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Woodland Stewardship Program

Help conserve the natural wonders of our region

The Morton Arboretum's Woodland Stewardship Program trains professionals and volunteers to manage and restore natural areas including woodlands, prairies, wetlands, and other habitats of the Chicago region.

Through classroom study, online interaction, and field experience at the Arboretum, the program provides the essential knowledge and practical experience necessary to promote biodiversity and be a thoughtful caretaker, either as a professional or as a volunteer.

The Woodland Stewardship Program is open to anyone involved or interested in the stewardship of our natural heritage, regardless of prior experience. The classes will apply to a wide range of habitats.


Woodland Stewardship Program classes are focused and easy to fit into a busy lifestyle. They typically have classroom, online and field components.

Among the topics covered are:

  • Principles of ecology, conservation, and restoration
  • Plant identification
  • Techniques to manage pests and invasive species
  • Strategies and techniques for management of local ecosystems
  • Practical approaches for organizing natural areas management

See current class listings here.


Most natural areas management and restoration programs in the Chicago region depend on the passion, time, skills, and generosity of volunteers. That includes The Morton Arboretum's own stewardship program for its 900 acres of natural areas. To learn more about volunteering in natural areas at the Arboretum, watch this video.

As a volunteer steward, you may: 

  • Scout for and control invasive species
  • Collect seeds from native plants
  • Plant native plants
  • Lead volunteer work groups or education groups in restoration projects

Interested? Complete the Woodland Stewardship Enrollment Form. Become an Arboretum Volunteer and select OUTDOORS: Natural Resource Areas on the Volunteer Application. LEARN MORE>