Are you inspired by our region’s vibrant natural areas? Each year, volunteers devote thousands of hours restoring, monitoring, and protecting nature in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan.

You can spend a few hours one afternoon, or commit time every week. Some are new to restoration while others are more experienced leaders. Find the right fit for you through projects and organizations listed below.

How to Get Involved

Restoration Work Days

Learn first-hand about the plants and animals in your local preserves. Plant native species, collect seeds, remove invasive species, and build trails during restoration work days held at parks, preserves, and other natural areas across the region. Gather with other volunteers, often for just a few hours on the weekend, and work alongside knowledgeable and helpful stewards and natural resource managers. 

Members of the Chicago Wilderness alliance periodically partner to schedule work days as part of the Chicago Wilderness Corporate Council's Service Program. Currently work days are scheduled at Fabyan Woods, a rare oak woodland. Join WRD Environmental, the Forest Preserve District of Kane County, and the Natural Resources Committee of Geneva as they partner to help remove invasive plants like buckthorn and honeysuckle. The last work day of the season is scheduled from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on April 25.

Tools, safety glasses, snacks, and beverages are provided. Fun guaranteed. You don’t need to register ahead of time, although if there is a large group interested please email Jay Womack at jwomack@wrdenviornmental.com ahead of time, to assure there is plenty of equipment available. Fabyan is located south of Geneva on the Fox River, with an entrance on Route 25.  Volunteers meet in the parking lot on east side off Rte. 25 (across from the windmill).

For other restoration work days, contact your local:

for upcoming opportunities, or visit the following web sites:

Monitor - Become a Citizen Scientist

Learn to identify and monitor frogs, birds, plants, butterflies, or dragonflies by training and volunteering with the following organizations:

Education and Outreach

Greet families at nature centers; help lead educational programs; contribute newsletter articles and photographs; and assist during special events such as native plant sales.  A range of opportunities are available – simply contact an organization that interests you and discover how you can contribute!