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updated: 1/24/2014 9:22 PM

Volunteers sought for Volo Bog, Moraine Hills

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Illinois Department of Natural Resources submission

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources at Volo Bog State Natural Area in Ingleside and at Moraine Hills State Park and McHenry Dam in McHenry is seeking volunteers for the following positions:

• Weekend Naturalists at Volo Bog

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Weekend Naturalists are the friendly folks who lead two tours of Volo Bog one day a month. WENs help touring participants gain a deeper understanding of the unique geological history and ecological significance of Volo Bog, Illinois' only open-water quaking bog. A minimum commitment of one year is required. New Weekend Naturalists are required to attend a three-day training from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays, Feb. 15 and 22 and March 1. To request an application, and to set up an interview, contact Natural Resources Coordinator Stacy Iwanicki at (815) 344-1294 or dnr.volobog@illinois.gov.

• Weekend Docents at Volo Bog (One Saturday or Sunday per month) and Weekday Docent/Interpretive Office Support (two or three Thursdays per month)

Docents greet visitors, answer a variety of questions regarding Volo Bog and general nature, and staff the Friends of Volo Bog's Tamarack Shop. The Interpretive Office Support track involves tasks related to the interpretive program, including computer data entry, copying, filing, maintaining education materials, etc. A minimum commitment of one year is required. New Docents are required to attend a three-day training scheduled for 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays Feb. 15 and 22 and Thursday, Feb. 27. To request an application, and to set up an interview, contact Natural Resources Coordinator Stacy Iwanicki at (815) 344-1294 or dnr.volobog@illinois.gov.

• Bluebird Monitors

Both sites have openings for bluebird monitors. Monitors check the progress of nesting birds in bird houses from late March through mid-August. This involves light to moderate walking through a variety of weather conditions. Monitors then turn in data at the end of the nesting season. Bluebird monitoring is ideal for individuals, friends, couples or small families. A minimum five-month commitment is necessary. New monitors are required to attend the Bluebird Workshop scheduled 12:30-2:30 p.m. Saturday, March 15. To request an application, and to set up an interview, contact Natural Resources Coordinator Stacy Iwanicki, at (815) 344-1294 or dnr.volobog@illinois.gov.

• Crane Monitors and Redheaded Woodpecker Monitors

In cooperation with the International Crane Foundation and McHenry County Audubon, crane monitors sit from 5:30-7:30 a.m. one day per year. Data is recorded on the presence and behaviors of birds observed, then submitted to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's online database, eBird. New monitors are required to attend the Crane Monitors Workshop scheduled for 10-11:30 a.m. Saturday, March 29. Register by contacting VBSNA at dnr.volobog@illinois.gov or (815) 344-1294. Redheaded Woodpecker Monitor info will be available in April (contact VBSNA if interested).

• Prairie and Native Gardeners

Gardeners tend the native demonstration gardens throughout the parks beginning with spring clean up. Each year, some new plants are planted followed by weed control (hand pulling) throughout the growing season. Fall involves seed collecting. A minimum commitment of eight months (mid-March through mid-November) takes the volunteer gardener through the complete growing season. New Gardeners are asked to attend the kickoff meeting from 9:30 a.m. to noon Thursday, March 20. To request an application, and to set up an interview, contact Natural Resources Coordinator Stacy Iwanicki, at (815) 344-1294 or dnr.volobog@illinois.gov

Volunteers have a passion for nature and the environment and enjoy interacting with people. The ideal volunteer is an outgoing self-starter and a motivated learner. Training and mentoring provide the information and skills needed.

Volo Bog State Natural Area in Ingleside and Moraine Hills State Park and McHenry Dam in McHenry are Illinois Department of Natural Resources sites. For more information, to request an application, and to set up an interview, contact Natural Resources Coordinator Stacy Iwanicki at (815) 344-1294 or dnr.volobog@illinois.gov.

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