Certificate in Native Plants

Certificate in Native Plants

Presented by Wild Ones, Tennessee Valley Chapter
In partnership with Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center and,
Tennessee Native Plant Society

Interested in deepening your understanding of native plants, or learning about ecological horticulture, sustainable landscape design, or even basic botany? If so, take a look at the 2017 courses offered through the Certificate in Native Plants (CNP).

You’re welcome to sign up for classes if you want to work toward certification (which involves a volunteer component as well as coursework) or if you just want to take some of the classes for fun. CNP classes offer a blend of classroom instruction, hands-on learning and guided hikes.

Unless otherwise indicated, all classes are held at  Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center

For more details or to Register please click here.

Class registration is currently open for:

April 8
Rain Gardens & More
Elective class with Wyn Miller                          To Register please click here
May 13
Native Edible & Medicinal Plants                   To Register please click here
Elective class with Holli Richey
June 10
Summer Wildflowers 
Elective class with John Manion                       To Register please click here.
July 15
Bird and Butterfly Gardens
Elective class with Christine Bock Hunt              To Register please click here.
August 12
Plant Communities 
Core class with Jonathan Evans, PhD
This class will be held in Sewanee, TN             To Register please click here.
September 9 & October 14
Plant Form & Function I & II
Core classes with Mary Priestley, Richard Clements    To Register please click here.
November 11
Landscape & Design 
Elective class with Daniel Talley              To Register please click here.

Program Goals

  • Foster greater understanding and appreciation of the importance of native plant communities;
  • Appeal to beginners, as well as landscape professionals;
  • Improve plant identification skills, including recognition of exotic pest plants;
  • Provide an opportunity to meet and connect with other conservation-minded individuals.

Program Structure
The CNP offers a blend of classroom instruction, hands-on learning and guided hikes. Educational objectives include:

  • Involve the students by recommending preparation work and list of supplies needed before class, interaction during class, and recommended assignment after the course.
  • The bigger function of native plants including eco connections is include in each course.
  • Each course will include an active hands-on component involving the senses to get the “wow” factor combined with classroom instruction.
  • Each course will give practical application of the knowledge taught.
  • Teach the Why (purpose).

Requirements for Completion

  • Four core courses (24 credits)
  • Eight electives (32 credits)
  • 40 hours of volunteering for approved native plant projects or organizations

All requirements must be completed within 3 years of beginning the program.


Core Courses (6 credits each):

  • Form & Function in the Plant World: Part I
  • Form & Function in the Plant World: Part II
  • Plant Communities
  • Soils and Water

Elective Courses (4 credits each)

  • Spring Ephemerals
  • Landscape Design
  • Invasive Identification and Control
  • Native Shrubs & Vines
  • Bird & Butterfly Gardens
  • Summer Wildflowers
  • Native Trees
  • Pollinators
  • Fall Wildflowers
  • Propagation
  • Native Edibles and Medicinals
  • Ferns and Fern Allies
  • Winter Tree Identification
  • History of Tennessee Native Plants
  • Mushrooms
  • Nature Sketching and Journaling

This Certificate in Native Plants program represents a partnership between three native plant education and conservation non-profit organizations: Wild Ones Tennessee Valley Chapter, Tennessee Native Plant Society, and Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center. Members of these organizations will receive discounts on class fees, but participation in the CNP is not limited to these organizations’ members.

To find out more about this exciting opportunity to learn about native plants visit the Wild Ones website: http://tennesseevalley.wildones.org/cnp/ and also visit the Wild Ones Facebook page at:  https://www.facebook.com/TNValleyCNP/