Volunteer With Us!
Current volunteers may report service hours here!
Our Volunteers Nurture Nature!
The Forest Preserves of Winnebago County provides unique and enriching opportunities for local citizens to explore and learn about our natural areas and the wildlife that inhabit them. Whether you assist at a one-time event, or commit to a long-term project, our volunteer program offers flexible opportunities that appeal to a wide variety of interests – for individuals and groups alike!
Become a R.E.A.P. Volunteer and make a difference! Habitat restoration workdays are held at various forest preserves on the third Saturday of the month in late spring/summer. Experience is not required! Our natural resource experts offer hands-on ecological restoration training, such as invasive plant removal and native seed collection, plus enriching conservation activities when our work is done.
Community Science (also known as Citizen Science)
Become a part of a growing group of volunteers who observe and record information about the natural world! Volunteers help us collect valuable wildlife data that we use to make land management decisions and secure grant funding.
Current Citizen Science projects include:
Bats Calling Frogs
Bluebirds Plant Monitoring (Budburts)
Bumblebees General Monitoring (iNaturalist)
Duties vary depending on the project. Some projects are are simple and beginner-friendly, while others are more technical. Choose what works best for you! All volunteers receive state-of-the art training to ensure confidence and comfort in their roles. No previous science experience is necessary – all that is needed is a general awareness and appreciation of nature!
While workday volunteers care for the larger ecological health of our natural areas, a Trail Steward “adopts” a forest preserve trail and focuses on keeping it safe and pleasant for our visitors. Activities include litter control, clearing brush and debris from trails after storms, and reporting any inappropriate uses of the trail to the designated Area Manager. On-going training and education is provided.
Our Native Plant Nursery is located at our Resource Center near Severson Dells Forest Preserve. Volunteers weed and water plant beds, install plugs, monitor and inventory plants, collect and clean seed, learn plant propagation techniques and more! We meet at 9 am each Thursday morning.
Litter really BUGS us! Whether your participate individually, with a friend, or as part of a group – youth or adult – our Litter League is in action! Bring your work gloves, and we’ll supply the trash bags for you to pick up trash along the roadway to the entrances of Espenscheid and Blackhawk Springs Forest Preserves.
Serve on a short-term planning committee or just support the activities of the day…the choice is yours! Special Event volunteers enjoy welcoming the public to nature by assisting with greeting visitors, special event activities, games, kids crafts and more!
The Forest Preserves of Winnebago County is excited to partner with Severson Dells, Boone County Conservation District, Byron Forest Preserves, Dekalb County Forest Preserves and the Natural Land Institute to offer opportunities for AmeriCorps volunteers to engage in environmental education, habitat restoration and citizen science. Click here for details about AmeriCorps!