Education and Training

Five young women smile and reach into the air as they jump above a wooden footbridge
Designing the Parks interns at Minute Man National Historical Park

NPS Photo / OCLP

The Olmsted Center hosts a variety of educational programs to introduce cultural landscape preservation principles and practices and to develop hands-on skills for program participants.

Education programs include workshops, conferences, online e-learning programs and webinars, temporary assignments, hands-on field experiences, internships, and school curricula. These programs are available to National Park Service and historic property staff, young people in elementary, high school, and college, as well as recent graduates.

Youth Education Programs

For current internship opportunities, please see our Internship Programs.

Through the Landscape Stewardship Corps, young adults (to age 30 or 35 if a veteran) interested in landscape conservation—especially those from backgrounds underrepresented in horticulture and historic preservation trades—have unique opportunities to work on real-life projects, build experience, and nurture life-long connections to the national parks. In turn, NPS gardeners, horticulturists, and arborists mentor and share their trade skills, helping ensure these remarkable places inspire future generations.

Sequenced career development and education opportunities in landscape management presented through workshops, internships, and hands-on experiences in park landscapes for young people between fifteen and twenty-four years of age. Read more on the Branching Out Facebook page.

Ten-week to yearlong internships in cultural landscape planning that introduce college students and recent graduates to National Park Service planning and design professions through real project work. Read more on the Designing the Parks program blog.

A New York City public high school operated in partnership between the National Park Service and NYC Department of Education that engages students interested in learning historic preservation trades, including landscape stewardship. Read more on the Mather High School website.

A partnership between the Olmsted Center and Rhode Island School of Design that repurposes deteriorated historic plant material from parks into college student artwork, interpreting and preserving the history of historic vegetation. Read more on the Witness Tree Project website.

A partnership between the Olmsted Center and Boston Public Schools that engages kindergarten through eighth grade students in landscape-based lesson plans and field experiences.

A person in NPS uniform with a clipboard points to the ground as a Branching Out participant looks on.
A Branching Out participant and NPS employee study the landscape at Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area.


Staff Training Programs

For current offerings, please see Staff Training Opportunities.

The Arborist Training Program (ATP) is a two-year training to develop professional tree-care specialists for living resources in the National Park System. Through classroom education and field experiences, the program covers tree care topics that include tree condition assessment, pruning techniques, and supplemental support systems. 

Distance learning and in-person trainings for National Park Service employees designed to impart the essential knowledge required to understand the concepts, principles, and techniques of landscape preservation maintenance.

Working group that evaluates chainsaw operator training programs, recommends updates to National Park Service chainsaw safety policies and guidelines, standardizes chainsaw operator competencies, and implements employee chainsaw safety trainings.

A series of hands-on training opportunities for National Park Service employees to strengthen landscape management knowledge, skills, and abilities, in partnership with the NPS Learning and Development Program and NPS Park Cultural Landscapes Program

A group of six NPS employees stand and crouch on either side of a leafless tree in an open, grassy orchard.
Arborist Training Program participants at Gettysburg National Military Park in winter of 2023.


Last updated: January 2, 2024