Natural Areas Conservation Training Program

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 our 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.



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 the current class listings 

If you share a love for the outdoors and are ready to help restore local ecosystems, then join us!


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. 



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 volunteer opportunities


Learn More

Check out our Natural Areas Conservation Training online orientation or come to an in-person orientation session  to learn more. If you are ready to start your journey towards certification, please fill out the Natural Areas Conservation Training Enrollment Form.

Have questions about the program, or want to tailor your courses or volunteer work to match your interests? Email the Natural Areas Conservation Training Coordinator at

Natural Areas Conservation Training Program FAQs

Get the answers to the most asked questions about the Natural Areas Conservation Training Program. 

PDF iconN-ACT Frequently Asked Question (PDF)


The Natural Areas Conservation Training (N-ACT) Program is generously supported by the Tellabs Foundation (logo).