Volunteer Opportunities with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources at Volo Bog State Natural Area in Ingleside, IL and Moraine Hills State Park in McHenry, IL

Looking for ways to spend time in nature, meet interesting people, and give back to the community?  The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is looking for volunteers to fill a variety of positions at two sites in northeastern Illinois.  Whether working with the public or with small groups of like-minded people, either inside or out - or both, there are opportunities for a variety of interests.  Positions are outlined below.  For more information, please contact Stacy Iwanicki at dnr.volobog@illinois.gov or 815-344-1294.


Docents at Volo Bog State Natural Area
Docents greet visitors, answer questions and promote awareness of natural happenings, programs and events at the site.  Docents also tend to the Friends of Volo Bog’s Tamarack Shop.

  • Weekend positions are once per month with a minimum one year commitment.

  • Wednesday, Thursday & Friday Docent positions are weekly commitments; again with a one-year commitment.

     Hours for both are 9 am – 3 pm

The ideal candidate is a friendly outgoing adult interested in learning about Volo Bog and a bit about the other ecosystems found on site, as well as the site’s programs and events.  Training is through mentorship under staff and existing docent volunteers.

Weekend Bog Naturalists at Volo Bog State Natural Area

Weekend Naturalists lead guided bog tours one or more days per month on Saturdays or Sundays. WENs are motivated learners interested learning about the history of Volo Bog from its glacial beginnings through its ecological and historic significance, to its current status as an Illinois Nature Preserve.  YPNs are curious to learn about the diverse plants and animals on site. 

Habitat Restoration and Stewardship Team at Volo Bog State Natural Area, Moraine Hills State Park & McHenry Dam.

Teams meet monthly or bi-weekly on:

  • Mondays, Thursdays & Saturdays at Volo Bog State Natural Area

  • Tuesdays and Saturdays at Moraine Hills State Park

Each team tackles invasive species and assists with plantings and seeds gathering.  Open to adults (and youth ages 8 and older with participating adult).  Training occurs along the way.

Volunteer Veterans Conservation Corps at Volo Bog State Natural Area and Moraine Hills State Park

Military veterans gather one or two Saturday mornings per month to work on projects such as bird houses, trail benches, informational kiosks, etc.  Occasional impromptu meetings are held during the week.
Adopt-a-Road at Volo Bog State Natural Area
This volunteer team meets on five Wednesday mornings per year. 

Open to adults (and youth ages 10 and older with participating adult).

Prairie/Native Gardeners at Volo Bog State Natural Area, Moraine Hills State Park & McHenry Dam

Gardeners tend the native prairie and woodland gardens 1 – 2 hours per week from late March through mid-November.  Open to adults (and youth ages 8 and older with participating adult).  Mentoring is provided.

Interested individuals should request an application by contacting Natural Resources Coordinator Stacy Iwanicki at dnr.volobog@illinois.gov  and tell which position(s) are of interest and why.

Volunteer Openings - Please Inquire:

  • Bluebird Monitors at MHSP

  • Docents at MHSP

  • Native Gardeners at VBSNA & MHSP

  • Volunteer Veterans Conservation Corps at VBSNA & MHSP

  • Habitat Restoration & Stewardship Team at VBSNA & MHSP

  • Outreach Volunteers for IDNR & Friends – Please ask to join the team!

  • Join a Friends’ Board – openings on Friends of Volo Bog

Questions can be directed to Stacy Iwanicki at 815-344-1294 or dnr.volobog@illinois.gov