We are restoring prairies and groves of oak-hickory woodlands at this site. It is home to numerous rare grassland birds, including Bobolinks, Eastern Meadowlarks, Henslow's Sparrows, Grasshopper Sparrows. We are removing invasive plants and restoring the native vegetative biodiversity while increasing the habitats for birds. No experience is necessary: just an interest in working with others to protect and restore our natural areas. Activities may include seed collection, planting, cutting brush, or pulling invasive species, depending on the season.The Poplar Creek Prairie Stewards have transformed agricultural fields and farm homesteads into healthy native habitats- tallgrass prairie, oak woodland, savanna and wetland. Their efforts have seen native plants, birds and animals thrive. They also protect a jewel on the site: the Shoe Factory Nature Preserve, a remnant gravel hill prairie formed thousands of years ago by glacial deposits. Outdoor workdays are held every weekend all year. Volunteers receive training and tools for all activities and are supervised by knowledgeable personnel. You just need a willingness to get involved and learn!Students age 18 and older are welcome. Volunteers under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent or a legal guardian during the workday, and who will sign for the minor on the Volunteer Day Waiver sign-in sheet at the beginning of the workday.
Schedule Slots Available!
21 Nov 2021
Due to Covid-19 precautions, anyone wishing to join us must sign up here. Unfortunately, drop-in visitors cannot be accommodated. Our student program is suspended, but we look forward to welcoming students once attendance limits have
Meeting Place: Schaumburg Rd, Equestrian Lot
Contact: Jenny Flexman
Phone: (847) 420-8131
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Sign Up Individual
Sign Up Group
5 Dec 2021
Contact: Jeff Maddux
Phone: (224) 345-0168
11 Dec 2021
16 Jan 2022
22 Jan 2022
Parking lot on north side of Schaumburg Road, 1/3 mile west of Rt. 59. The sign will read equestrian entrance
Contact person for opportunity
Steward Jenny Flexman
Due to Covid-19 precautions, anyone wishing to join us must sign up here. Unfortunately, drop-in visitors cannot be accommodated. Our student program continues to be suspended, but we look forward to welcoming students once attendance limits have been lifted.
All individuals should consider their level of risk for the COVID-19 virus prior to engaging in any volunteer service.
Review the Forest Preserve''s COVID-19 page each day before volunteering for important updates and safety precautions.
DO NOT attempt to volunteer if in the last 14 days you:
1. have any of the symptoms related to COVID-19 as identified by the Centers for Disease Control
2. have traveled to any foreign country or states with a high incidence of COVID-19 infections
Staff and volunteer leaders will implement protocols to ensure physical distancing, glove and mask usage, and tool sanitizing.
Wear all essential personal protection equipment (PPE) including a face mask.
Always keep a minimum distance of six feet from other volunteers.
Plan accordingly, as many public restrooms are closed.
Bring your own gloves, snack, water bottle, sunscreen, bug spray, and hand sanitizer.
No experience is necessary. We remove invasive species, collect native seed, and spread seed, among other activities. We are of all ages, and we share a common interest in restoring and protecting our local natural areas.
Dressing the right way for workdays will make your experience a lot more enjoyable. Sturdy footwear is essential, preferably hiking boots.
Minimum clothing for COLD weather includes: long pants, long sleeves, gloves, warm socks, boots, warm coat, and hat or hood. Dress in layers and wear old clothing made of natural fibers.
Minimum clothing for WARM weather includes: long pants, socks, sturdy shoes, long sleeves, sunglasses, and a sun hat. Use an appropriate sunscreen, and insect repellent. Shorts, skirts, capri pants, tank tops, and sandals are never a good idea on the prairie or in the woodland, even in warm weather. Bring water. We provide tools, work gloves, and snacks.
Due to Covid limits, anyone wishing to join us must sign up here.
Unfortunately, drop-in visitors cannot be accommodated.
Our student program continues to be suspended, but we look forward to welcoming students once attendance limits have been lifted.
Learn how to sign up and prepare for your first volunteer experience:
We value what you do, record your contributions and stay up to date:
Documents and links for volunteers:
Forest Preserves of Cook County Volunteer Resources
6100 N. Central, Chicago, IL 60646
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