Volunteers Make A Difference
Hickory Knolls needs you! We have a variety of positions suited to adults of all ages and abilities. All volunteers are required to complete an application form including a criminal background check.
Do you have time during the day?
Do you like to meet and chat with people about the plants, animals and ecosystems in the St. Charles area? Do you have a pleasant phone manner? Then volunteering at Hickory Knolls’ front desk may be for you. To volunteer, contact Pam Otto at 630-513-4346.
Is your time limited to weekends?
Do you like activities with large numbers of people? Consider volunteering for Hickory Knolls’ special events. While there are events held throughout the year, annual events include:
- National Public Lands Day in September
- Seed Harvesting in October
- Make A Difference Day in October
Are you interested in working outside?
If volunteering in the great outdoors is more your style, step up and give nature a hand. Restoration Work Days take place on Saturdays from 9:00am to noon and rotate through the District according to the schedule listed below. To volunteer, contact Denis Kania at 630-513-4367.
Hickory Knolls Natural Area
1st Saturday of the month
Norris Woods Nature Preserve
2nd Saturday of the month
Ferson Creek Fen Nature Preserve
3rd Saturday of the month
4th Saturday of the month
Frequently Asked Questions
The amount of time varies with the position. Front desk volunteers commit to a minimum of one two-hour shift per week; special event volunteers commit to the length of an event, which typically last three to four hours each.
- Greet visitors
- Provide trail maps and park directions
- Answer questions about Hickory Knolls and the surrounding natural area
- Answer phonesWorking with program staff, prepare materials for upcoming classes
- Greet visitors
- Interact with guests at craft tables and/or activity stations
- Answer questions about exhibits and displays
- Learn about ecological restoration
- Get some exercise
- Enjoy quality time outdoors with family & friends
- A chance to share your love of the land with others
- A feeling of satisfaction when you make a difference
- Brush cutting
- Trash clean-up
- Controlled burnings (Spring/Fall)
- Seed collecting & dispersal
- Plant propagation
Local natural areas are subject to many threats, both human and biological. One of the most damaging is the invasion by nonnative weeds and shrubs, which crowd and shade out native plants. Off-road vehicles, overuse, vandalism, poaching of rare plants, and dumping of yard waste also contribute to the decline of our natural areas. You can help identify these problems in the park district’s sites and work together with other volunteers and park district staff to help restore and preserve these special places.
In addition to the historic and aesthetic goal of returning our natural areas to their unspoiled splendor, restoration will provide a number of additional benefits to the surrounding environment:
- Improved water quality
- Flood control
- Native plant and wildlife habitat
- Endangered species habitat enhancement & creation
- Increased public education opportunities
- Improved passive recreation opportunities