Laona Heights Sugar River Colored Sands Sugar River Two Rivers Ferguson Hartley Memorial Trask Bridge Four Lakes Pecatonica River Pecatonica Wetlands Crooked River Grove Creek Seward Bluffs Klehm Forest Preserve Severson Dells Fuller Memorial Indian Hill Hinchliff Memorial Kilbuck Bluffs Trailside Kishwaukee Gorge South Kishwaukee Gorge North Rockford Rotary Kishwaukee River Oak Ridge Blackhawk Springs Deer Run Espenscheid Memorial McKiski County Line Kieselburg Roland Olson Stone Bridge Clayton Andrews Ledges Hononegah J. Norman Jensen Millrace Isle Macktown Atwood Homestead Forest Preserve Headquarters

Volunteer Opportunities

                                                                             **Current volunteers may report service hours Here   

We 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!  Experience is not required, and on-going training is provided.

Natural Resource Steward

Trail Steward

Native Nursery Volunteer

Citizen Scientist 

R.E.A.P. Volunteer Workdays

(Restoration. Education. Appreciation. Preservation) – Nurture nature by participating in a volunteer workday! No experience is necessary and all ages are welcome. We offer hands-on habitat restoration training consisting of invasive plant removal and native seed collection, plus enriching educational activities.  Participant names are entered into a drawing for a chance to win a prize!

               2018 R.E.A.P. Volunteer Workdays (9 a.m. until Noon – Third Saturdays – Apr through Oct)

Saturday, April 21st – Kishwaukee Gorge Forest Preserve (4643 Blackhawk Road, Cherry Valley) – Brush and Invasive Plant Removal/Guided Wildflower Hike.   View pics from our workday HERE!

Our first R.E.A.P. Workday of 2018 at Kishwaukee Gorge

Saturday, May 19th – Blackhawk Springs Forest Preserve (5360 Mulford Road, Cherry Valley) – Brush Removal/Nature Fiesta Event  View pics from our workday: REAP Volunteer Workday – Blackhawk Springs 2018 5-19

Justin and Steve, our volunteer trainers at Blackhawk Springs

Saturday, June 16th – J. Norman Jensen Forest Preserve (14401 S. Bluff, Rockton) – Seed Collection/Fishing – RSVP (advance registration required)

Saturday, July 21st- Colored Sands Forest Preserve (10602 Haas Road, Shirland) – Seed Collection/Canoeing the Sugar River – RSVP (advance registration required)

Saturday, August 18th – SCOUTS DAY!  Exact Location TBD – Seed Collection/Guided Dragonfly Hike

Saturday, September 15th – Cedar Cliff Forest Preserve NEW! (7901 Kishwaukee Road, Stillman Valley) – Planting Greenhouse Plugs & Brush Removal/ Guided Cliff Exploration – RSVP

Saturday, October 20th – Ferguson Forest Preserve (8602 West Winslow Road, Shirland) – Seed Collection/Guided Waterfowl Hike – RSVP

Litter League

Want to impact our environment while you exercise and enjoy fresh air in the great outdoors?  Pick up litter along the roadway at the entrances of Espenscheid and Blackhawk Springs Forest Preserves.  Whether you participate individually, with a friend, or as part of a group – youth or adult – our Litter League is always in action!  We’ll supply the work gloves, trash bags and safety vests.

Special Events

Serve on a short-term planning committee or just support the activities of the day – the choice is yours! Volunteers are needed for various special events scheduled throughout the year. Assist with greeting visitors, nature activities, games, arts and crafts, and more!

Nature Fiesta – Saturday, May 19th (11am – 3pm) Blackhawk Springs Forest Preserve

Hooked on Fun – Saturday, June 9th (9am – Noon) Four Lakes Forest Preserve

Forest Quest Scavenger Hunt – Saturday, September 15th (5pm) – Severson Dells Nature Center

We make it easy for you to become part of the solution.  

Complete our on-line application:

Volunteer Application for Individuals

(Groups, please click HERE )  


    Shonty and her Dad Ryan help remove invasive honeysuckle at Kilbuck Bluffs Forest Preserve       barbara-williams       dscn6420

Our partner agencies offer volunteer opportunities, too!


Contact Kim O’Malley at (815) 877-6100, or e-mail