People of the Preserves
"I’ve always had pets—dogs, lizards, turtles, snakes, just everything. I love animals and have wanted to work with them forever. As for wildlife, I really like the American kestrel but all the birds of prey are really cool.
"I used to come to River Trail Nature Center with friends and cousins growing up. I’ve always known this place and when I found out that you can volunteer here, I was really excited because it’s familiar and I know my way around. I’m going to be a junior at Buffalo Grove High School and this is an internship for college credit which is great because I want to go on to study animal care.
"My supervisors give me tasks whether it’s cleaning, weeding, or animal care inside and outdoors. Recently, we’ve been focusing on the butterflies and caterpillars. Interns help wherever we’re needed. We’re getting exposure in the environmental field and learning a lot."
"Thirty years ago I called up the Nature Conservancy and asked if they needed help with anything and they directed me to volunteering with the Forest Preserves of Cook County. I always wanted to help the world and this is the way I do it. Through restoration.
"Poplar Creek is a really wonderful site. The gravel hill prairie is probably the most unique because the gravel is left by the glaciers. The vegetation is what’s been growing here for 10,000 years and was never plowed. The other thing that’s special about this spot is the scale. You can stand on the hill and look out for a mile and see prairie and little stands of Oak trees which is what the original explorers of the area described. Also, the people that you meet here are the best people I’ve met in my life. Not only are they into nature, but they’re all devoting their time to the benefit of our planet."
Did you enjoy meeting these volunteers? Take a look back at others we've featured in People of the Preserves by visiting the Volunteer News page on our website. Please note, these interviews were conducted long before the COVID-19 pandemic and the Governor's Stay at Home order.