Volunteer Interest Form

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Do you love nature? Are you concerned with the environment? Do you believe that a bond with the natural world can enrich one’s life? Rewarding volunteer opportunities await you with BackYard Nature Center.

BackYard Nature Center is looking for individuals who are keenly interested in the values inherent in nature and community service. Whether you are a former teacher or simply enjoy working with kids. A birder, botanist, or naturalist. A photographer or a writer. Or just someone who wants to make a difference. We’d love to have you join us! As a volunteer with BackYard Nature Center, you can get involved in:

Education – Nature as Teacher

BackYard Nature Center partners with schools, park districts, and other organizations in New Trier Township to create and conduct programs for school children from pre-K through high school. We also provide resources for teachers seeking to utilize nature to supplement classroom learning experiences, and structure nature-based play programs. Volunteers help with program planning, development, and implementation. Specific roles include curriculum consulting, resource development, nature walk tour guide, bird walk leader, and nature-based play facilitator.

Habitat Restoration

BackYard Nature Center, in conjunction with a site steward from the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, holds events 2-3 times per month at the Skokie Lagoons. Known to American Indians as the “great marsh,” the area was well known as wildlife habitat. When sections were drained for farmland and the remainder later dug and dredged into the present lagoons, much of the original habitat was destroyed. Our restoration work seeks to reestablish healthy woodland, savanna, and prairie habitats. Under the direction of the site master steward, volunteers cut and burn brush and remove other invasive species.  Those with certifications in chainsawing or herbiciding please consider donating your time as a volunteer.


BackYard Nature Center sustains a marketing and publicity effort to create awareness of our work, inform the public about our work, and promote our mission. Volunteers are needed to photograph and write articles about our programs for BackYard Nature Center’s newsletter, connect with local media, create and execute social media plans, and maintain our website.


BackYard Nature Center maintains databases of school connections that support our marketing efforts and a portfolio of resources used by BYNC personnel, teachers, and families to develop programs and activities. Volunteers can assist with the maintenance and expansion of these vital databases.

For more information, contact board member Linn Carey, lcarey@backyardnaturecenter.org.

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