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Managing Visitors and Volunteers in Natural Areas

Managing Visitors and Volunteers in Natural Areas

This workshop provides guidance on how to integrate visitors and volunteers into natural areas management; Participants will:

  • Learn to effectively and appropriately plan recreation opportunities (trails, facilities, etc.) for visitor use
  • Create effective and informative interpretation for visitors
  • Develop an understanding of 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
  • Apply knowledge of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines to develop new facilities and evaluate existing ones


Presented in a hybrid format (both the online and in-person trainings are required)

In-person Training: Two day in-person training on May 3 & 4, 2017 at Gold Head Branch State Park in Keystone Heights, FL (email coordinator for detailed agenda).

Pre-coursework Online:  Approximately 8 hours, to be completed at your own pace between April 3 - 28, 2017.

Registration Fee: $275 (includes lunches, coffee, snacks; does not include lodging)

Note: Group registration rates may be available for one employer registering >2 participants — please contact the workshop coordinator for details

For more information and to register for this workshop, go HERE

To learn more about the Natural Areas Training Academy, go to our website

For more information, contact:

Shelly Johnson, Workshop Coordinator

Natural Areas Training Academy

(850) 875-7153


Natural Areas Training Academy in its 17th year of training land managers!

The mission of the Natural Areas Training Academy (aka “NATA”) is to create a network of land managers with current knowledge and skills to conserve Florida’s resources. Nearly two decades ago, a group of visionary natural resource professionals recognized the value of developing a standardized training program for natural areas managers in Florida. These enterprising individuals convened a group of experienced land management professionals representing numerous agencies and organizations to summarize the expertise and skills they believed job candidates would need to be competitive for jobs, which was then packaged into a series of multi-day workshops. To meet the demand for trained personnel, the Natural Areas Training Academy was developed to deliver these workshops through a partnership of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and The University of Florida/IFAS Extension.

NATA welcomes anyone with an interest in natural areas to attend individual workshops or complete the certificate program. Each course bring together regional natural areas management experts from numerous agencies and organizations to provide training and share experiences with less experienced natural areas managers.  Courses are typically 2 days in-person (plus 8 hours online) and held throughout the state. In 2016, there were 123 participants representing more than 40 organizations, including all levels of government agencies (state, federal, county, and city), private consulting firms, military, universities, non-profits and the private sector.

The Certificate in Natural Areas Management is offered by NATA to individuals who complete a series of 5 ‘core’ certificate courses covering the topics identified as most important by practitioners in the field. The series may be completed in any order, and there is no time limit to complete the series.