Volunteer Opportunities


Stewardship Workdays

The Nature Conservancy was built on the dedication of our members and volunteers. Today we still rely on the support of those who are interested in helping the environment and working with others who share their passion for nature. By contributing your time and skills, you will be making a huge difference on the natural communities we've vowed to protect and preserve. Join us and your fellow nature lovers for one our upcoming workdays: 

Weekly workdays
Thursdays, 9 to 11 a.m., Central Time
Each Thursday during the growing season, join our Kankakee Sands staff in restoration activities, such as planting native plants, removing non-native plants, harvesting seeds and garbage cleanup. To receive a weekly email about the Thursday activity, please email Alyssa Nyberg, and let her know that you’d like to be on the Kankakee Sands volunteer email list

Thursday, September 15, 2016; 9 a.m. - 11 a.m., Central Time
Kankakee Sands, Newton County
Seed Harvest at the Kankakee Sands Native Plant Nursery, Part 2: we will be meeting and working at the Kankakee Sands Nursery to harvest native plant seeds. This week we will be focusing on harvesting milkweeds, thistles, and verbenas, which are all loved by monarch butterflies. Hopefully we will see a good number of monarchs as we harvest seeds. The nursery is located at 1492 W CR 250 N, Morocco, IN 47963.

After our workday, we'll venture out to see the most beautiful of beautiful restoration plantings that we have done at Kankakee Sands. Right now the prairie dropseed grass is in its full popcorn-smell glory, the rattlesnake master is quite stately, and the yellows of the bidens, coreopsis and goldenrods are something to behold. From the nursery, the site is just a quick 10-minute drive. The hike can be as short or long as you have time for. You are welcome to stay and wander and enjoy for as long as you desire. If you’d like to just join us for the hike, meet us at 11 am at the Nursery and we can carpool and caravan to the restoration planting.

This year, we have a noble goal of 8 pounds of common milkweed seed (Asclepias syriaca) to meet our restoration planting needs. If you have common milkweed seed from the Newton, Jasper, Lake, or Benton County, IN area or the Kankakee or Will County, IL area that you might like to donate, we’d be grateful! Milkweed pods can be harvested when the seed inside is a rich, chocolatey, brown color. Pods and/or seeds will dry well in a paper bag. Please remember that when harvesting seed from the wild, only take 1/3 of the seedheads/pods/capsules at most, and leave the remaining 2/3 to grow into new plants or for wildlife to eat.
No experience necessary. RSVPs appreciated. Email Alyssa Nyberg or call her (219) 866-1706 for more information. 
Saturday, October, 8th, 2016; 9 a.m. - Noon, Central Time
Kankakee Sands, Newton County
Seed Harvest at the Kankakee Sands Native Plant Nursery, Part 2: Enjoy the orange and gold colors of the prairie during this workday of collecting seeds. There will be seed harvesting activities in the beds of the nursery, and seed cleaning activities in the shade of the pole barn. Fun for all, that’s our promise...and cookies too!
No experience necessary.  Fleece and wool clothing is not recommended as it collects seeds. Feel free to bring your lunch and have a picnic on the prairie or hike a trail at Kankakee Sands (in costume!) after the workday.  R. S.V.P.’s appreciated. Email Alyssa Nyberg or call her at (219) 866-1706 for more information and to R.S.V.P.  We will begin the morning at the Kankakee Sands Native Plant nursery located at 1492 W 250 N, Morocco, IN, 47963.
Saturday, November 12th, 2016; 9 a.m. - Noon, Central Time
Kankakee Sands, Newton County
Seed Cleaning at the Kankakee Sands Seed Barn: The seed harvest is finished and now it is time to clean the seeds for planting this coming winter. Join us as we work with native plant seeds large and small, appreciating each and every one. Warning: the work can be a bit dusty and sneezy.
We will provide training, work gloves, eye protection, and any other necessary protective gear. R. S.V.P.’s appreciated. Email Alyssa Nyberg or call her at (219) 866-1706 for more information and to R.S.V.P.  We will begin the morning at the Kankakee Sands Seed Barn located at 417 W, 600 N, Lake Village, IN, 47963. 

Ongoing Volunteer positions

Are you looking for a more permanent opportunity to share your time and talents with us? Check out these ongoing volunteer positions located in various areas around the state and fill out our volunteer application. If you don't see one that fits your interests and/or location, fill out the application anyways and indicate your preferences on location, time, skills, interests, etc. We'll work with you to find something that works for both of us!

Kankakee Sands
Southern Lake Michigan Rim

Butterfly Monitors: May-September
Butterflies are a key indicator of the health of our prized, remnant ecosystems, like the globally rare dune and swale ecosystem, found in northern Lake County, Indiana, in the Tolleston Strand Plain. To help track butterfly populations in various remnant natural areas, the Southern Lake Michigan Rim Project Office is annually in need of monitors from May through September to weekly collect data on the same route. No experience is required but you will need to attend one of the annual training events. If you would like to learn more, listen to John Henry Drake, Regional Ecologist at the Indiana Chapter, on a replay of an internet radio interview conducted in January 2013. For more information or to sign up, contact John Henry Drake.

Be a Digital Volunteer!

Can't join us in person? Here are some other ways to help.

Internship Opportunities

Are you interested in how The Nature Conservancy in Indiana works? Interns will have the opportunity to visit select Conservancy nature preserves and to interact with a variety of staff, including administrative, land acquisition, and conservation staff.


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