Blue Ridge Naturalist Certificate

This certificate offers classes, workshops and field studies for adult learners who wish to educate themselves about the natural world and cultural heritage of western North Carolina. Classes are available year round and students work to complete 240 hours of curriculum including a series of courses on ecology, botany, geology and plant identification. Electives in animals, lichens, insects may also be studied. Students plan and conduct a final project to complete the certificate.

Join over one hundred students in a quest to deepen understanding of the natural sciences in seeking the Blue Ridge Naturalist Certificate of Merit. New classes are offered beginning in January and July each year. Download application and view certificate overview.

North Carolina Environmental Education Certification Program

The North Carolina Arboretum offers many opportunities to earn credit toward the North Carolina Environmental Education Certificate Program of the North Carolina Office of Environmental Education. This includes:

  • Criteria I Credit (educator workshops such as Project WET, Leopold Education Project and Project Learning Tree).
  • Criteria II Credit (guided trail walks, public event programs, many adult education classes).
  • Criteria III Credit (simply enjoy the Arboretum on your own).
  • Criteria V Credit (partner with a library, park or school to create a Citizen Science Hotspot).

Those adult education courses satisfying Criteria II hours are denoted in the biannual Growing in Mind publication.

For more information or for signatures regarding Criteria III credit contact Jonathan Marchal, Youth Education Manager, at or 828-665-2492 ext. 228.