Volunteer for Nature

Volunteers are needed across Illinois—in cities, suburbs and rural areas—to help care for green spaces and share the wonders of nature with others.

A seedling is held by a volunteer's hands, showing it to the group of children around them.
Volunteers with plants Volunteers install a rain and pollinator garden at a Chicago Public School. © Sandy Bressner
A white pelican floats on a body of water.
White Pelican White pelicans are one of hundreds of thousands of migratory and resident birds found at Emiquon. © Laura Stoecker

Help Protect Illinois Wetlands

Illinois has lost nearly 90% of its wetlands. As we face a changing climate and increasing extreme weather events, we can’t afford to lose any more.

Tell your legislators to vote “Yes” and co-sponsor SB771, which will protect our wetlands for generations to come.

New Volunteer Stewardship Network (VSN) Report

Learn how the VSN supports volunteer groups that care for Illinois nature.

Read the Report

Roll Up Your Sleeves—and Make a Difference

For over 40 years, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has partnered with the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission to support more than 140 groups that care for nature and their local communities. 

Volunteer opportunities vary from removing invasive species and collecting native plant seeds to monitoring birds, tending community gardens and connecting communities to nature through outdoor programming. There is a role for everybody: Individuals, families or groups.

TNC has also been partners with the Chicago Park District (CPD) for more than a decade. CPD offers a variety of environmental stewardship opportunities at natural areas and parks across the city.

Find Volunteer Opportunities by Zip Code

It’s easy to find volunteer opportunities near you. Simply enter your address or zip code in the search function below. If you cannot find an opportunity that appeals to you, please contact for assistance.

    Looking for TNC Volunteer Opportunities?

    Five TNC natural areas and programs regularly enlist volunteers: Nachusa Grasslands, Indian Boundary Prairies, Kankakee Sands, Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie and the Illinois River Program. We’d appreciate your help!