Volunteer FAQs



What kind of volunteer opportunities are available?

View the program list for information on all volunteer opportunities or check out our Find Your Match page to help you decide which opportunity is best for you.


How do I sign up for a volunteer opportunity?

Search for a volunteer opportunity. When viewing a volunteer opportunity, click on the “Sign Up” or “View Schedule” button. If you do not have a volunteer account, you will need to create one.


Some volunteer opportunities are drop-in, which means that you do not need to sign up in advance—this will be noted in the “Requirements” section of the opportunity.


Can I earn student service learning hours?

Most volunteer opportunities can provide service learning hours. Contact the person listed under “Contacts & Locations” on individual opportunities for more details. Search for volunteer opportunities.


Can I earn court-ordered community service hours?

For cases facilitated through the Cook County Court Administrator’s office that have been assigned to a case manager or adult probation officer, please contact Monica Fife-Ivy for more details: monica.fife-ivy@cookcountyil.gov or 708-771-1051.


For court appointed community service with no case worker, find a Stewardship Workday, sign up online and contact the person listed under “Contacts & Locations” to make sure that they can sign any documents you have.


Is prior training or experience required?

Most volunteer opportunities require no prior training or experience. Volunteers will receive appropriate training at the beginning of their opportunity. If prior training is required, it will be indicated on the opportunity. Search advanced training opportunities.


Am I covered by Forest Preserves insurance?

The Forest Preserves does not carry accident or injury (Workers’ Compensation) insurance on volunteers. The Forest Preserves does not assume responsibility for any accidents or injuries incurred by Forest Preserves volunteers.


Can I volunteer with a group or my family?

Some volunteer opportunities are appropriate for families and groups. Group-appropriate opportunities will feature a “Sign Up Group” option. Contact the person listed under “Contacts & Locations” on individual opportunities for more details.


Groups wanting to schedule their own volunteer opportunity can sign up here or contact Volunteer Resources at volunteer.FPD@cookcountyil.gov or 773-631-1790.


Is there a minimum age requirement?

Age requirements vary by volunteer opportunity. If a “minimum age” isn’t listed on the opportunity, contact the person listed under “Contacts & Locations” for more details.

Is there a background check?

Very few volunteer opportunities require a background check. If one is required, it will be listed under “Requirements & Documents” section on the opportunity.

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