Natural Areas Conservation Training (N-ACT) Program

Content Detail

Restore natural areas near you.

Gain the knowledge and skills to turn your passion for our environment into action, and make a difference in your community.

The Natural Areas Conservation Training (N-ACT) Program is an in-depth training and certification program in natural areas restoration. You’ll gain the knowledge and practical experience necessary to care for natural areas, including woodlands, prairies, wetlands, and other habitats of the Chicago region.

With classes on plant identification and ecology, fundamentals of ecological restoration, invasive species management, and applied topics you will be equipped to plan and implement restoration work at a volunteer site, for work, or in your own backyard.

Learn more

Check out the Introduction to the Natural Areas Conservation Training (N-ACT) Program. If you are ready to start your journey towards certification, please fill out the Natural Areas Conservation Training Enrollment Form.

Help restore local ecosystems.

Natural Areas Conservation Training classes are easy to fit into a busy lifestyle, and include online, classroom, and field components. Natural Areas Conservation Training is open to anyone involved or interested in the stewardship of our natural heritage, regardless of prior experience. You’ll make meaningful connections with like-minded people and learn from leading experts.

View Current Class Listings

Natural Areas Conservation Training Certificate

By obtaining the Natural Areas Conservation Training Certificate, you can acquire the skills and knowledge you need to conduct and manage restoration activities. Ten classes, First Aid/CPR certification, and completion of 30 volunteer hours are required to obtain the N-ACT Certificate.

Classes are offered throughout the year, in a regular seasonal rotation. View certificate requirements. 

Make a difference as a natural areas volunteer.

Most natural areas management and restoration programs in the Chicago region depend on volunteers. The Morton Arboretum is no exception: we rely on volunteers to manage our 900 acres of natural areas. Once you enroll in the Natural Areas Conservation Training Program, you’ll be connected with the volunteer office to see how you can make a difference. Click here to see current natural areas volunteer opportunities.