoming a Master Naturalist, it might help you to know that attendance at Rendezvous is limited to Certified Master Naturalists and people actually enrolled in a Master Naturalist certification curriculum.

The 2018 Rendezvous is scheduled in April at Camp Hardtner near Pollock, La. We hope to have begun our certification curriculum by then so that some of you can be enrolled and thereby be qualified to attend!

The other item on the agenda of great interest to us was statewide policy regarding certification curricula. The Board is currently creating a policy and procedure manual and it will contain general guidelines.

One policy that already exists: Everyone who wants to be a Certified Master Naturalist, must complete a Master Naturalist Certification curriculum in a local chapter. Even people who might teach one of the workshops in a curriculum must take the other workshops in the curriculum if they wish to become a Certified Master Naturalist. No exceptions.

The LMNA Board meets face to face twice a year, once at the annual Rendezvous in March or April and once in October, and via telephone conference call the other months.

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