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Try This! Seed Collecting at Spring Creek Forest Preserve

volunteers collecting seeds at Bluff Spring Fen

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.

“Seed collecting can be a great introduction to volunteering in the Forest Preserves; it’s fun, relaxing and can be enjoyed by volunteers of all ages,” explains Raquel Garcia-Alvarez, stewardship program coordinator with the Forest Preserves of Cook County. “Anyone from families to a group of friends can join in on an upcoming workday, and have a great time while helping to heal the land. Best of all, no previous experience is needed.”

According to Garcia-Alvarez, collecting and sowing seeds is very important to re-establish and expand native plant populations, especially in areas with low biodiversity.  Seed collected at Spring Creek will be distributed on site.

Another perk to joining volunteer efforts at Spring Creek Forest Preserve is the chance to immerse yourself in breathtaking nature. Spring Creek preserve is a vast landscape with almost 4,000 acres of tallgrass prairies, rolling woodlands, and rare wetlands. Because of its size and variety of habitats, Spring Creek is an excellent location to spot diverse wildlife including Sandhill Cranes, Blue-winged Warblers, foxes, frogs and beavers.

Spring Creek Forest Preserve has long benefited from the dedication of the Spring Creek Stewards, whose efforts focus on restoring prairies to improve habitat of grassland birds such as the Bobolink, Meadowlark, and Henslow’s Sparrow. Wetlands receive care to protect endangered species, and magnificent oaks are freed of the choke-hold of buckthorn and other invaders.

To join the Spring Creek team to help collect and sow seed, check out a calendar of workdays. Please note, seed collecting workdays may include walking for long distances on uneven terrain, and volunteers should be sure to dress for inclement weather. Those who join in during the colder months may also be treated to the stewards’ famous homemade soups warmed up on the brush pile after a productive and satisfying morning of work. It tastes even better knowing you’ve made a difference in the ecological health of the Spring Creek community.

Interested in seed collecting? There are opportunities to volunteer throughout the Forest Preserves. Click here to explore other opportunities.