What We Do

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer Opportunities


Openlands has a diverse range of volunteer opportunities that occur at different times throughout the year. The types of volunteer skills and experience vary by opportunity, and some require training to participate. 

Volunteer opportunities are individually coordinated by program and are listed below. Please visit the program pages for more details and contact information, or view our Events Calendar


Openlands Lakeshore Preserve:

Volunteers help with a range of activities including biological monitoring, ravine and beach clean up, invasive species removal, and data collection. Corporate workdays can also be arranged. Click here for more information.  


Space to Grow Planting and Community Days:

Volunteers of all ages help plant and mulch native gardens at Space to Grow schools throughout Chicago. September through early October. Click here for more information. 


Birds in My Neighborhood:

Adult volunteers interested in birds and/or experienced in working with children connect Chicago Public Schools students to nature in their neighborhood by teaching them about birds and leading bird walks. Training is required. February through May. Click here for more information. 



Volunteers ranging from first-timers and families to experienced arborists help with tree planting and tree care events throughout Chicago. Early April through mid-November. Click here for more information. 


River Clean-Ups:

Volunteers ranging from first-timers and families to experienced paddlers help with on-water river clean ups throughout northeastern Illinois. Early May through September. Check the events calendar for more information


Paddling leaders:

Volunteers who are expert paddlers adopt a section of water trail and monitor and report on conditions throughout Illinois year round. Check the events calendar for more information. 


Office Help:

Occasionally, help is needed in the Openlands office with administrative tasks such as mailings. For more information and opportunities, check the events calendar.  


Share This Page