Contact Us

Sarah Fellerer
Program Coordinator, Master Gardeners
University of Illinois Extension
535 South Randall Road
St. Charles, IL 60174-1591
Phone: 630-584-6166
FAX: 630-584-4610

Master Naturalists

Master Naturalists

How do I become a Master Naturalist?

How Do I Become a Master Naturalist?

You become a Master Naturalist by joining a class, completing the training, passing the end-of-class test, and providing volunteer hours to the Master Naturalist program and/or its sponsors and partners.

What qualifications do I need to become a Master Naturalist?

Anyone 18 or older can become and Illinois Master Naturalist, it does not require a degree or experience. You must be willing to devote time to volunteering and to continuing education. This training session is open to residents of DuPage, Kane and Kendall Counties only. Residents of other counties are welcome to fill out the interest form, non-resident applicants will be accepted if space allows. Training classes are scheduled one evening a week (6-9 pm) for ten weeks plus three Saturday morning field trips.

Topics for training will be selected from the following:

Ecological concepts, geology, archaeology, botany, forest ecology, grassland, ecology, ornithology, mammology, herpetology, entomology, wetlands and aquatic life. Initial training is approximately 40 hours of classroom and field trips.

When is the next training?

Registration for the 2018 class has concluded and the class is full. The next training is tentatively scheduled for late summer 2020. Interested applicants will receive an email notification when registration is open in mid-May of 2020.

Volunteer Service

The intern phase of training involves volunteering 60 hours over the course of the first two years. In future years, Master Naturalists continue with an additional 10 hours of continuing education and 30 hours of volunteer service back to the local community.


Most classes and meetings are held at the Kendall County Extension office which is located at 7775B IL Route 47 in Yorkville. Field trip locations are to be announced.


The fee of $300 covers classroom and field training, and the Illinois Master Naturalist manual, this fee may change due to state budget support. There is no cost to remain a Certified Master Naturalist in subsequent years.