NatureStart™ Training at Brookfield Zoo


Course Details


Marilyn Brink, Manager, Professional Development & Early Childhood - CZS/Brookfield Zoo;
David Becker, Senior Manager of Learning Experiences - CZS /Brookfield Zoo;

Course Credit  

Continuing through 2020, NatureStart™ is approved for credit from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Conservation Education Certificate. 
Questions about accreditation?
Contact the AZA Professional Development Program through or call 301-562-0777 ext 251

Course Schedule

Tuesday through Friday, April 21-23, 2020
Classes meet 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., daily

Optional additional class day: April 24, 2020
Class will meet 9 - 2:00 pm

Travel & Accommodations

Chicago's Midway Airport (MDW) and O'Hare Airport (ORD) are both about 30 minutes from the hotel and Zoo. This course takes place at the Chicago Zoological Society - Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield, IL.

The Carleton of Oak Park is the designated course hotel and a block of rooms is on reserve for NatureStart course participants. Please contact the hotel to make your reservations. We have secured a special rate:
$129.00 King/Double Queen
$179.00 Deluxe King/Double Queen
(Rates do not include 11% tax)

Please visit the hotel’s website, or call at 708-848-5000 and ask for Dana Schuster or Katie Fox for additional information and to make your reservation. Be sure to mention Brookfield Zoo NatureStart Training at the time of booking to receive the discounted rate. In order to receive the discounted rate, your room must be booked by March 23, 2020.

Ground Transportation
Ground transportation to and from airport should be arranged by each participant. American Taxi Co. is the recommended transport company. Arrangements for pick-up and return trip to either O’Hare or Midway Airport can be made by calling 847-255-9614. 

Registration & Logistics

Tuition & Expenses

Your registration fee covers tuition for the course, books and other resources included, transportation to and from zoo and lunch each day. Other expenses include hotel, travel, and evening meals.   

April 21-23, 2020 (Required) from 9:00 AM to 4:30 pm; $550/person
April 24, 2020 (Optional) from 9:00 AM - 2 PM; $150/person

Final Registration deadline: April 20, 2020

Register Now for NatureStart at Brookfield Zoo