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!
30 Oct 2021
Stewardship Volunteer Days
Meeting Place: Main lot, Rt 59 north of Golf Rd.
Contact: Diana Granitto
Phone: (630) 337-5584
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Sign Up Individual
Sign Up Group
7 Nov 2021
27 Nov 2021
Contact: Rick McAndless
Phone: (847) 308-5671
19 Dec 2021
2 Jan 2022
8 Jan 2022
On Route 59, one half mile north of Golf Rd. Entrance is on the left with the forest preserve sign reading Carl Hansen Woods
Contact person for opportunity
Co-Steward Diana Granitto
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.
Dressing the right way for workdays will make your experience a lot more enjoyable. Keep in mind that during the fall, winter, and early spring, it can be colder on the prairie than it is at home. Usually, though, temperatures warm as the morning progresses, dress in layers that you can remove or add as needed.
Minimum clothing for cold weather includes: long pants, long sleeves, gloves, warm socks, boots, warm coat, and hat or hood.
Minimum clothing for warm weather includes: long pants, socks, sturdy shoes, long sleeves, sunglasses, and a sun hat.We also recommend that you use an appropriate sunscreen, and if you have preferences for insect repellent, that you bring your choice.
Comfortable as they are, shorts, skirts, capri pants, tank tops, and sandals are never a good idea on the prairie or in the woodland, even in warm weather. Walking in rough terrain among tall plants poses hazards that will make these sorts of clothes very uncomfortable.
Groups must coordinate the date of their visit with the contact person.
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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