Wildlife Prairie State Park is a 2000-acre wildlife park operated by the Friends of Wildlife Prairie State Park and the State of Illinois. Volunteers play a very important role by assisting in all areas. The adult volunteer program offers many opportunities for you to use your expertise! Since we are a not-for-profit organization, much of what we do is accomplished with the help of our volunteers.
As a Wildlife Prairie State Park volunteer, you will enjoy many benefits: free admission for you and your immediate family; an annual picnic and Volunteer Recognition Banquet, a quarterly volunteer newsletter; a 10% discount on all purchases in the gift shop and snack shop; a tax deduction for transportation as allowed by the Internal Revenue Service; invitations to events offered exclusively to employees, volunteers, and members; and an opportunity to expand your social circle and make new friends.
Wildlife Prairie State Park Volunteer positions include:
A few things that should be kept in mind when deciding if working with the animals is for you: You will most likely become very dirty or wet, the work is often repetitious, and you should be confident with animals.
- Our animals are not pets! You will not have direct contact with them.
- You must have completed a minimum 3 months volunteer service in other departments before being considered for a position in the animal department.
Volunteers working in the Pioneer Area can choose from a wide variety of jobs. The possibilities include showing guests the Log Cabin, Graham Chapel School, Heritage Garden, Herb Garden and Pioneer Livestock.
An Office Volunteer helps personnel at the Ranger Station. The office staff and the existing workload determine the number of volunteers needed. Typing, organizing mailings and working with the Public Relations staff are just a small list of jobs a Volunteer may do.
This job requires a friendly, outgoing, patient person. Duties include being available on the brick area near the Visitor Center to answer questions and helping visitors find their way around the Park.
Many Naturalist Programs are offered throughout the season. Some of the programs requiring Volunteer help are: guided hikes; Animal Programs; Night in the Wild; Animal of the week; Day Camp, and many more. Help is always needed in May and October to greet buses and patrol the trails when classes of school children visit the park.
The Naturalist Intern will work under the direction of the Intern Supervisor as a member of the Park's Education Department.
The Volunteer Coordinator initiates special projects. Any Volunteer with experience, ability, creativity, or just an interest in a project may participate. Some of the Projects include: manning information booths at local functions; monitoring projects for frogs, birds or butterflies; building bird houses; and driving in parades.
Special Events are listed on the Schedule of Events in the Volunteer office. Many Volunteers are needed during these events. Some of our Special Events include the Easter Egg Hunt, Kid's Day and Wildlife Scary Park.
As a child, if you ever wanted to be a fireman, airplane pilot or train engineer, we can make one of your dreams come true. Train engineers are needed to work four hour shifts on a regular basis on the Wildlife Prairie State Park's 24-inch gauge railroad and trolley. Back-up engineers are also required on an "as needed" basis. This job requires Volunteers, male or female, who are 25 years of age or older and are in good health with normal eyesight and hearing. The train runs May 1st through Oct. 31st and for Special Events. Train engineers have their color photographs posted in the depot area.
Plants, plants, plants, and more plants. If you have a green thumb, then this is the place to be. We plant many flowers, trees and shrubs every year and our landscapers would like to have Volunteers to help keep the Park beautiful.
Many jobs are available to Volunteers in the Landscaping department. Watering plants, weeding all areas, helping in the Butterfly Garden, on the Prairies, and in the 'islands'.
If your are interested in becoming a volunteer, please fill out a Volunteer Questionnaire and mail it to:
You may also give us a call at 309-676-0998