volunteer

April 2018 Volunteer Opportunities and Trainings

As winter melts away to spring, Forest Preserves of Cook County volunteers can watch as the woodlands, prairies, savannas and wetlands come alive with spring wildflowers, migrating birds and a variety of wildlife while helping to restore the habitat that supports hundreds of plants and animals that thrive in Cook County’s wild. Consider joining one of the volunteer workdays below, or check out the full list of opportunities at fpdcc.com/volunteer.

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Three Unique Ways to Volunteer in the Forest Preserves of Cook County

In addition to the numerous volunteer workdays available throughout the Forest Preserves of Cook County, there are several programs that enable residents to give back to nature in unique ways.

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Mach 2018 Volunteer Opportunities & Trainings

A new month means plenty of new opportunities to join restoration efforts in the Forest Preserves of Cook County. As spring approaches, volunteers may spot a variety of blooming spring wildflowers while contributing to the important ecological work that allows these plants to thrive.

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Miami Woods Stewards Celebrate 40 Years of Nurturing Nature

With nearly 70,000 acres of public lands, managing diverse ecosystems comes with many challenges. A lot of resources are needed to successfully restore habitats, from money to actual people performing work. This is why volunteer stewardship is often a vital component to restoration efforts in the Forest Preserves of Cook County. In the case of Miami Woods, a 111-acre natural area consisting of prairie and woodland, the dedication of the public is the very reason for the efforts.

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February 2018 Volunteer Opportunities & Trainings

Show your love for the Forest Preserves of Cook County this February by volunteering at a stewardship workday. Volunteer work is fun and meaningful, and our nearly 70,000 acres provides numerous ways to get involved. Consider joining a workday to help restore the native habitats where plants and animals can thrive in the wild.

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January Volunteer Opportunities & Trainings

If giving back to the community is on your list of New Year’s resolutions, consider joining a restoration workday in the Forest Preserves of Cook County. There are opportunities all throughout the County, and are open to people of all experience levels. Please be sure to dress for the weather, including study footwear.

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December Volunteer Opportunities and Trainings

While some may think nature is self–sufficient, the truth is that ensuring our natural lands thrive takes work. A lot of work.   The Forest Preserves are fortunate to have dedicated stewards at sites throughout the county, each hosting numerous volunteer workdays during the year. If you’re looking for a fun and easy way to give back to nature, consider joining a workday:

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Try This! Seed Collecting at Spring Creek Forest Preserve

Interested in volunteering, but not sure where to start? Consider joining a seed collecting workday with the Spring Creek Stewards at Spring Creek Forest Preserve in Barrington Hills!  We need lots of volunteers to help with our seed collecting efforts.

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Volunteer Newsletter: Tales from the Trails

Story and photo by Robert Schwaan   People often ask me what I am going to do with my life now that I am retired. I respond by telling them that I volunteer and plan to continue doing so. Some respond to my answer with “Why?!” I volunteer because I feel that nature often affects people in a positive and lasting way. Recently, I had a few experiences that proved this to be true.

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Volunteer Newsletter: Nature in Focus

We talked with two of our volunteers and talented amateur nature photographers to learn what inspires them. Fidencio Marbella and Kris DaPra share their advice on how you too can give nature photography a try.

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Volunteer Newsletter: The Spirit of Volunteerism

By Amy Julian, Naturalist I at Little Red Schoolhouse   The spirit of volunteerism is felt throughout the Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center thanks to the staff and clients from UCP Seguin of Greater Chicago “CHOICE” programming in Oak Park.  UCP Seguin of Greater Chicago is a nonprofit organization that provides adults with disabilities opportunities to develop living skills while encouraging community involvement. This group of committed individuals has been of service to the Nature Center on a weekly basis for more than a year now.

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Adopt-A-Site Volunteer Morgan Gawlik Knows Importance of Giving Back

When Steven Gawlik was growing up, his mother Susan taught him respect for the environment, and that humans only have one life to live so people need to take care of it. Because he had these values, Steven was able to pass them down to his daughter Morgan, who is now a Forest Preserves Adopt-A-Site volunteer at only 6 years old.

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Celebrate Earth Day, Arbor Day With The Forest Preserves of Cook County

Throughout the Forest Preserves of Cook County, visitors can join in on celebrations and restoration work days in honor of Earth Day. Celebrating Earth Day is a great way to explore the Forest Preserves while making an impact on our local natural areas. It’s also an opportunity to continue preserving habitat for the millions of plants, animals and other living things that call the Forest Preserves home.

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Volunteer Newsletter: Volunteer Impact of our Monitoring Partners

By Mary Busch, Volunteer Program Specialist   The Volunteer Resources team would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of our partner monitoring organizations and all of the volunteer monitors on the ground in the Forest Preserves of Cook County and beyond.

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Volunteer Newsletter: Batty for Bats

Bats have a pretty bad reputation, largely because they are feared and misunderstood.  These fears and misconceptions about bats have only been perpetuated by scary movies and sensationalized reporting in the media, but the reality is that bats are passive. They actually play an important role in our local ecosystems, mainly in controlling insect populations. In fact, a single bat can consume 3,000 insects in one night including the pesky ones like mosquitoes. You’re welcome. They are also a great barometer of the conditions of our environment because where there are bats, there are insects. And where there are insects, there is less toxicity, greater biodiversity and so on.

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Visit two of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County