Knox County OSU Extension and the Knox County Park District have partnered together to offer the Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist Program in Knox County.

The OCVN program is a research-based scientific training program that emphasizes hands-on natural resource education coupled with volunteer service. The training program is to provide a balanced, integrated practical course in natural resource science. The following are the core topics. Other topics based on local needs may also be part of the curriculum:  The OCVN Program, Ecological Concepts, The Art of Nature Interpretation, Exploring Ohio's Watersheds, Aquatic Life, Stewardship, Geology, Soils, Plants, Forests, Insects and other macro invertebrates, Reptiles & Amphibians, Birds, and Mammals. All trainees must pass a final exam with a cumulative average of 70 percent, or better. This exam will test the trainees’ knowledge of broad natural resource principles. Local level coordinators may incorporate quizzes into the training program as they see fit.

Certification: 40 hours of combined classroom and field instruction, and 40 hours of approved volunteer service projects. Upon completing the training portion of the program, each trainee will receive an OCVN name badge and a “completion of training” certificate.

Currently, Knox County has 14 active Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalists who volunteer their time and skills for the Knox County Parks District, Ramser Arboretum, Philander Chase, Brown Family Environmental Center and other places throughout the state. Service includes: pulling invasive species, bird counts, education (nature hikes, moth identification), assisting with plantings, stream monitoring and more.

Training will be held for eight weeks, once a week,  and dates will be determined later.  Follow this LINK to the application.

If you are interested in becoming an Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist contact the Knox County Extension Educator, Sabrina Schirtzinger at: 740-397-0401, or