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. Volunteer Workdays (Restoration.Education.Appreciation.Preservation.)

R.E.A.P. Workday Volunteers planted 300 containers of native plants at Cedar Cliff Forest Preserve in Stillman Valley on 9/21/2019 (click on photo to enlarge)

Stay tuned for our 2020 schedule coming soon!

It is important to remember:

  • Proper off-trail outdoor workday attire recommended – long pants, long sleeves & sturdy, waterproof shoes (no sandals or flip-flops, please)
  • Light snack & work gloves provided – bring your water bottle – wear your insect repellent & 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

No experience? No problem!  Our natural resource experts offer hands-on ecological restoration training consisting of invasive plant removal and native seed collection, plus enriching conservation activities when our work is done.

       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 in collaboration with professional scientists!  Our Citizen Science programs are designed for people of all ages and backgrounds utilizing easy methods with excellent training. Regional experts, FPWC staff and experienced Citizen Scientists work closely with volunteers to prepare and support them in species identification and documentation.  No experience is necessary!  Current monitoring projects include:

These educational sessions are free and open to anyone interested in learning about Winnebago County wildlife; however, those interested in volunteering as an official Citizen Science Monitor will need to register as a volunteer (see application link at the bottom of this page).  Stay tuned for group Field Study sessions that will be held throughout the season!

Neil McLaughlin, FPWC Bluebird Nestbox Monitor and Mentor                                                                   

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!

Hooked on Fun!  is held each June at Four Lakes Forest Preserve

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.

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.


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

Discover the many other volunteer opportunities we offer


Other Ways to Get Involved

Discover the exciting volunteer opportunities at our partner agencies: