Volunteer at Spring Valley

Spring Valley's volunteer program encourages community involvement and assistance in the ongoing restoration of the nature areas and with the presentation of public programs and special events. Volunteers must be at least 14 years of age with a strong interest in providing a community service. Group volunteer opportunities also exist. If you have any questions, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator at 847-985-2100 or complete the Volunteer Application here and we'll be in touch.

A variety of short term, seasonal and ongoing projects are available. Volunteer opportunities often occur on specific days and times; however, the program is structured to work with your schedule and availability.

Ground Maintenance & Conservation

  • Garden & display maintenance may include planting, weeding, watering of various display gardens; most activities take place spring-fall.
  • Conservation/resource management may include invasive plant removal, seed collecting, planting native plants, prescribed burning*; many activities are seasonal, however some are year-round.
  • Trail maintenance includes repairing damaged includes repairing damaged boardwalks, mulching trails, trimming back overgrowth; projects can occur year-round.
  • Equipment repair/carpentry* involved maintenance and repair of hand tools and small power equipment, construction and installation of boardwalks/fencing/gates/kiosks, etc.; work is both indoors and outdoors and may occur at any time of year.
  • Monitoring natural areas* may include monitoring of native plant species, bird species, nesting boxes, butterflies or other pollinators, reptiles and amphibians; also includes care and maintenance of bird feeders; many activities are seasonal, taking place spring-fall, while others are year-round.

Events & Programs

  • Special events represent one of Spring Valley's greatest volunteer needs. Volunteers assist with various tasks including admission sales, parking and crowd management, food and beverage sales, children's craft projects, interpretation, etc.; events are scheduled on weekends throughout the year.
  • Program assistants may assist with youth summer camps, family programs or youth field trips. Summer camps may require a commitment of 2-6 hours/day over an entire week, some with occasional evenings; other programs require a 1-2 hour commitment; may take place any time of year.
  • Monarch butterfly education* volunteers are trained to raise monarch butterflies and share information on monarch butterflies to the general public; involves a 2-hour commitment one day/week from May-September.
  • Heritage Farm interpreter* volunteers dress in 1880s period clothing and provide informational interpretation to daily visitors at Heritage Farm or demonstrate specific domestic or agricultural tasks to daily visitors or attendees at special events and programs; requires an ongoing commitment of 4-6 hours/month; takes place April-November.

Operations Support

  • Program event/support involves preparing supplies for programs and events; generally indoor work that may occur any time of year.
  • Handy crafters help to create a wide variety of homemade items for useful or decorative purposes which are either used or sold at Heritage Farm; the group meets monthly, but many projects can be completed at home.
  • Collections care involves record keeping and cataloguing of antique household and agricultural items at Heritage Farm; also may include restoration work on various pieces; generally indoor work that may occur at any time of year.

Roles with an * require either previous experience and/or special training provided by staff.