Opportunity Details

North Branch Xylem Seed Garden Stewardship Volunteer Days


Seeds are the lifeblood of healthy woodlands and prairies. By growing successive generations of species, they help ensure resilient, self-renewing natural areas for years to come. Restoration volunteers hand collect seeds of many different species in Forest Preserve sites along the Chicago River North Branch, then distribute them to other less healthy North Branch sites.

But some important native species are relatively rare at our sites. Others have seed that are difficult to collect in the wild. We grow some of these special plants in the North Branch seed garden, where we can better harvest their seed for restoration in North Branch sites. If you love getting your hands dirty and enjoy getting to know some of our native plants, please join the workdays at our North Branch seed garden in Niles.


Unlimited Positions available!

6633 W Harts Rd
Niles IL, 60714

Turn into the main driveway for the FPCC Maintenance facility then turn right into a small gravel parking area. Enter the enclosed garden area through a swinging gate.

Contact Info

Contact person for opportunity

Secondary contact:
Mike Andrews


Requirements & Documents

Volunteers must be 18 years or older to participate. All volunteers need to complete the volunteer agreement and waiver form in order to participate. Be prepared for variable weather, uneven terrain, standing and/or walking for two or more hours, working near a fire, and hazardous insects and plants.

What to Expect
Stewardship volunteers help to restore natural habitat by performing seasonal restoration tasks. The work may include removing weeds and invasive vegetation, cutting and burning invasive woody plants, collecting and spreading native seed, and collecting trash. These tasks may incorporate the use of tools, including hand saws, loppers, pruning shears, trowels, shovels, rakes, and other hand tools (manual). All necessary tools, supplies, gloves, and training will be provided.

While we strive to create the safest environment possible, it is impossible to eliminate all potential hazards when working outside in nature. Volunteers are advised to wear long pants, sturdy closed-toe shoes and other seasonally appropriate clothing that can get dirty. Bring a water bottle. Hazards may include stinging or biting insects, poison ivy, walking on uneven terrain, a fire to burn cut brush, and inclement weather.

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.

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