Many people care. Educated and motivated local volunteer communities boost the quality care that Nature Preserves deserve. The Friends work hard to support and empower people and groups in the most constructive and collaborative ways possible.

With our Learn and Lead Stewardship Model, volunteers make significant positive impacts while studying local ecology and good stewardship with peers and mentors. We foster a sense of community with each other and with nature. We believe that this network of stewardship communities can grow into a powerful and model force for nature. Sustainable, long-term good care of our state’s irreplaceable nature is the goal that inspires us.

Below are a few resources we’ve compiled to help assist volunteers with their stewardship efforts.

Friends’ Field Stewardship Guide

Developed by Friends leaders, this handy guide features information on the “what, how, and when” of stewardship activities including brush clearing, weed control, controlled burns, and seed gathering. 


Learn more about the Illinois Nature Preserve Commission (INPC) which oversees statewide protections for Illinois’ finest ecological communities.

Frequently Asked Questions

While there are many Illinois Nature Preserves scattered across the state, not all forest preserves and state parks are protected by the INPC – which can lead to a few questions about the system.