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Managing Visitors and Volunteers in Natural Areas

Next Course:

Online coursework: Apr 22 - May 10, 2024

Live virtual welcome session: (via Zoom) Monday, April 22, 2024 at 3:30-4:30 pm Eastern Time (requires reliable internet and computer with video and audio capacity)

In-person workshop: May 15 - 16, 2024

Register HERE on March 12th (early registration), and March 19th (regular registration). 

Course Description:

This is a NATA Core workshop, leading to the Certificate in Natural Areas Management. This training provides guidance on how to integrate visitors and volunteers into natural areas management.

Participants will: 

  • Learn to effectively and appropriately plan recreation opportunities for visitor use, including trails and facilities
  • Apply knowledge of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines to develop new facilities as well as evaluate existing ones
  • Create effective and informative interpretation for visitors
  • Develop an understanding of the benefits and challenges of managing a volunteer program
  • Learn about the types of trainings and legal issues required for a volunteer program
  • Learn how to recruit volunteers and the important elements of volunteer job descriptions
  • Understand the importance of providing recognition for your volunteers

Online coursework:

Approximately 9-10 hours over 3-weeks (on your own, prior to the in-person training). Draft of MVV Online Assignment Checklist 2024.

In-person training:

Two days of in-person training at Gold Head Branch State Park in Keystone Heights, FL. Draft of MVV Field Days Agenda 2024.

Registration Fee:

$325 (does not include lodging)

*Early registration is available to participants who has previously graduated from one or more of the NATA Core Certificate Courses (contact the training coordinator >1 week in advance for registration code).


Shared lodging available at Gold Head Branch State Park for $50/person/night (price subject to change TBA); NATA will coordinate cabin-sharing.

For more information, contact: 

Training Coordinator

Natural Areas Training Academy

Three instructors standing in a semi-circle.

Students gathering around a lake.