Schedule Slots Available!
Join us at Beaubien Woods and see how the Forest Preserves Celebrates Earth Day! Make an immediate difference when you participate in litter cleanup or habitat restoration. Stay for a hike and other fun activities. We'll also be giving away Earth Day t-shirts on a first-come first-served basis. Don't miss it.
Dates: 9 Mar 2018 - 21 Apr 2018
Schedule Slots Available!
This opportunity has a schedule. Click view schedule belowon the left to see available times.
Contact person for opportunity
-Earth Day activities will run from 9am-1pm.
To participate in the litter clean-up and various Earth Day activities throughout the Day - register for the Earth Day sign-up.
If you would like to participate in Stewardship Activities as one of your main activities - please sign up for a Restoration slot.
-Participants should dress for the weather and wear old clothes that can get dirty. Sturdy shoes are required. See the attachments for our "Be Prepared List." See "what to wear" for English and "Document 1" for Spanish
-Bring your favorite work gloves if you have them; gloves, trash bags and other tools will be provided
-Training for activities will be provided
What to wear/bring
Engage event visitors and get them excited about what the Forest Preserves offer. You can assist staff with a variety of activities and crafts for the public and share your love of nature.
Dates: 3 Mar 2015 - 1 Jan 2019
- There is 1 shift available 11:30am to 4pm (lunch provided)
- Assist staff with set-up/take down of the event
- Assist staff with a craft or activity station
- Share your love of nature and the Forest Preserves with the public
- Volunteers must apply online
- After you apply, a staff member will contact you to discuss your role at the event
- This role is not suitable for court-appointed community service
- Criminal background check required
Energetic groups and families wanted! Your group can make a difference! Make any day "Earth Day" by cleaning up your favorite picnic grove, trail or shoreline in the Forest Preserves.
Dates: 13 Mar 2018 - 23 Apr 2018
Unlimited Positions available!
- This is a self-led project! You are the workday leader!
- Once you apply for this Opportunity, a staff member will contact you to set up the details of your cleanup
Be prepared to tell us:
1. What is the name on your online volunteer profile?
2. How many people are in your group? (up to 100)
3. Your preferred site?
If you do not have a preference, we can help you find one
4. Preferred date(s) of your cleanup?
Make any day "Earth Day!" April 21 is the official Earth Day Chicago, in partnership with the Friends of the Parks, but group "Earth Day" litter cleanups can take place on any day.
- We will provide gloves, trash bags, preparation and safety information (see attachment called "Position Description")
- Volunteers should dress to be outside. Wear layers, sturdy shoes and clothes that can get dirty (see attachment called "What to wear/bring")
- You can customize your day by adding educational & recreational activities; All ages are ok!
Clear off some space on your workbench! If you have basic carpentry skills and your own power tools at home, you can be a volunteer instrument maker with the Forest Preserves. Trailside Nature Center will provide volunteers with the branches of invasive plant species that have been removed to help restore the health of our natural areas. We'll provide some instruction and guidelines and you bring the vision to life. Instruments like sound sticks (claves) and shakers will be used to help children become more engaged with nature and perform in our monthly Makin' Music Bluegrass Jam.
Dates: 20 Dec 2017 - 20 Dec 2018
10 Positions available!
Must be available to get to Trailside Nature Center for a brief one-time orientation
Must have your own power tools at home. FPCC will not be providing power tools.
Opportunity is very flexible ("volunteer from home"). Project completion timeline can be established with Trailside Staff.
Have you recently left a restoration workday feeling so inspired that you thought about becoming a stewardship leader yourself? The Path to Stewardship Program can get you there, become an Aspiring Stewardship Workday Leader today! Stewardship Workday Leaders communicate with the Site Steward(s) to plan workdays that are productive and inclusive, and most importantly operate within the site's approved Management Schedule. Learn to Plan Down to the Last Details: Workday logistics such as: bringing the appropriate tools, posting signage when needed, collecting signed waivers, assuring brush pile calls are made and any other reporting or tasks are completed as needed.
Lead by Example:Introductions and a site orientation help your group feel included and informed right from the start. Learn to effectively communicate workday safety rules, demonstrate proper techniques for basic workday activities (brush cutting, brush pile burning, collecting and sowing seed). Become confident in identifying target species and share your knowledge with others to ensure a targeted and productive workday.
Available Forest Preserve Sites where Stewardship Workday Leaders are needed (download site descriptions):* *Busse Woods *Dolton Prairie *Sundown Meadow *Brookfield Prairie
Identify a Steward who agrees to be your Coach through the Stewardship Workday Leader process, download the informational packet in the attachment link above.
