Forest Preserve District

The mission of the Forest Preserve District is to acquire, protect, and preserve lands that contain or connect natural forests or are capable of being forested, for the purpose of the education, pleasure, and recreation of the public.

With over 68,000 acres of nature in Cook County, there are endless opportunities for teens to get involved and earn volunteer hours. The Forest Preserve District of Cook County needs volunteers who care about the health of the land. That's where you come in!

What Volunteers Do

Adopt-A-Site: Make A Lasting Connection Pick a site and volunteer three times per year. Students can earn volunteer hours, learn about healthy habitats, and make a lasting impact on their community. Choose a project from our list below:

- Litter Obliterators: Pick up litter as you explore your site and enjoy nature. We provide supplies, training, and permits. Ask about other unique projects to accompany your cleanups. (ex. start a litter or recycling campaign, monitor wildlife, or create a photo-documentary)

- Ecological Stewardship: Students can join in the effort to save rare species and make natural areas healthier in the Preserves. Participants can learn to identify and remove invasive species, collect and distribute native seeds, monitor wildlife, and more.

- Create Your Own Adventure: Counselors and teachers can create customized group projects for their classroom or for their school. Your classroom will come to life as you develop projects that link indoor classroom concepts to hands-on, outdoor volunteer activities. Be creative and try something new!

- Career Mentoring: Students can find out what it is like to work in the Preserves and explore opportunities for their future. Teens have a chance to work with Forest Preserve staff and Stewards, job-shadow, apply for internships, and more.

Additional Information

The Forest Preserve District usually has flexible (as opposed to fixed-time) opportunities. Get a group together, determine a convenient schedule and location for your group's members, and contact us to set up a customized program.

At this time, the Forest Preserve District is primarily seeking teacher-led projects. Interested students should talk to their teachers about participating.

Contact Information

For more info, contact:
Cassie Hatzfeld
High School Volunteer Program Coordinator
(773) 631-1790 x16

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Upcoming Events

For more opportunities, check the monthly calendar.