DuPage Forest Preserve District program a finalist for state award
A DuPage Forest Preserve District volunteer program started during the COVID-19 pandemic is one of four finalists for the Illinois Governor's Hometown Award.
The pop-up program hosted 115 volunteer events from January to December 2021 in various DuPage forest preserves and provided socially distanced outdoor opportunities for people to connect with nature and each other. It attracted more than 1,000 volunteers, who provided 2,169 total service hours.
The forest preserve district began the program because the pandemic displaced many regular volunteers and placed extra burdens on staff. Volunteers helped mulch, harvest seeds, build prairies, weed, maintain wetlands, cut brush, pick up litter, paint, and remove fences.
The winner of the Governor's Hometown Award will be announced at the Illinois State Fair on Aug. 18. If the forest preserve district wins, it will receive a plaque and road sign designating the district as a Governor's Hometown Award recipient.