Ecological restoration volunteers help eradicate invasive plants and perform general restoration activities including brush clearing, planting, and seed collecting. Volunteer groups meet Monday mornings year-round, though volunteers may choose to work independently after learning basic restoration skills.
Volunteers help care for and educate visitors about the animals in the nature center. This includes feeding, cleaning enclosures and occasional handling. Animal care experience, including reptiles, is required.
Camp counselors assist with summer camp activities. Counselors may volunteer for a full week of camp at a time, or come in for specific activities during the camp season, June through August.
Volunteers lead field trip activities and take students on guided walks. Field trips are generally scheduled from March through November, with May and October being the busiest months.
Each of our gardens is maintained by one or more volunteers throughout the growing season, typically late March through early November. Activities include watering, weeding, raking, pruning, mulching and planting. Gardening experience is preferred.
Volunteers assist with the repair, construction, and upkeep of our facilities. Volunteers regularly walk the grounds, addressing maintenance issues as needed, and help with various projects. General maintenance experience required.
Volunteer attendants work with part-time staff to assist visitors with canoes and kayak rentals. This involves giving visitors paddling and safety instructions, and helping them get in and out of the water. Volunteers typically work the same day each week, late May through mid-October during rental hours.
Welcome Desk volunteers work a four-hour shift each week, typically from May through October. They assist staff at the Welcome Desk with a variety of tasks, including answering phones, greeting visitors, answering questions, and tidying the nature center.
Clubhouse volunteers typically work four hours a week from May through October. They answer visitor questions and show the Clubhouse to prospective renters, as well as help clean the Clubhouse.
Volunteers collect data as part of on-site monitoring or for citizen science programs. Currently we collect data for our Atlas of Life, Project FeederWatch and the Illinois Odonate Survey.
Learn more about our volunteer positions below, then complete our Volunteer Application Form (PDF).