Group Volunteering

a group of high school volunteers at Busse Woods. Photo by Kris DaPra.
Photo by Kris DaPra.

Group volunteering in the Forest Preserves of Cook County is ideal for school or youth groups, corporations, faith-based groups, scout groups and more.

On this page:


The Forest Preserves offers two kinds of volunteer opportunities for groups: Ecological Stewardship Days and Litter Cleanups.

  • Transportation: The Forest Preserves has a limited amount of funding set aside to provide buses for volunteer groups. If the cost of transportation is a limiting factor for your group, please fill out the Bus Grant Application (PDF).
  • Student Service Learning: The Forest Preserves provides documentation for student service learning hours. Learn more on the Community Service page.
  • Long-Term Projects: Contact and let us match you with a variety of projects in the Forest Preserves.

Ecological Stewardship Days

Make a noticeable difference by removing invasive brush or harvesting native seed in season. Learn about different ecosystems and what makes them healthy firsthand.

  • Tools, gloves, onsite safety training and supervision provided
  • Year-round Stewardship Days available, tasks vary by season
  • Scheduling dependent on group size and required supervision
  • Parental consent forms for participants under 18 and chaperone ratio of 1:10 required (if applicable)

Ready to sign up? Find a Stewardship Day and contact the leader so they can be prepared with tools, supplies and supervision. After talking to the leader, sign up for the opportunity as a group. Make sure to register as a “Group/Organization Leader” when creating your account.

Can’t find a date that works? Sign up for the Stewardship Day for Groups opportunity and we will start the process to plan a successful Stewardship Day. Make sure to register as a “Group/Organization Leader” when creating your account.

Contact with any questions.

Group Litter Cleanups

Our Litter Obliterators group cleanup opportunity is perfect for groups of friends, families, or organized groups like service organizations, faith communities, schools or corporate groups. We’ll support you with gloves and bags, and quickly find you a match for a date and location of your choice.

  • Schedule a cleanup at any time at almost any forest preserve through a quick matching and confirmation process.
  • We deliver gloves and bags to a pickup site near you, and explain how to coordinate a clean-up.
  • Your group leader organizes and leads the cleanup itself, including arranging supervision and chaperones (if needed).

Ready to sign up? Sign up for the Litter Obliterators opportunity on our Online Volunteer System. We will reach out to you to confirm date, location and supply delivery site.

Questions, suggestions or concerns? Contact