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Lake Katherine
In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks.

Community Service Opportunities

We have community service opportunities available for individuals who need to complete service hours for school, work or court. Hours are available Monday through Friday between 9am and 5pm, with a minimum shift of two hours. Our calendar is filled on a first-come, first-served basis, so we are not always able to accommodate last-minute requests for hours.

We accept court-ordered community service on an individual basis. Persons seeking hours for court-ordered community service must disclose the nature of the offense and provide a copy of their court order prior to being approved for volunteering. We reserve the right to determine if an individual may complete service hours with our organization.

To request service hours, please complete our online form and we will contact you: Please note that you are responsible for arranging your own service hours. We will not make arrangements with another person for your service hours.

Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to our most frequently asked questions. Please also review our General Guidelines and Community Service Dress Code below for more information.

I am not 18 yet. Can I still complete service hours at Lake Katherine?
Yes. Students who are at least 14 years old and in high school may volunteer with the permission of their parent/guardian. Students under the age of 14 or not yet in high school may volunteer with a parent/guardian or other authorized adult.

I need to complete my hours with a non-profit organization. Do hours at Lake Katherine count?
Yes. Lake Katherine Nature Center and Botanic Gardens is a 501(c)(3), tax-exempt, charitable organization.

Will you give me proof of the hours I've completed?
A letter of verification, detailing the number of hours worked and the tasks completed, will be provided upon completion of service hours. If you have a form that we need to complete, please make sure to bring it with you.

What kind of work will I be doing?
Community service volunteers may be asked to perform a variety of tasks, including but not limited to:

  • Cleaning (sweeping, mopping, cleaning bathrooms, trash removal, etc.)
  • Set-up/take-down tables and chairs
  • Restoration activities (cutting/pulling invasive plants, clearing brush, etc.)
  • Outdoor maintenance (clearing trails, raking algae, refuse clean-up, etc.)

Seasonally, additional opportunities are available for high school students. Please see our Upcoming Opportunities for more information on how to sign up.

What if it's hot, cold, or rainy?
We work outdoors year-round, even in less than ideal weather. However, in the case of lightning, heavy rain, excessive heat or cold, or icy conditions, volunteers will be inside.

I would like to volunteer all day. Can I still take a break for lunch?
Absolutely. You will need to let staff know when you'll be leaving for lunch and you'll need to check in again when you return. As you schedule your hours, please keep in mind that lunch breaks are not counted toward your service hours.

General Guidelines

  • All community service volunteers must complete a day waiver before volunteering.
  • Hours are available from 9a - 5p Monday through Friday. Hours may be available on Saturdays on specific dates.
  • Outdoor work is performed year-round, in both hot and cold weather. Volunteers are expected to dress accordingly for the day’s weather and should anticipate getting dirty. Volunteers are encouraged to bring a refillable water bottle to stay hydrated while working.
  • Volunteers must be signed in and signed out by a staff member.
  • All breaks must be approved by a staff member. Volunteers need to be signed out before leaving.
  • Individuals must schedule volunteering ahead of time. If an individual is not able to come in as scheduled, they are to contact the Volunteer Coordinator or designated staff member prior to the scheduled shift. Failure to do so may result in dismissal.
  • Volunteers must follow the Community Service Volunteer Dress Code (below).
  • A letter of verification, detailing the number of hours worked and the tasks completed, will be provided upon completion of service hours.
  • LKNCBG reserves the right to dismiss any volunteer who is not following the provided guidelines or whose work performance and/or behavior is unacceptable.

Community Service Volunteer Dress Code

In general, clothing should be modest, neat, well-fitting and inoffensive. Due to the nature of outdoor work, community service volunteers may wear moderately worn clothing. The Director shall be the final judge as to the appropriateness, neatness, and cleanliness of the apparel, or whether or not the apparel is disruptive, distracting, unsafe, or in violation of the dress code. Exceptions may be granted based on the work being performed.

  • Only long pants are permitted. Shorts or capris may not be worn.
  • Shirts must have sleeves. No tank tops or spaghetti straps may be worn.
  • Only closed-toe shoes may be worn. Footwear such as sandals, flip-flops or Crocs are not permitted.
  • Clothing or ornamentation displaying suggestive or political phrases, designs, markings or profanities are prohibited.


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© 2019 Lake Katherine Nature Center and Botanic Gardens | Palos Heights, IL. All Rights Reserved.
Lake Katherine is owned and supported by the City of Palos Heights and managed by Lake Katherine Nature Center and Botanic Gardens.
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