group of 10 adult volunteers holding tools and standing under a sign that reads "Nature Place"

close up of a dragonfly perched on a twig

Welcome | Newsletter | Training | Service Projects | Chapter Events | Contact Us

Welcome to the Fairfax Chapter web page!

If you love being outside, are curious about nature and want to make a difference in your community, consider becoming part of our dedicated volunteer corps.  We provide basic training in natural resource topics and perform service projects in the areas of stewardship, citizen science, and education at parks and natural areas.

The process for becoming a certified Virginia Master Naturalist typically takes 6 to 12 months. Master Naturalist volunteers are a vital part of Fairfax County's natural resources management community, providing much-needed support to the many environmental organizations striving to protect natural resources in a rapidly growing urban area.

Virginia Master Naturalist Program from Big Shoulders on Vimeo.


Fairfax Chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalist program named 2011 Cooperator of Year by the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District!

Fairfax Master Naturalists featured in a Fairfax Times article, 9 March 2012


bird perched on a trail sign post

The Fairfax Master Naturalist's basic training course provides the background knowledge and skills that every naturalist needs to have. It consists of 36-hours of classroom instruction and 4 field trips to natural areas in Fairfax County. Topics covered include:

• Introduction to the Virginia Master Naturalist progr
• American Naturalists
• Basic Ecology
• Biogeography
• Geology
• Nature of Naming
• Education and Interpretation Skills
• Citizen Science and Research Skills
• Ecology and Management of the systems occurring in the region
• Overview of vertebrates, invertebrates, trees and other plants (biology, ecology, identification, conservation and management)

Applications are now being accepted for the Spring 2014 Basic Training Class.  Classes will meet on Wednesday evenings 7 pm - 10 pm February 26 - May 21 at the Fairfax County Government Center.  There will be no class on April 16.  The course also includes four Saturday field trips. Click here for more information and the application or contact us at

photo of a female volunteer holding a plastic bag with natural history items

Virginia Master Naturalist programs and employment are open to all, regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital or family status. VMN is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.





Welcome | Newsletter | Training | Service Projects | Chapter Events | Contact Us

Service Projects

four adult volunteers working with plants at picnic tables

A Fairfax Master Naturalist Chapter Event was held September 10, 2011 to replace fencing at Hidden Oaks Nature Center in Annandale. The event was coordinated by member Bob Dinse. A good time was had by all and the fencing replaced in record time! View photos from this event on the Virginia Master Naturalist photo sharing site.

The Fairfax Chapter is sponsored by the Virginia Department of Forestry.

Local partnerships are the cornerstone of the Fairfax Master Naturalist program. We rely on partner organizations for volunteer service opportunities, publicity of the program, and resources such as instructors, technical expertise, facilities, and materials.  In turn, we can provide trained volunteers for their service projects, as well as publicity and participants for their events and training programs. The following organizations are our valued partners. Please visit their web sites for more information.

Audubon Society of Northern Virginia

The Save Lucy Campaign

Clean Fairfax

Fairfax County Park Authority

Fairfax County Wildlife Biologist

Fairfax ReLeaf

Lands and Waters

Long Branch Nature Center

Mason Neck State Park

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

Northern Virginia Conservation Trust

Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority

Northern Virginia Soil & Water Conservation District

One Good Tern

Virginia Department of Forestry (Fairfax Chapter sponsor)

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

Virginia Native Plant Society, Potowmack Chapter

Welcome | Newsletter | Training | Service Projects | Chapter Events | Contact Us

Chapter Events

Contact the Community Outreach Chair at to join the Fairfax Master Naturalist email list and receive news on Chapter meetings/events that are open to the public.

If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact the Chapter Advisor, Jim McGlone at (703) 324-1480 (TDD number 1-800-828-1120) during business hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to discuss accommodations five days prior to the event.

Welcome | Newsletter | Training | Service Projects | Chapter Events | Contact Us

Contact Us

photo of male volunteer working with a sledgehammer

Thanks for your interest in the Fairfax Chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalist Program.  To learn more about the Virginia Master Naturalist Program, visit

Contact the Community Outreach Chair at if you have questions or to join the Fairfax Master Naturalist email list and receive news on Basic Training Courses and Chapter meetings/events that are open to the public.

Last revised on Sunday, August 12, 2012