Register for the Tennessee Naturalist Program 


Registration is now open for the 2020-21 Tennessee Naturalist Program (TNP), sponsored by the Friends of the South Cumberland.

TNP is a series of 10, four-hour classes that are designed to introduce adult learners to the natural history of Tennessee. Graduates join a critical corps of volunteers providing nature education, outreach and service to the South Cumberland State Park (SCSP).

Classes are scheduled in two semesters, from September to November and February to May, and are usually held on Saturday mornings. The classwork is divided between lectures, hands-on activities and many hours of outdoor immersion. Topics include geology, forests, plants, mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, aquatic ecosystems, trail building and interpretation. 

The cost for the classes is $250 per person for current members of the Friends of South Cumberland State Park. For those who are not current members, the fee is $275 per person, which includes a one-year individual membership in the Friends.

Classes are limited to 20 participants. Requirements for becoming a Tennessee Naturalist are 40 hours of instruction and 40 hours of environmentally focused volunteer service. To register or for more information, visit <>, or email <>.

A scholarship has been made available by the Friends of South Cumberland to be used by a teacher in the Grundy County School System. To learn more about the scholarship, email <>.

The SCSP is located within four Tennessee counties: Grundy, Franklin, Marion and Sequatchie. The park is composed of approximately 30,845 acres in nine separate areas and boasts some of the best hiking and backcountry camping in the region. For more information, visit <>.

The Friends of South Cumberland is a group of volunteer citizens dedicated to supporting the South Cumberland State Park, at 30,837 acres, Tennessee’s largest state park. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit membership corporation, funding for the Friends of South Cumberland is derived from individual and corporate memberships and from private donations.