Volo Bog State Natural Area, Moraine Hills State Park & McHenry Dam Seek Volunteers

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources at Volo Bog State Natural Area in Ingleside, Illinois and at Moraine Hills State Park & McHenry Dam in McHenry, Illinois, is seeking volunteers for the following positions:

Naturalist Stacy Iwanicki (right) talks with RU prof Mike Bryson at Volo Bog c. 2004

Naturalist Stacy Iwanicki (right) talks with RU prof Mike Bryson at Volo Bog c. 2004

Weekend Naturalists at Volo Bog
Weekend Naturalists are the friendly folks who lead two tours of Volo Bog one day a month.  WENs help touring participants gain a deeper understanding of the unique geological history and ecological significance of Volo Bog, Illinois’ only open-water quaking bog.  A minimum commitment of one year is required.  New Weekend Naturalists are required to attend a three-day training on February 15, 22, & March 1 from 9:30 a.m.  – 3:00 p.m.  To request an application, and to set up an interview, contact Natural Resources Coordinator Stacy Iwanicki at 815-344-1294 or dnr.volobog@illinois.gov

Weekend Docents at Volo Bog (One Saturday or Sunday per month) and
Weekday Docent/Interpretive Office Support (two or three Thursdays per month)
Docents greet visitors, answer a variety of questions regarding Volo Bog and general nature, and staff the Friends of Volo Bog’s Tamarack Shop.  The Interpretive Office Support track involves tasks related to the interpretive program, including computer data entry, copying, filing, maintaining education materials, etc…  A minimum commitment of one year is required.  New Docents are required to attend a three-day training scheduled for February 15, 22, & 27 from 9:30 a.m.  – 3:00 p.m.  To request an application, and to set up an interview, contact Natural Resources Coordinator Stacy Iwanicki at 815-344-1294 or dnr.volobog@illinois.gov

RU students at Volo Bog, c. 2004 (photo: M. Bryson)

RU students at Volo Bog, c. 2004 (photo: M. Bryson)

Bluebird Monitors
Both sites have openings for bluebird monitors.  Monitors check the progress of nesting birds in bird houses from late March through mid August.  This involves light to moderate walking through a variety of weather conditions.  Monitors then turn in data at the end of the nesting season.  Bluebird monitoring is ideal for individuals, friends, couples or small families.  A minimum five-month commitment is necessary.  New monitors are required to attend the Bluebird Workshop scheduled for March 15 from 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.  To request an application, and to set up an interview, contact Natural Resources Coordinator Stacy Iwanicki at 815-344-1294 or dnr.volobog@illinois.gov

Crane Monitors & Red-headed Woodpecker Monitors
In cooperation with the International Crane Foundation and McHenry County Audubon, crane monitors sit in the wee hours of the morning from 5:30 – 7:30 am one day per year!  Data is recorded on the presence and behaviors of birds observed, then submitted to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s online database – eBird.  New monitors are required to attend the Crane Monitors Workshop scheduled for March 29 from 10:00 am – 11:30 a.m.  Register by contacting VBSNA at dnr.volobog@illinois.gov or 815-344-1294. Red-headed Woodpecker Monitor info will be available in April (contact VBSNA if interested).

Prairie & Native Gardeners
Gardeners tend the native demonstration gardens throughout the parks beginning with spring clean up.  Each year, some new plants are planted followed by weed control (hand pulling) throughout the growing season.  Fall involves seed collecting.  A minimum commitment of eight months (mid March – Mid November) takes the volunteer gardener through the complete growing season.   New Gardeners are asked to attend the kick-off meeting on March 20 at 9:30 am – 12:00 noon.  To request an application, and to set up an interview, contact Natural Resources Coordinator Stacy Iwanicki at 815-344-1294 or dnr.volobog@illinois.gov

Volunteers have a passion for nature and the environment and enjoy interacting with people.  The ideal volunteer is an outgoing self-starter and a motivated learner.  Training and mentoring provide the information and skills needed.

Volo Bog State Natural Area in Ingleside, Illinois and Moraine Hills State Park and McHenry Dam in McHenry, Illinois, are Illinois Department of Natural Resources sites.  For more information, to request an application, and to set up an interview, contact Natural Resources Coordinator Stacy Iwanicki at 815-344-1294 or dnr.volobog@illinois.gov

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