KCCN Logo Kane County Certified Naturalists

1. What's this program all about?
Kane County Certified Naturalists (KCCN) is an in-depth environmental education program for adults, combining both classroom and field experiences in Kane County's natural areas.

2. Why KCCN?
Our mission is to build a community of well-informed citizens who apply their ecological knowledge and skills to habitat restoration, environmental education and community service.

3. How does it work?

  • Six core classes, Tuesday evenings in January and February
  • Four field trips March – June
  • Ongoing educational opportunities ("LFEs") throughout the year
  • Volunteer activities for all
  • Deadline for completion of the requirements is April 30 each year
  • Graduation is in May each year

4. Do I have to go to all the classes and field trips?
To complete certification, attendance at all the classes and fields is required. You have a choice of the additional classes and volunteer activities; the requirement is to participate in 30 hours of these ongoing educational/volunteer activities.

5. How rigorous are the field trips? What if I have difficulty walking?
If you need any accommodations, please let us know. We are happy to adjust as necessary.

6. What if I have a conflict on one of the class or field trip dates?
We recognize that conflicts are inevitable. We strongly encourage you not to miss more than one session. It is very difficult to replicate field trips, and make-up assignments are not as effective as attending class. Please talk to us if you have a schedule conflict.

7. Is KCCN for me?
If you're eager to learn about the ecology of Kane and surrounding counties, this program is for you. If you want to know more about the natural world, the program is for you. If you're curious about native plants and wildlife, if you've always wondered about the land and the rivers, if you want to share your love of the natural world but don't know how … this program is for you!

8. But I don't have any formal education in science ...
Not to worry! Whether you have a degree in biology or if you have been a stay-at-home parent all your life – all that matters is an eagerness to learn about nature! KCCNers come from all walks of life, and the common bond is the love of the natural world.

9. What does it mean to be a "certified naturalist"? What do I get from it?
A certification in the program carries with it the recognition that you have a solid foundation of ecological knowledge, with practical experience in Kane County. What you gain from it is a deeper appreciation of the natural world, a sense of community with like-minded folks, and an active role in the stewardship of the environment.

10. How much does it cost?
The fee is $250. This includes six core classes, reference materials, four field trips, and a year of "LFE" classes.

11. How do I sign up?

  • The 2019 KCCN program session is now closed. To inquire about more information, or for general questions, please email kccn@kaneforest.com, Phone info: 630-444-3190.
  • Set aside dates on your calendar.
  • Bring $250; make check payable to the Geneva Park District.
  • Get ready for a wonderful experience!

12. How do I know that I'm "in"?
We will send confirmation by email.