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Next Master Naturalist training begins in August for tri-county area


Applications Now Being Accepted

YORKVILLE, Ill. – Do you have a passion for conservation and natural resources? Are you interested in volunteer opportunities? University of Illinois Extension is accepting applications for the next training season of its popular Master Naturalist program serving DuPage, Kane, and Kendall Counties.

The Illinois Extension Master Naturalist program is designed to educate and train a corps of volunteers who specialize in conservation, management and interpretation of our natural resources. The program provides science-based educational opportunities that connect people with nature and help them become engaged environmental stewards.

The 2022 training sessions will be 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays, August 17 through October 26, plus three Saturday morning field trips. Topics are presented by local experts and include botany, herpetology, ornithology, prairies, watersheds, mammals, entomology and more. Master Naturalist volunteers are required to complete 35 hours of classroom and field education, in addition to 60 hours of volunteer time.

Volunteer projects vary widely in the Master Naturalist program. Volunteers collaborate with local agencies on projects such as butterfly, frog, snake and rare plant monitoring, prairie restoration, invasive species control, and injured animal care. In 2021, a corps of 120 active Master Naturalists volunteered more than 5,184 hours working with local and national organizations such as the DuPage, Kane and Kendall Forest Preserves, Fermi Lab, and The Conservation Foundation.

Interested residents are invited to fill out the application form by June 20. It is anticipated that there will be more applications than spots available, and notifications will be emailed the week of June 27. Accepted applicants pay a $350 registration fee, which covers classroom and field training, as well as the full-color Illinois Master Naturalist Manual.

Find the DuPage, Kane, and Kendall Master Naturalist Application form here.

Space is limited, and this program is open to residents of DuPage, Kane and Kendall Counties. Non-residents applicants will be accepted if space allows. If you have any questions or need reasonable accommodation to participate, contact program coordinator Sarah Fellerer at 630-553-5823 or email Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time for meeting access needs.

To learn more, visit the tri-county Master Naturalist page or visit the Illinois Master Naturalist website.


Important dates for the 2022 Master Naturalist training in DuPage, Kane, and Kendall Counties:

  • June 20: Application Deadline
  • June 27 (week of): Acceptance/decline notification
  • July 15: Fee due
  • August 17: First class
  • Training Location:  U of I Extension, 7775-B IL Route 47, Yorkville
  • Training Dates: Wednesdays, August 27 to October 26, 6 to 9 p.m.
  • Class format: Botany and forestry educators will present via Zoom, and all other classes are expected to be in-person.