Native Plant Certificate programs in the US and Canada
While I was recently preparing for my two-day intensive workshop on Ecosystem Gardening for Wildlife as part of the faculty for the Certificate Program in Native Plants and Ecological Horticulture at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, I got to wondering if other similar programs were offered at other places around the country.
I’ve been very impressed with the quality of the extensive training that Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens provides their students enrolled in the Certificate Program in Native Plants and Ecological Horticulture, and I’m certain that other botanic gardens and universities would find this a valuable part of their education outreach programs.
So I set to work to create a list of other organizations that offer a Native Plant Certificate program. I’m sure I’ve missed some, so please leave a comment at the bottom of this post to tell me about similar programs in your area.
And also check out these resources:
- Master Naturalist Programs by State
- Native Plant Societies in North America
- Native Plant Nurseries, Organizations, and Resources for North America–a comprehensive list of resources
Alabama Native Plant Education
Birmingham Botanic Garden, AL
Certificate in Native Plant Studies, Birmingham Botanic Garden–to raise awareness of the importance of native plants and their value to our environment. Its curriculum consists of core classes, electives, field trips and volunteer service, which together provide a well-rounded education balanced among botany, taxonomy, ecology, conservation and uses of our native Southeastern flora. Classes are held at The Gardens and at other appropriate locations.
Colorado Native Plant Education
Colorado State University Extension, CO
Certified Native Plant Master–For those wanting to deepen their knowledge, take a NPM curriculum course to learn fascinating facts about Colorado plants during three sessions along the trails of a local natural area. Learn more about how to use natives in your garden and protect against invasive alien weeds. Sharpen your plant identification skills by using a botanical key and become comfortable with plant families and scientific names
Delaware Native Plant Education
Mount Cuba Center, DE
Ecological Gardening Certificate–Garden in Harmony with Nature. This program explores gardening in the context of an ecosystem. Subjects include the importance of life in the soil, identifying and growing native plants, and the fundamentals of eco-friendly horticulture practices. Learn how to attract beneficial wildlife like birds, bees, and butterflies into your garden by creating an inviting ecological design. Certificate classes are open to everyone, from beginners to experts. Complete all classes to earn a certificate, or take only the classes that interest you.
Georgia Native Plant Education
State Botanical Garden of Georgia
Certificate in Native Plants–The program includes a comprehensive series of courses that demonstrate the identification, cultivation and propagation of Georgia’s native plants while emphasizing participatory learning. Courses discuss the ecological significance of native plants and provide participants with the conservational know-how employed by hobbyists and professionals alike. Whether you are pursuing a career in plant conservation or simply seeking to become a more knowledgeable global citizen, the Certificate in Native Plants will provide you with the tools necessary to do so.
Kentucky Native Plant Education
Kentucky Native Plant Society, KY
The KNPS Native Plant Stewardship Program was established to provide participants with Background knowledge about Kentucky’s native plant resources, Knowledge about threats to native plant resources, Experience managing for and restoring native plant resources
Maine Native Plant Education
Coastal Maine Botanical Garden, ME
Certificate Program in Native Plants and Ecological Horticulture, Coastal Maine Botanical Garden–The field-based Certificate in Native Plants and Ecological Horticulture program instructs amateur and professional gardeners alike about Maine’s diverse flora and its uses in ecologically responsible horticulture. The program is tailored for Maine gardeners by featuring the climate conditions, specific challenges, plants, and natural communities found right here in the Pine Tree State.
Massachusetts Native Plant Education
New England Wildflower Society, MA
Certificate in Native Plant Studies–Students enrolled in the Certificate in Native Plant Studies program at New England Wild Flower Society gain a greater appreciation and understanding of native plant habitats, common and rare species, conservation issues, and uses of native plants in horticulture and design. Emphasizing participatory learning, this comprehensive series of courses provides a supportive and challenging learning atmosphere. While there are no exams, there are opportunities for self-assessment. Participants proceed through the program at their own pace. Certificate students engage in ongoing public and private efforts to preserve and restore native New England flora, and gain skills to aid them in these efforts.
Missouri Native Plant Education
Lincoln University Cooperative Extension
Native Plants Program, The main goals of the Native Plants Program (NPP) are to promote the use of native plants for conservation to enhance biodiversity in rural and urban settings and to increase awareness about their potential as specialty crops to generate income for underserved audiences including small farmers, producers, landowners and others. To accomplish these goals, the NPP organizes and participates in seminars, workshops and field days to offer training and hands-on demonstrations about topics related to native plants. By doing these presentations, the NPP fulfills the mission of Lincoln University Cooperative Extension (LUCE) that provides service for diverse audiences including those of various ethnicities and ages. Follow the Native Plants Program on Facebook
New York Native Plant Education
The Native Plant Center at West Chester Community College
Go Native U is an educational program designed to teach people about the sustainable use and conservation of native plants. Students learn how to garden with the flowers, shrubs, and trees indigenous to the Northeast and how to do so using nature-friendly practices. Students can enroll in single one-day and multiple-session courses or pursue a certificate. All classes are taught by qualified, experienced professionals. Upon completion of the Go Native U certificate, students will have gained an understanding of regional ecology and sustainable practices that will guide them in gardening, landscape design, grounds management, and more.
North Carolina Native Plant Education
UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens, NC
Certificate in Native Plant Studies, In response to the increasing interest in native plants and the environment, the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens has partnered with the NC Native Plant Society and the Habitat and Wildlife Keepers to offer a series of in-depth courses combining lecture and hands-on learning, leading to a Certificate in Native Plant Studies.
Delaware Valley College
Ecological Landscape Design, 36-credit graduate certificate program
Tennessee Native Plant Education
Chatanooga Arboretum & Nature Center, TN
Certificate in Native Plants–Successful gardening with native plants begins by learning about how plants live in the natural world. Through this course you will learn about the many hundreds of plants that naturally grow in and along the woods, fields, and waterways of our local habitats. You will learn about the unique characteristics of these varied plants and also about why they grow together in communities welcoming some members but not others. In addition, through specialized electives you will learn how to bring these plants and plant communities home where they can beautify landscapes while also providing habitat for wildlife and other environmental benefits. This course is being designed and taught by professional horticulturists and botanists.
Texas Native Plant Education
Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center, TX
Go Native U–an informal education program designed to teach adults about the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants, and landscapes and practical applications of botany. Use our colorful gardens as the inspiration for your next work of art when you take our new Art in Nature series.
Native Plant Society of Texas
Native Landscape Certification Program–The Native Plant Society of Texas created the Landscape Certification Program in order to contribute to a migration of Texans back to nature that will reap priceless benefits for our families, environment, and economy. The program is a series of courses that teaches Best Management Practices (BMPs) for native plant landscape and habitat preservation and introduction.
The Royal Botanical Gardens, Burlington, Ontario– offers intensive two day plant identification workshops leading to a certificate: Wetland Graminoid (June), Grass Identification (July), Ferns and Allies (July), Aster and Goldenrod (September).