About our Chapter
About AgriLife
About this website

About the Cradle of Texas Chapter...

The Texas Master Naturalists Cradle of Texas Chapter is made up of people from diverse backgrounds with different experience, different expertise and different needs.   Yet we are pulled together with the desire to positively affect our natural environment and our natural ecology.

These individuals have chosen the Texas Master Naturalist Organization as the means to satisfy this desire.   We adhere to our organization's mission: "to develop a corps of well-educated master volunteers to provide education, outreach and service dedicated toward the beneficial management of natural resources within our community."

There is a niche for every level of education, interest and desire.   If your goal is to improve public understanding of the natural environment surrounding us, we offer opportunities to interact with large and small groups.   You may present, instruct, tour and teach at all levels of our community with emphasis placed on our younger citizens.

If your goal is to enhance our natural resources, we offer opportunities to build, dig, plant, count, band, identify and observe in many different circumstances and locations.

We partner with several organizations as part of our efforts to achieve these goals.

This is only a partial list of the volunteer opportunities we can provide and we are constantly looking for new opportunities to add to the list.

Do we benefit? Yes, we benefit immensely.   We gain the self satisfaction of knowing we make a difference for Texas natural resources both now and in the future. We gain by learning from experts in many fields thus gaining appreciation for and understanding of our own natural environment.

We take this knowledge and provide important and valuable resource information to our community.   While we are doing all this we're making new friends and having a lot of fun.

This is what we are and this is what we do.

Cradle of Texas Chapter, Texas Master Naturalist Program, 2004

About Texas A&M Agrilife Extension...

Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service is the Cooperative Extension Service in the State of Texas.   Historically, it was known as Texas Cooperative Extension Service until 2008, when it was renamed Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service.

Cooperative Extension Service agencies exist in every state in the United States, most territories, and the District of Columbia.   Cooperative Extension Service gets its name from its origins: it's a cooperative venture supported by three levels of government:

Justin Smith Morrill [Wikipedia]
Land Grant Colleges and Universities were created by the Morrill Act of 1862, sponsored by Representative Justin Smith Morrill of Vermont.   The purpose of Land Grant Colleges was stated as follows:

"...without excluding other scientific and classical studies and including military tactic, to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts, in such manner as the legislatures of the States may respectively prescribe, in order to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes in the several pursuits and professions in life." [Wikipedia]

Note the following words from the act: "agriculture and the mechanic arts".   The first land grant college in Texas adopted these words in its name: The Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas.

The Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas - 1871-1963 [Wikipedia]

Which, of course, is now known as Texas A&M University.

Texas A&M University campus from the top of the North End-zone of Kyle Field [Wikipedia]

The Morrill Act was amended in 1890.   Under this amendment, if a state's land-grant university was not open to all races, a separate land-grant university was to be established for each race.   This act led to the creation of separate universities for blacks (now known as "historically black colleges") in segregated southern states.   In Texas, Prairie View A&M University is a historically black college.   Originally known as the Agricultural and Mechanical College for the Benefit of Colored Youth, Prairie View is the second oldest public institution of higher education in Texas.   Although no longer segregated, Prairie View's student body is still predominately black.

The Cooperative Extension Service was created by another Congressional Act, The Smith-Lever Act of 1914.   This act specified that Cooperative Extension agencies would be administered by the land-grant universities.   The curricula were largely left to the universities, but one objective was "to inform people about current developments in agriculture, home economics, and related subjects."   In most states the educational offerings included agriculture and food, home and family, the environment, community economic development, and youth and 4-H.

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture of the USDA was designated as the funding agency for Smith-Lever Act services in cooperation with state and county governments and land-grant universities.

The Master Naturalist Program is one of dozens of educational programs sponsored or co-sponsored by Cooperative Extension Agencies:

It should be noted, however, that not all Master Naturalist groups are sponsored by Cooperative Extension Agencies.   Some Master Naturalist groups are sponsored or co-sponsored by state agencies,  municipal governments,  or  non-governmental organizations.

Here in Texas, the Master Naturalist Program is is jointly sponsored by Texas A&M UniversityAgrilife Extension Service and the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.   The Texas TMN State Office is located in Kerrville, Texas.

And here's where our chapter fits in:

Prairie View A&M University also sponsors a Cooperative Extension Service, still known today by that name.

About this website...

This site is owned by the Texas Master Naturalist Cradle of Texas Chapter (TMN-COT), based in Angleton, Texas.   This site is hosted by GoDaddy of Scottsdale, Arizona.   This site includes content hosted by other entities including Friends of Brazoria Wildlife Refuges, Google, Blogger.com, Photobucket, Shutterfly, Yahoo, WordPress, the United States Government, and the State of Texas.

This site, as a compilation of content from numerous sources, is subject to the terms of the Creative Commons Public License Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 United States.   The terms of this license are available here.   The text, photographs, graphics, and other content displayed on this site may be owned by third parties and may be subject to copyright.   This site is maintained by Neal McLain, Webmaster, Cradle of Texas Chapter.   To contact the webmaster:

This website is subject to the terms of the Creative Commons Public License Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 United States.   The terms of this license are available here

The Texas Master Naturalist program is coordinated by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service and Texas Parks and Wildlife. Texas Master Naturalist programs serve all people without regard to socioeconomic level, race, color, sex, disability, religion, age, or national origin.