Complete the 3 required courses:
1) Brush Pile Building and Burning
2) Managing Invasives
3) Group Leadership Training
Complete the Coaching process:
A) Observe Main Coach at a workday from start through finish
B) Observe One workdaysat an alternate stewardship site with a different steward
C) Lead workday at Main Site with Main Coach
D) Lead 1 workday with alternate Mentor observing either at main or alternate site
Recommendation for approval is signed by your coach
Workday Leader Observation Form A
Workday Leader Observation Form B
Workday Leader Observation Form C
Workday Leader Observation Form D
The following sites are looking for a Herbicide Volunteer to assist with restoration work on nature center grounds. Both operators and applicators are welcomed. Please see the description to see if you fit the opportunity.
Dates: 23 Oct 2013 - 1 Jan 2019
2 Positions available!
*Must hold a current IL Department of Agriculture Pesticide Applicator License
*Works under the direction of the Nature Center staff
*Must follow all District rules, regulations and policies
*Strong plant ID skills required
*All PPE and equipment will be provided by FPCC
*Will work with Nature Center staff to establish a schedule; flexibility available
*Positions will run for 6 months from start date; opportunity to continue available
Do you enjoy learning with children when they explore and make discoveries through play? Then join us for our Nature is Accessible event. Mother Nature provides a playground for wild animals, plants and people of all abilities, too. Volunteers will support Naturalists with pond exploration, track activities, soil exploration and touch tables for visitors of all abilities.
Dates: 15 Mar 2018 - 1 Feb 2019
Must be friendly, outgoing, personable, flexible and patient with learners.
Volunteers will be asked to assist Naturalists with activities during this program.
After you sign up, a staff person will contact you to talk about your role at the event.
Special Needs/Special Olympics experience is beneficial, but not required.
A Criminal background check is required for this role.
During Mother's Day weekend, we'lll be showing love to everyone's mother- Mother Nature! Rally your friends and family members and come out to the Maple Lake Boating Center for a targeted shoreline cleanup on Saturday, May 12th from 9am to noon.
Volunteer as an individual or form a team and tackle the trash that accumulates along the shoreline, posing a hazard to birds and aquatic animals including frogs and fish.
Litter is a serious problem, but the cleanup will be fun. Compete with fellow volunteers to see who can collect the most trash. Get photographed with your weirdest piece of litter—one person's trash might be your "Catch of the Day". All participants earn serious bragging rights.
Trash grabbers, gloves and bags and refreshments will be provided. Wearing rubber boots is highly encouraged.
Dates: 13 Sep 2017 - 1 Jan 2019
- We will provide gloves, trash bags, preparation and safety information (see attachment called "document")
- Volunteers should dress to be outside. Wear layers, sturdy shoes and clothes that can get dirty (see attachment called "what to wear/bring")
- You can customize your day by adding educational & recreational activities
Join us to celebrate migration and raise awareness of bird conservation. We're looking for a few good birders (and friendly faces).There are two ways to help:1) If you can tell the difference between a downy and a hairy woodpecker, sign up as a Bird Hike Leader2) If you want to help the event run smoothly and make people feel welcome, sign up as a Greeter
Dates: 13 Mar 2018 - 1 Feb 2019
Bird Hike Leader
* Help lead bird hikes for the public
* Ability to identify bird species by sound and sight
* Welcome visitors to the site
* Lend binoculars to bird hikers
Help kids discover their inner musician at our Bluegrass Jams programs. You will be leading the discussion and creation of a simple musical instrument using repurposed invasive species. When you arrive a naturalist will walk you through the activity. You will teach youth about invasive species in the Forest Preserves and how to play the instrument.
Dates: 21 Oct 2016 - 1 Feb 2019
* The ability to communicate effectively with children
* Willingness to teach about concepts including invasive species, repurposing, and basic rhythmic patterns
* Background check required
Bluegrass Jams take place on the 2nd Sunday of every month from 1-3pm.
Come out and jam! An interest in bluegrass music is a bonus but not required. Use your ability to play an instrument to inspire children to explore the arts and nature. Youth will have an opportunity to create a simple instrument out of repurposed invasive species and join the jam. You do not need to be an expert to be a part of the jam. The goal is to have fun and learn from other players by improvising with the group.
Dates: 21 Oct 2016 - 1 Feb 2020
Must have the ability (you do not have to be an expert) to play an acoustic instrument.
Bluegrass Jams take place on the 2nd Sunday of every month from 1-3pm.
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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