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 Cedar Cliff 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

Our Volunteers Nurture Nature

                                                                             **Current volunteers may report service hours here   

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!

                                                                                                        

R.E.A.P. (Restoration.Education.Appreciation.Preservation.)

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.

Stay tuned for the 2021 R.E.A.P. Volunteer Workday Schedule!

It is important to remember:

  • We will practice social distancing, but feel free to bring a face covering. If you are sick, PLEASE stay home.
  • Families are welcome!  We encourage parents/guardians to participate alongside their children, so please, no “drop offs.”  The person responsible for the child’s transportation should plan to stay on the premises during the workday.
  • For sanitary reasons, please plan to bring your own water, snack and work gloves.
  • Proper off-trail outdoor workday attire recommended – long pants, long sleeves & sturdy, waterproof shoes (no sandals or flip-flops, please)
  • Wear your insect repellent and sunscreen.
  • In case of extreme weather (storms, excessive heat, etc.) our workday will be canceled – check our website and Facebook page for event cancellation information

 

       

       Volunteer Trainer Steve Hornbeck       Mike Groves, Natural Resource Manager

Citizen Science

Become a part of a growing group of volunteers who observe and record information about the natural world! Citizen Science 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 (Budburst )

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!

APPLY HERE

Questions?  Contact our Naturalist/Educator.

Congratulations to long-time FPWC Volunteer and Citizen Scientist, Joyce Gibbons, who was featured in the July issue of the Northwest Quarterly Magazine’s “25 Most Interesting People.”

Trail Stewardship

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.

APPLY HERE

Questions? Contact our Volunteer Coordinator.

Native Nursery

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.

APPLY HERE

Questions?  Contact our Natural Resource Manager.

Litter League

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.

APPLY HERE

Questions?  Contact our Volunteer Coordinator.

Associated Bank

Special Events

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! Special Events have been postponed for the season due to COVID-19. 

APPLY HERE

Questions?  Contact our Volunteer Coordinator.

AmeriCorps

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.

Other Ways to Get Involved

Discover the exciting volunteer opportunities at our partner agencies: