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Join like-minded nature lovers and volunteer with us

A man puts brush on a fire.
(Photo by Anthony Schalk)

If you are looking for ways to meet fellow nature lovers and to make a difference in the natural world around you, consider signing up for a Volunteer Morning with the Forest Preserve District. 

The 2023 third quarter program dates have been released and there are ample opportunities for you to get involved at sites throughout Will County (see below). Once you sign up, you will work with the Forest Preserve’s conservation department to mostly remove invasive species. Some programs involve seed collection or litter removal. 

Volunteer Mornings are from 8-11 a.m. and for ages 10 and older, unless otherwise noted. Participants younger than 16 must be accompanied by an adult. 

Volunteers are encouraged to wear appropriate clothing for outdoor work including sturdy shoes. Bringing water and snacks is recommended. Space is limited and registration is required. To get started, complete a waiver online. For questions, contact volunteer services supervisor Emily Kenny at 815-722-7364 or [email protected].

Here are the July, August and September programs: 

  • Saturday, July 8: Sugar Creek Preserve, Joliet.
  • Thursday, July 13: Vermont Cemetery Preserve, Naperville. 
  • Sunday, July 16: Hickory Creek Junction, Frankfort Township. 
  • Thursday, July 20: Sugar Creek Preserve, Joliet.
  • Tuesday, July 25: Riverview Farmstead Preserve, Naperville. 
  • Thursday, Aug. 3: Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve, Crete Township. Fence removal; ages 16 and older. 
  • Saturday, Aug. 19: Rock Run Rookery, Joliet. Brush control and litter pickup. 
  • Thursday, Aug. 24: Keepataw Preserve, DuPage Township. Brush control.
  • Sunday, Aug. 27: Whalon Lake, Naperville. Brush control.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 29: 10 a.m.–1 p.m., Kankakee Sands Preserve, Custer Township. Seed collection; ages 8 and older.
  • Thursday, Sept. 7: 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Plum Valley Preserve, Crete Township. Seed collection; ages 8 and older. 
  • Saturday, Sept. 9: Hammel Woods – Route 59 Access, Shorewood. Brush control. 
  • Tuesday, Sept. 12: 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Braidwood Dunes and Savanna Nature Preserve, Reed Township. Seed collection; ages 8 and older. 
  • Tuesday, Sept. 19: 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Kankakee Sands Preserve, Custer Township. Seed collection; ages 8 and older. 
  • Saturday, Sept. 23: 8 a.m.–noon, Hickory Creek Preserve – LaPorte Road Access, Mokena (National Public Lands Day). Brush control, litter pickup and seed collection; all ages.
  • Tuesday, Sept 26: 10 a.m.–1 p.m., Riverview Farmstead Preserve, Naperville. Seed collection; ages 8 and older.


Help celebrate the 30th annual National Public Lands Day


Sign up for a Volunteer Morning or attend a one-day or ongoing event to mark the 30th annual National Public Lands Day on Saturday, Sept. 23. NPLD is the largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands. 

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Yes, there really are pelicans in Will County; see for yourself at Pelican Watch!


The annual Pelican Watch celebrating the return of the migratory birds to Will County waters will take place on Saturday, Sept. 23, at Four Rivers Environmental Education Center in Channahon. Learn more about the American white pelican and its habits at this free, family-friendly event!

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