Interested!- Click HERE for a PDF Application to print and complete

This fillable PDF Application can be printed or emailed Ashley Fosnight fosnight.9@osu.edu.  

Please return applications by August 15, 2022, to the Portage County Extension Office, 705 Oakwood St. Suite 103, Ravenna, OH 44266

Mission -

The mission of the Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist (OCVN) program is to promote awareness and citizen stewardship of Ohio's natural resources through science-based education and community service.

The OCVNs role is to support partners in meeting the needs of our citizens in the area of natural resources by assisting with educational programs. 

Activities Include: 

  • Identifying and educating the public about invasive species
  • Diagnosing plant problems
  • Giving public presentations relating to nature
  • Hosting events for the public
  • Staffing educational booths and other various opportunities

To become an Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist, you must:

  • Complete 40 hours of combined classroom and field instruction 
  • Perform 40 hours of approved volunteer service within the first year
  • After certification, 20 hours of volunteer service and 8 hours of advanced training are required annually                

Training Topics include:

  •  Soil, Geology, and Watersheds
  •  Ecology and Stewardship
  •  Working with the public & communication skills
  •  Botany & Forests
  •  Entomology & Herpetology
  •  Ornithology & Mammals

Interested in joining our 2022 OCVN Training?  

The OCVN program is $225 per person. This includes the manual, refreshments, some meals, speakers, and more! Once applications are received, they will be reviewed for acceptance into the program.  Applicants will be notified of their status and payment is due prior to or at the beginning of the first class.

 2022 classes begin on Wednesday August 31st and will be every Wednesday from 1:00 pm - 4 pm and some Saturdays from 9 am - 3 pm. Saturday classes are typically field trips to other off-site locations and to visit our community partnerships. Some classes may be held be held virtually. Classes will adjoun on November 2nd. 

A tentative schedule can be found here.

Note: some locations and speakers may be slightly adjusted.