Master Naturalists

Are you willing to devote time to volunteering and continuing education? Anyone 18 or older can become a Master Naturalist. It does not require a degree or years of experience. The program's goal 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 out lifelong learning opportunities to further your development as a naturalist. 

Adult trainees in the Master Naturalist program will:

  • Learn basic principles about the natural world
  • Learn about the interdependent nature of the plants and animals in the various ecosystems of Illinois
  • Learn about animals specific to Illinois, such as mammals, insects, reptiles, fish, and birds
  • Learn how everyone is part of and impacts nature in rural or urban areas
  • Learn practical techniques for both teaching about and managing natural areas

Download Volunteer Application (Fillable PDF)

    Explore green space stewardship practices, emerging trends at 2024 Gateway Green Conference


    This March 6 event, held in person at the Gateway Convention Center in Collinsville, IL, will provide a platform for attendees to access current research findings and explore best practices to responsibly care for Illinois’ natural resources and cultivated outdoor spaces.

    Everyday Environment Webinars

    Nutrient Loss Reduction


    Nutrient pollution can also affect the drinking water supply and may require installing costly drinking water treatment equipment. The impacts are widespread - algae blooms threaten public health, lower property values, hinder recreational opportunities, and harm local businesses and tourism. Practices can be implemented to reduce or stop nutrient pollution that benefits us and the world's ecosystems.