University of Illinois Extension Illinois Master Naturalist Program is designed for adults of any age that want to learn about and positively impact their local environment. The goal of the program is not to teach you everything there is to know about the subjects being covered, but to give you an engaging exposure to the natural world--one that encourages you to seek lifelong learning opportunities to further your development as a naturalist.
Illinois Master Naturalist Program participants have the opportunity to:
- learn about Illinois' natural history, ecosystems, plant and animal communities and environmental issues,
- enhance your love of nature through hands-on training and community-based service,
- practice lifelong learning and sharing,
- interact and build relationships with new acquaintances with similar interests,
- give something back to nature and your local community,
- and learn from and work side-by-side with experts.
Master Naturalists must complete 40 hours of field and classroom learning and 60 hours volunteer service within two years to become a Certified Master Naturalist. To remain active in the program, an additional 30 hours volunteer service and 10 hours of continuing education must be performed yearly.
A training session will only be held if 10 or more participants are registered.
The Western Illinois Master Naturalist course fee is $250.
This fee covers:
- 48-hour general ecology course that combines both classroom and field learning (must attend min. of 40 hours to graduate)
- One-on-one assistance in finding a volunteer position that fits your personal interests, abilities and time restraints for as long as you remain a Certified Master Naturalist
- Continuing-education events and opportunities
Complete our Interest Form today! We will contact you when an upcoming training is scheduled.
The Master Naturalist Program is eligible for CPDU credits. The following resources may be useful for those interested in our Master Naturalist course.