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Contact Us

Veronica Shaughnessy
Extension Educator, Horticulture
University of Illinois Extension
Enterprise Center
2205 Enterprise Drive, Suite 501
Westchester, IL 60154
Phone: 708-449-4320
FAX: 708-492-1805

Brigit Holt
Program Coordinator, Master Naturalist
University of Illinois Extension
4747 Lincoln Mall Drive
Suite 601
Matteson, IL 60443
Phone: 708-679-6889
FAX: 708-679-6855

Master Naturalists in Cook County

Master Naturalists in Cook County

Applications for the 2015 Master Naturalist Training are now available!!

Classes will be held once a week for 10 weeks from August to October.  Please find the application at the following link:

More information to come.


Join the Cook County Master Naturalists!

The mission of the University of Illinois Extension Master Naturalist Program is to provide science-based educational opportunities that connect people with nature and help them become engaged environmental stewards.

The program educates and trains adult volunteers so they are better equipped to share natural resource information with others in their communities; and to assist with environmental conservation and restoration activities. We all have a responsibility to protect the natural resources in the places where we live in order to ensure our world is fit for the future. The University of Illinois Extension partners with local agencies to accomplish the Master Naturalist mission.


Adult trainees in the Master Naturalist program will participate in at least 40 hours of training where they:


Learn basic principles about the natural world

Learn about the interdependent nature of the plants and animals in the various ecosystems of Illinois

Learn the animals specific to Illinois such as mammals, insects, reptiles and 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


The training will prepare volunteer Master Naturalists to more effectively participate in local environmental education and stewardship. They will learn about and may participate in citizen scientist activities. They will be able to share their knowledge, skills, and passion about the natural world with others so they also can become more engaged. Volunteer work includes, but is not limited to:


Assisting in the management of local natural areas

Completing natural resource related office work with special interest groups or not-for-profit agencies

Teaching adults or children about natural areas

Giving demonstrations and presentations to local groups

Serving as a liaison between natural resource agencies and the public

Serving as a resource person to groups in need of natural resource assistance

Participating in citizen scientist activities


Partners make it possible

Here's a list of our current partners and links to their websites:

University of Illinois Extension in Cook County. ILMN is a U of I Extension program with collaborative leadership at the state level.

Forest Preserve of Cook County. Live Healthy - Discover Nature!


For more information e-mail our Master Naturalist Extension Program Coordinator, Brigit Anne Holt, at 

Please visit our Facebook page  - University of Illinois Extension - Cook County Master Naturalists-  and "like" it to see what the Cook County Master Naturalists are up to!!


University of Illinois * U.S. Department of Agriculture * Local Extension Councils Cooperating. University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment.