Volunteer Frequently Asked Questions

a person cutting buckthorn with loppers at Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center

Don’t see an answer to your question? You can contact us at 773-631-1790 or Volunteer.FPD@cookcountyil.gov.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of opportunities are available?

View the opportunities list for information on all 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 an opportunity?

Search for an opportunity. When viewing an opportunity, click on the “Schedule” tab. Find a date that works for you and click the “Sign Up Individual” button. If you do not have a volunteer account, you will need to create one.

Some 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?

Yes, learn more on the Community Service page.

Can I earn court-ordered community service hours?

Yes, learn more on the Community Service page.

Is prior training or experience required?

Most 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. Learn more about 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?

Yes, learn more on the Group Volunteering page.

Is there a minimum age requirement?

Age requirements vary by 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 opportunities require a background check. If one is required, it will be listed under “Requirements & Documents” section on the opportunity.