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

Individual Volunteer Opportunities

Do you enjoy visiting Lake Katherine, but want to get more involved? Consider volunteering and become a part of our team.

We are always welcoming new volunteers, so whether you're someone with a passion for nature, a high school or college student hoping to gain new skills, or a recent retiree looking for something new, we have something for almost everyone.

Volunteers commit to forty hours of service per year, typically done as weekly or bi-weekly shifts. Most volunteer opportunities are Monday through Friday during our business hours, however Saturday opportunities are available for certain positions after gaining experience.

Volunteers with twenty or more service hours in the last twelve months are eligible for a variety of benefits, including free classes, discounted rentals, and an invitation to our annual volunteer recognition dinner.

Learn more about our volunteer positions below, then complete our Volunteer Application Form. If you have questions about volunteering, please contact Shamim at (708) 361-1873 or

Please note: If you need to complete service hours, and are not looking for a long-term volunteer commitment, please visit our Community Service Opportunities page.

Ecological Restoration
Ecological restoration volunteers help eradicate invasive plants and perform general restoration activities including brush clearing, planting, and seed collecting. Volunteer groups meet Monday mornings year-round, though volunteers may choose to work independently after learning basic restoration skills.

~ Animal Ambassadors
Volunteers help care for and educate visitors about the animals in the nature center. This includes feeding, cleaning enclosures and occasional handling. Animal care experience, including reptiles, is required.

~ Camp Counselors
Camp counselors assist with summer camp activities. Counselors may volunteer for a full week of camp at a time, or come in for specific activities during the camp season, June through August.

~ Field Trips
Volunteers lead field trip activities and take students on guided walks. Field trips are generally scheduled from March through November, with May and October being the busiest months.

Each of our gardens is maintained by one or more volunteers throughout the growing season, typically late March through early November. Activities include watering, weeding, raking, pruning, mulching and planting. Gardening experience is preferred.

~ Maintenance
Volunteers assist with the repair, construction, and upkeep of our facilities. Volunteers regularly walk the grounds, addressing maintenance issues as needed, and help with various projects. General maintenance experience required.

~ Canoe/Kayak Attendant
Volunteer attendants work with part-time staff to assist visitors with canoes and kayak rentals. This involves giving visitors paddling and safety instructions, and helping them get in and out of the water. Volunteers typically work the same day each week, late May through mid-October during rental hours.

Guest Relations
~ Welcome Desk
Welcome Desk volunteers work a four-hour shift each week, typically from May through October. They assist staff at the Welcome Desk with a variety of tasks, including answering phones, greeting visitors, answering questions, and tidying the nature center.

~ Clubhouse
Clubhouse volunteers typically work four hours a week from May through October. They answer visitor questions and show the Clubhouse to prospective renters, as well as help clean the Clubhouse.

Citizen Science
Volunteers collect data as part of on-site monitoring or for citizen science programs. Currently we collect data for our Atlas of Life, Project Budburst, Project FeederWatch and the Illinois Odonate Survey.


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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.
Design and Development by J Rudny, LLC.